Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Woodworking in America Conference II

Since I had such a great time at the Woodworking in America Conference last November in Berea, I'm happy to say I'm planning to go to the next one in St. Charles, Illinois (near Chicago) from August 14-16. The first WIAC conference focused almost exclusively on handtools and technique. On top of that, the marketplace between sessions (or during them if you skipped!), was a handtool free for all. It was great, but sometimes you have to stop focusing (or fixating) on thousands of an inch and step back a bit. If the first WIAC was left-brained, the next one is going to be right-brained.

Design is more about the qualitative than the quantitative. It's one thing to read about methods for cutting dovetails; it's quite another to read how to create something out of nothing. Where do you begin? Do you have a style in mind or are you making up your own? What are your client's requirements? What are your influences? What is your budget? What materials are available? The list goes on. Even if you are following a plan or making a reproduction, you still need to design it to some degree. You have to make decisions on dimensions, wood grain, joinery, finishes and everything else. I'm looking forward to hearing what some accomplished furniture makers have to say about their design process and how they answer some of these questions for themselves.

I'm going to do my level best to avoid visiting one of the golf courses at the meeting site but please keep in mind that I'm only human. I'll try to write as much as I can about the sessions and the general scene (here are my posts from the last one). You can find information about the conference at www.woodworkinginamerica.com. Please contact me if you're going to attend. I'm sure there are some beverages that will need to be consumed.


The Village Carpenter said...

Mitch, so glad you're going. Looks like a great event. See you there!

Ted Wong said...

Hi Mitch,

I looked around for you in Boone at the Furniture Society Conference. From a post on Twitter I sort of got the impression you might be there. It was a good conference overall. Next year will be Boston and is sure to be a "Don't miss this one" sort of soirée.

Ted Wong said...

Does anyone know what happened to Mitch? Haven't seen or heard from him since the beginning of this summer.