International Woodworking Fair: Day 4
This is my last day at the show, so I’m spending some time revisiting the booths where I wanted to take a closer look. I spent some time both yesterday and today looking not just at the tools and machines used to build furniture, but also at furniture designs themselves.
In Building A, you’ll find entries in the IWF “Design Emphasis Student Furniture Design Competition.” Students from colleges and universities across the U.S. enter pieces of furniture they designed and built in their woodworking programs. I have to say that there were some impressive pieces of furniture. Some were meant for outdoor use, such as a patio lounger or chair, while others were coffee tables, desks, dressers, etc. Many pieces were made of just wood, while others incorporated other materials such as metal, glass, fabric and webbing. I saw some amazing work by students who deserve to be recognized.
While looking at the furniture designs and taking some photos, I had the opportunity to speak to one of the students. He lives in North Carolina and walked me through one of his designs, explaining how the metal work and woodworking was done. He clearly has a real passion for the craft and is seriously interested in all things design related. I think he has a great future.
I do a fair bit of woodworking instruction myself, and roaming up and down the aisles of this show reminded me to think about what’s really important in the work we, as woodworkers, do. No matter what you’re interested in, whether it be CNC machinery, power tools, hand tools, turning, design or whatever, it all boils down to one thing: how we turn our creativity into something real in the form of a well-made project. The project might be a deck or gazebo or a very fine piece of furniture with decorative joinery, inlays and veneers—it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you design, plan and then create, turning ideas into beautiful items we can enjoy in our lives. Spending some time looking at the Design Emphasis entries reminded me of the reason everyone is here at this show—the love of creating with wood. I think it’s something we often forget.
Passion for Wood