For the last four years, my friend, Tommy MacDonald (of PBS’ RoughCut Woodworking with Tommy Mac) and his outstanding team have cobbled together the Wood Expo which is a show within the New England Home Show. This year the team, which consisted of Eli Cleveland, Neil Lamens, Scott Oja, Rick Waters and Justin DiPalma, pulled out all the stops and put on a great show.
This is my first time at the Wood Expo. Initially I thought it was really just a high end craft show held within the New England Home Show. In talking with Tommy about it late last year, I discovered my thoughts were wrong. The concept for this entire show is to educate the public about fine furniture and bring makers of fine furniture together with potential buyers. What I see as the best part of the show is it brings new furniture makers out of their shops and puts them in the spotlight. It encourages them to continue to grow as craftsmen and artists. Sales are always nice but there’s more to this show than that.
Each year the organizers have invited established professionals to come demonstrate/present information to the public and interact with, and critique the work of the furniture makers who enter their pieces into the show. This allows the budding craftsman access to some of the country’s leading craftsmen. Personally, I loved seeing all the work these furniture makers were doing.
As you know I’m primarily a period furniture maker but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate other styles of furniture. I really loved seeing arts and crafts pieces and contemporary pieces side by side in the show. It’s easy to get downhearted in this business when you constantly hear how woodworking is a dying art. The great thing about Wood Expo is it lifts that veil of mournfulness. It is uplifting to see such great craftsmen entering the market.
It was really great seeing these young craftsmen interact with customers on the floor. The best part for me was seeing how enthusiastic these makers are about their products and how that excitement rubs off on the customers. I wish each of them success. They really deserve it.
The pieces were plentiful and varied. There were really good 18th Century reproductions and contemporary pieces as well as pieces that blended period designs with contemporary twists. Probably the best thing to do is let you see some of the pieces displayed at this year’s Wood Expo.
Some of the craftsmen represented in the slideshow are:
- Kevin Mack
- Michael McCoy
- Ryan Messier
- Quentin Kelley
- Steve Skillins
- Megan Caine
- Rusty Burwell
- Rob Bois
- Michael Scott Morton
There more top come about wood Expo 2012.