I went to the LI Woodworker's Show today via a bus trip with other members
of the Northeastern Woodworkers Association.
It was a nice show! There were plenty of vendors there to drain the funds
from your wallet and I saw some good prices on big iron. The items made by
club members were interesting to review also... I even saw a piece that was
entered in the same category as my chest of drawers at Woodworker's Showcase
last month! It never occurred to me to enter the chest in the LI show but I
suppose the logistics of getting it there and back would have been quite a
challenge. I'm not sure how far it is in miles but it took us about 3 hours
of drive time to get there from my Mid-Hudson location on the bus. Making a
six + hour round trip a couple of time in three days would have taken all
the fun out of it!
Personally, I enjoy going to the seminars at these shows. The one today by
Mario Rodriquez, "Transitional Corner Chair" was very interesting. Using a
corner chair as his model he explained a lot about the details that make a
piece of furniture interesting and well made... the details that the judges
look for when they judge items at shows. It was the kind of information that
I can use while constructing future pieces.
If there's a bus trip next year and the timing works out I anticipate going
to the show again. I'd recommend dropping by Sunday 4/18 if you have the
I think both shows were excellent this year. Clearly a lot of thought and
effort went into putting them together. Despite being put on by non-profit
fraternal organizations I think they were better than the Woodwork Show in
Springfield, MA in some ways, e.g, more vendors, better presentation
isolation, and the work of club members on display. Woodwork had their
presentation area very close to a bandsaw mill and a Feldor exhibit and the
noise was awful--very difficult to hear the presenters. It seems to me that
keeping the presentations somewhat isolated from the noise of the show shows
more respect for the presenters, and the audience, than subjecting both to
the sound of PA systems and power tools.
There are a couple things I'd like to see different at both shows: One is to
have more member projects on display--it seems like a lot of members are
reluctant to display their work. The second is to provide feedback to the
exhibitors that desire it so that they have an understanding of what made
their piece better, or worse, than others. Both of these items may need a
global mindset change--exhibiting should be treated like a learning
experience instead of purely as a contest. Of course I realize that putting
the product of one's self on display and inviting criticism isn't for
Perhaps a panel presentation by the judges on what makes a good piece of
furniture, turning, etc. (not just the technical but the art), would make a
good presentation at both shows! Mario Rodriquez tapped into that
discussion a bit and it left me wanting for more...
John, that is the toughest part of the hsow, from my point of view (I was one
of the exhibit managers, along with Mike Daum and Karl Blessing), and getting
exhibitors is always tough. I am always surprised to find out how many people
don't want their work judged. Interestingly, you never know how judges
perecieve things. And to find out what the judges think, you need only ask.
They were glad to let you know,and invariably in kind and educating ways.
I wonder if part of the problem is that folks are doing woodworking projects
that don't lend themselves to exhibition? For example, we've got guys making
things like Kitchen cabinets... tough to drag a kitchen into the exhibit!
Others make utilitarian items for home and shop use. And quite a number of
in the early stages of beginners and aren't really making anything but their
I also wonder if some are reluctant to exhibit for fear of damage or theft.
I cannot blame them for their concern... my chest got a ding in the side
somewhere along the line at Showcase. I heard guys at our last meeting
discussing how visitors routinely ignored the "do not touch" signs and one
exhibitor mentioned that he saw a woman's purse nail a couple of his
Regarding speaking with the judges, I did manage to speak with one of them
at Showcase but it wasn't near my chest of drawers... Needless to say I
didn't press him for comments on the details of my work. Rather I spoke with
him about the "art" side of furniture as compared to the "mechanical" side.
It was a great conversation in and of itself but I'd still have liked
specific critical feedback.
I attended yesterday (Saturday) and thought the show was excellent.
There were more vendors than in previous years and more speakers as
My congratulations to the club for a job very well done and if there's
anybody undecided about whether to attend I recommend that you do.
On Sat, 17 Apr 2004 21:57:42 -0400, "John Grossbohlin"
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