Monday, December 1, 2008

Woodworking in America: Berea Arts Council

If I haven't said it already, one of the great things about the Woodworking in America conference was the venue -- Berea, KY. The northeastern part of Kentucky is gorgeous, with rolling hills, horse farms and cool little towns. Berea is a college town, home of Berea College, which has its own interesting history.

In the downtown area, near the historic Boone Tavern and several galleries and restaurants, is the Berea Arts Council. During the weekend of the conference, they held an exhibit of furniture by Berea-area woodworkers. They had a chair by Brian Boggs (even though he moved away from Berea, they still claim him as their own), a table by Kelly Mehler and furniture, turnings and carvings from a couple dozen other artists.

The chair, above, was made by David Wright. The turning was by Jack Fifield. Both photos were by Gin Petty. One of the most interesting pieces was a reproduction tool chest by Don Weber. The original was discovered in Mästermyr on Gotland in 1936. It was preserved in a bogg and dates back to 1100 A.D. Weber recreated the chest and made the wrought iron hardware as well.

This was a great sampling of local woodworkers and shows the concentration of talent in this area. You can read more about the Berea Arts Council and their work at


Alison said...

That turning is just wild. I love it.

Gin said...

Thanks for plugging the Berea Arts Council. They're a great group of people. And thanks, too, for taking the time to get the photo credit.

As for the turning, Alison, Jack's work is incredible. You can see more of it at:

Furnitude said...

Gin, it's my pleasure. Somehow I left out the photo of the chair, but I just added it.

The Village Carpenter said...

Mitch, thanks for posting the Viking chest. I was bummed that I hadn't gotten to see it. My family comes from östergötland, Sweden, and I would love to make a reproduction of the chest. Any idea what the inside looks like?

Furnitude said...

Excellent question. I saw the inside of it but neglected to take a photo. Gin, if you see this, could you snap a photo of the inside for us? I'll email you separately.

Gin said...

I'll see what I can do about some pictures this afternoon.