This last weekend, March 9-11, the Woodworking Shows came to the Atlanta area and opened its doors in Norcross, Georgia. The nearly ideal weather would set the stage for an equally ideal show. I arrived later in the day than I usually due during the show season, so my time was somewhat limited to explore the local attractions. I did find time though to have a late lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Mary Mac’s Tea Room. Southern hospitality and down home cooking have made this a destination stop for well over 60 years and my roasted turkey, collard greens and black eyed peas would be the best meal I had that weekend. Add to all of this the first real signs of Spring and you’ve got the beginnings of a great weekend.
The show was very well attended and the local woodworkers had plenty of opportunities to sit in on the free education and make tool purchases from a nice array of vendors. What made this show more interesting for me was the time I spent in the Woodworkers Guild of Georgia. This very diverse club seems to have experts in nearly every facet of the craft. The guild’s members ran impromptu seminars of their own all day long. Each one of these people was a pleasure to talk to and each had interesting stories to accompany their work. A retired gentleman has made hundreds of boxes ( he loves the WOOD Magazine design) that a company uses as special gifts for clients and staff. The chip carved boxes were the pride of another member. A marquetry table top was very well done as was a lidded box made of dyed maple. Another member displayed a free form scroll sawn hanging and showed me a turned bowl made by a fellow woodworker. What was nice to see is that the focus was on the breadth of club’s knowledge and not on any particular individual’s work.
I also spent some very pleasant time with Chris Adkins who represents the Modern Woodworkers Association. In addition to local members, this association has an online following as well. We talked about his love of the craft and the Greene and Greene styled planes he had on display. We even talked about taking a road trip to an area tool collector when the show is in town next year. How could I not want to do that?
After seeing all this very impressive work, I felt the need to create something too. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do with it yet but I found this spectacular piece of what I was told is Zircote burl. With the live edge, it may almost be a work of art on its own.
The “Cabinet Makers Tool Chest” took first place in the Show Off Showcase this last weekend. The joinery, marquetry and imagination of the maker, Kenneth Fline, really impressed the attendees. Second place went to Mickey Hudspeth for the “Thomas Wood Clock”. This was just a classic beauty. Lastly, George North’s “Last Supper” took third. The winners chose gifts from Bosch Tools and the tool chest will go on to the finals in a couple of weeks in Houston.
All in all, I think that the Atlanta show lived up to its reputation as a solid part of the Woodworking Show series. If you weren’t able to get to that show you missed a good one but I know that we will have something even better next year. There are only three venues left this season. Next week, March 16-18, we travel to Tampa and the Florida State Fairgrounds on US Highway 301. From there we go to Charlotte, North Carolina and finally Houston in the Lone Star state. Between talking to attendees and reading online reviews, I know that the show has been well received. I know that you’ll enjoy it if you come out and see us. Make sure to preregister on line to avoid the lines and take advantage of the discount coupon by following this link.CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD $2 OFF COUPON
I lot of work has gone on this year to provide you with a great woodworking experience. Let us prove it too you. And when you get to the show, stop by the WOOD Magazine booth and plan on staying a while. I always enjoy a good story.
‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.
WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador
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