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Handworks 2017 – Part 1

With so much happening at Handworks last weekend, and it being my first time experiencing the phenomenal American show, I kicked myself on a several occasions for not capturing certain moments on camera. In truth, it doesn’t bother me too much; I was in fact there to experience it myself. But it should bother you, as I’d imagine the majority of those reading this most likely weren’t able to make it to the show.

But you’re going to wish you had.

In an attempt to give you some idea of what it was like (totally awesome!) here are a few pictures from what I was able to capture.  As is often the case, pictures or even videos of an event like this don’t do the justice it deserves in portraying the incredible atmosphere. Nevertheless, this is the first of a few posts to give you a taste of what went on.

Handworks 2017 Eve

Handworks 2017 Eve

Thursday Evening – The amazing people at BenchCrafted who are the organisers of Handworks arranged a great Amana style meal for everyone involved in the show. The perfect time for friends new and old to catch up before the days ahead.

As per usual, I found myself helping whoever needed an extra pair of hands for the heavy lifting and other odd jobs in preparation for the show.  It was great to see so many woodworkers, tool makers and enthusiasts coming together to be part of the event.

I spent most of the first day (Friday) just taking it in, talking to other woodworkers from the Instagram and Blogging communities, and enjoying the atmosphere.  It was great to hear from so many people that they were interested in, or better yet, already preparing to head over to England for The European Woodworking Show on 16th & 17th September.  I’m also pleased to say from many of the conversations I had with so many people, there may be a few more now too!

With Friday over, it was another chance for those involved to meet up for the evening. A big group of Instagram woodworkers had organised an evening at the local pizza place to talk more woodworking (it really never ends!)

Kieran – Over the Wireless

With Matt Eich from Mule Resonator Guitars present too, we were fortunate enough to have this passed around to marvel at.  I managed to snap this picture of Kieran Binnie (Over the Wireless ) If you haven’t read Kieran’s blog before, stop what you are doing and head over there right now!

I was also able to get a quick video of Anne Briggs Bohnett (Anne of all Trades.  Another Blog/Instagram account you should definitely be following) Head over to my Instagram, @RJSWW , to see that and more from the entire show weekend.

Saturday morning, the 2nd and last day of the show, everyone was getting prepared for the main event of the weekend, Roy Underhill and his presentation “Saw like a Butterfly – Plane like a Bee!” (Video coming soon) and what a presentation it was!  Typically American and typically Roy!

Roy Underhill – “Saw like a Butterfly – Plane like a Bee!”

One of the main highlights from being at the show for me, was seeing so much of the incredible work I have seen so often in magazines, on Instagram, and on other woodworking and related websites, but this time, in person.  Below is just a small selection of what was on show.

Christopher Schwarz and Jameel Abraham’s Traveling Tool Chest.  The marquetry panel lid is nothing short of incredible. You can read more about the chest and marquetry by Chris and Jameel respectively in the August and October 2015 issues of Popular Woodworking

Christopher Schwarz & Jameel Abraham’s Travelling Tool Chest

Seth Gould’s mind boggling chest lock. No words necessary.

Seth Gould’s Mind Boggling Chest Lock

For those that don’t know about the Studley Tool Chest, go check out Virtuoso: The Tool Chest and Workbench of Henry O. Studley published by Lost Art Press.  Those that do will appreciate how incredible this reproduction by Jim Moone is. You can read more about it on Don Williams (Author of Virtuoso…) Blog here.


Studley Tool Chest

Roorkee Chair built by Anne Briggs Bohnett and modelled by Chris Schwarz

And finally, for those of you that follow me on Instagram,  you’ll have seen this in a recent post.  For those of you that don’t, head over there now and check it out! This is a Roorkee chair built by the incredibly talented Anne Briggs Bohnett and beautifully modelled by Chris Schwarz.  As if these chairs aren’t comfortable enough, Anne made this chair specifically to suit someone that is somewhat less vertically challenged, making it much more suitable for myself, Chris, or anyone in the 6’+ range.  Around 3” taller and a few inches deeper too.  You can read more about Roorkee chairs in Chris’s book Campaign Furniture Published by Lost Art Press.

This barely even covers what would take as little as half a day at the show, but I hope it gives you some idea of what it was like. Watch this space for future posts from the amazing event too, there’s a few more things I’d like to share with you yet!

Ryan Saunders

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