Build a Shaker inspired side table with handtools in April. This is our first project-based class and is an ideal next step following the Introduction to Handtool Woodworking class. We won't be covering the basics of planing, sawing, making, layout, etc. so you should feel comfortable with those skills already.
The table includes a dovetailed drawer with half-blind dovetails, which is an added challenge. In a two-day class, this feature may be ambitious if you're not yet confident with joinery saws or chopping with a chisel. Don't be intimidated by that. You can practice sawing straight and square before coming to class, or you can choose to rabbet your drawer sides (there are plenty of surviving 100+ year old drawers that were simply rabbeted and nailed). The most important thing is that you take every opportunity to learn, practice, and ask questions while you're in class so you have the knowledge and confidence to continue at home.
We're adding a new series of events this year to make learning handskills more accessible and affordable - Handskill Open House. Each open house is focused on a single handskill or traditional trade. The first open house on this year is spoon carving, featuring Pennsylvania carver Dick Hetrick.
If you're new to spoon carving, stop in and try it out. If you already carve, bring your tools, perhaps a chair, and let's hang out in a mini Spoon Fest.
This past weekend was our first major event hosting around two dozen artisans from Ohio and surrounding regions. Together they represented trades and arts in woodworking, blacksmithing, weaving, painting, luthiery, carving, historic preservation, scrimshaw, glass blowing, and more. For a first-time show with a short timeline for promotion, I admit there was an element of the unknown, of not knowing how many exhibitors would commit, or of what kind of crowd would show up.
Some of us on the organizing team had nightmares the night before of no one showing up or not being able to find us in the Ag building at Harvest Ridge. The strong winds Thursday night blew our primary signs down State Route 39 and some exhibitors’ cars had snow on their roofs when they arrived.
This Saturday, November 2 at the Early American Artisans Fair, we have three special events taking place throughout the day. Three of our exhibitors will be giving talks and demonstrations (beyond their normal booth setup) about their work, their backgrounds, and their experiences. If you come you can expect to hear a little about tools and technique, a bit of storytelling, and a likely a dash of philosophy about craft, hand work, and life.
10:30 AM - Fredy Huamán Mallqui
Architectural Wood Carver
Fredy has trained as a wood carver since he was nine years old in Peru. He'll be speaking about the cultural backdrop of his home country, his move to the US, and his professional work in conservation and restoration of art and antiques.
12:30 PM - David Fisher
Bowl Carver and Green Woodworker
David will be talking about and demonstrating axe and adze carving techniques and how momentum in movement and work can be a thrilling advantage if we learn to avoid its potential risks.
2:00 PM - Amy McAuley
Restoration Joiner at George Washington's Mount Vernon
Amy will be sharing details about what it's like to work with a defined set of hand tools from the 18th century in her preservation work at Mount Vernon.
We've posted a roll-up of the artisans who will be exhibiting, demonstrating, and selling at the Early American Artisans Fair on November 1 & 2, 2019.
This inaugural event features 25 local and regional makers who specialize in traditional hand skills in the following trades:
See the Show Preview here.
Drew Hocevar is not only a glass blower, but also a wood carver; however, his wood carving craft is not your typical backyard pursuit - he carves and restores carousel horses for the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky, OH (where John Blazar, another exhibitor at this year's event, also carves). You may not know it, but you've likely seen Drew on the big screen, especially around Christmas each year since he played the role of Male Elf in A Christmas Story (1972).
Whimsical, detailed, and often mechanized, Barry Wheeler's creations are not the typical blacksmith products. Barry combines his training and experience in traditional blacksmithing with other metalworking skills to create items that make people smile.
These are the classes and events upcoming in the next four week period (Oct. 6 - Nov. 2, 2019):
Our full class calendar is always available here.
Have a great week!
Editor's note: This is a guest blog post from Charles Murray, an experienced period furniture maker based in central Ohio and instructor at the Artisans Guild.
This is the first of a four part series building a hanging wall shelf in tiger maple. The shelves are attached to the sides without fasteners using long sliding dovetails and hide glue. It's based on 18th century examples but likely has predecessors in the 17th century.