Home > Community > Blogs > After Hours with the WOOD Gang
Better Blog

Swan House



The Woodworking Show took a one week break in the circuit after Tampa for the Easter holiday and I used it to make a surprise trip with my wife to visit our young granddaughters in Raleigh. I’ve always preferred it when there were no weeks off, figuring that once we’re on the road I might as well stay out there until we’re done. I now realize how cathartic that rest would be especially after spending it with those kids. But that time also went too quickly, and I was back to the airport for the trip to Atlanta. This venue is considered one of the Big 10 and I knew that we would do well there.

I arrived in town on Thursday early enough to take a slight detour before going to the venue for set up.  The Atlanta History Center is a collection of exhibitions and artifacts chronicling the city from its native American beginnings, the involvement in the Civil War and also, its present day status. The indoor exhibits proved to be very interesting. This museum is part of a large 22 acre property that includes  gardens, the Smith family farm and the Swan House. The restaurant on the grounds was the perfect place for a great southern lunch.

The venue is actually located in Norcross and has housed the show for many years. The local woodworkers know where it is and showed up in impressive numbers. As they waited for the show gates to open, they could view a really unique collection of carved furniture pieces on consignment in the lobby. Most needed a bit of TLC but for $1800 this two piece cabinet may be well worth the time and investment.

One of the larger clubs in the area, the Guinnett Woodworkers, not only displayed some very nice member projects but ran scroll sawing demonstrations throughout the weekend. There were plenty of opportunities for attendees to meet with this club as well as others and still sit in on the presentations by the show’s educators. They also spent a good amount of time and money on the show floor. This is why Atlanta is part of that Big 10.

Something that was new to this show in particular was the booth set up by the Video Woodworkers. These very popular on-line personalities staged a “meet and greet” each day and generally filled their space with fans and onlookers. James Hamilton (Stumpy Nubs), Izzy Swan, April Wilkerson and local Atlanta guy, Steve Carmichael, joined at least ten others during their stay.

The Project Showcase housed another collection of great entries. The winner of the Educator’s Choice award was a very detailed “Mirrored Jewelry Chest” created by Mickey Hudspeth. Every part of this entry just exuded craftsmanship.

The People’s Choice was won by Harvey Meyer for his beautiful “Pueblo Basket Illusion Vessel”. I’ve seen Harvey’s work before and each one just seems to get better.

Both winners took home a great power tool compliments of the Bosch Tool Company. All entrants also received a goodie bag from the show.

Now that Atlanta is in the books, there remains only one show and for that we are going to Kansas City on April 8-10. The KCI Expo Center is new venue for the show and is located just outside the airport property. This is the last chance this current season to catch the unparalleled educational opportunities housed in a single venue for the price of just your show admission ticket. You’ll also find savings on portable and stationary tools and accessories as well as the chance to chat with fellow attendees about the craft we all love so much. If you’re in the area, please come out and see us. You’ll enjoy every minute. Trust me.

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

ps. Speaking of traveling, in Atlanta (and most other airports of late) the benefits of using the TSA Pre-Check lanes cannot be overstated. Here is what the regular lines looked like getting out of Hartsville International (ATL) after our show. My wait, less than 5 minutes. Enough said!

pps. Don’t tell anyone or those wait times will be reversed.

Atlanta 2013 – It’s a Wrap


This last weekend, March 22-24, marked the final show of the 2013 Woodworking Show season. I have been both looking forward to and yet regretting the trip to Atlanta because I really like this very unique city and all it has to offer but I also know that it will be our last show on the circuit until the Fall when we begin the 2013-2014 schedule. Hard as it is to admit, I’m a travel junkie.

In keeping with my somewhat normal routine, I spent my arrival day on Thursday exploring a part of the city I’m visiting and found the Atlanta History Center to be just what the doctor ordered. For over 3 hours I studied the impact of the Civil War on the city and its environs, the diverse influence of Folk art in the South as well as the contributions of Georgia on my favorite sport, Golf. A walk through the grounds led me to a Victorian Playhouse built around 1890 and also to Swan House, the 1928 mansion home of Edward and Emily Inman. And no trip would be complete without a down home Southern lunch at Mary Mac’s. All in all, a very satisfying  intellectual and gastronomical experience.

The show was held north of the city of Atlanta in Duluth at the Guinnett Center. The hall was completely packed with sales booths and educational seminar areas and attendees filled the remaining available spaces completely each day. There were portable and stationary tools of almost every stripe on display as well as more educational opportunities than one could see even over a full three day attendance. There was also eye candy in the form of wood at the CAG Lumber company. The Honduran Rosewood burls were spectacular and some of the domestic and imported figured stock were just too nice to pass up. If I had driven to this show, I would have purchased to my heart’s content but all I could do was imagine some of that stock in my shop.

One of the most beautiful furniture pieces took the honor of first place at this last weekend’s Project Showcase. Kenneth Kline’s “Hepplewhite Style Table” was the clear winner for a reason. The work was flawless and the finish perfect.

Chuck Roberts entered the second place project, his “Bloodwood Baby Cradle” that was his own design. Like the table, you had to be there to see how well done these pieces were. George North submitted his “Black Leopard”. This was Intarsia at its best and he took third place for his effort. Kenneth’s table will be entered in the grand prize judging to take place in the next couple of weeks. Each of last weekend’s winners received a Bosch tool and all entrants took home a show goody bag.

It was encouraging to see that the Atlanta show added an exclamation point to success of this year’s events. A large part of the credit goes to our new Woodworking Show owner, Bryce Beermann, and his desire to grow the show in both size and stature and make it a true “must see” event. More venues and a new Fall season start are part of his plan. Kudos, too, to the educators and the excellent seminars that have really become a woodworker favorite. Many thanks to the vendors for hanging in there through thick and thin and especially our sponsors for the financial and product support. And for all that the attendees don’t see, we are very grateful to Charlene and Rita and their crew who set up, tear down and generally run everything so smoothly.  

Lastly, on a more personal note, thanks to all those who stopped in the WOOD Magazine booth to listen to an old Italian go on and on about the craft he loves so much. I endure all the inconveniences of travel knowing that there will be some smiling, friendly faces waiting in those seats each day. Your enjoyment of our magazine and the person representing it are very much appreciated.

Next year’s season will be here before you know it. Keep an eye out for the announcements at thewoodworkingshows.com and Woodmagazine.com and plan to spend some time with us. We’re very proud of our show. Please come out and see why.

Stay healthy and safe and get back into your shop!  

‘Til then,

I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

© Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Data Policy | Terms of Service | AdChoices