Sun 28 Mar, 2010
Tags: Announcement, Woodworking
Each year my brother Clark and I visit the Woodworkers Showcase woodworking show presented by The Northeastern Woodworkers Association. For as long as I have been going the Woodworkers Showcase has been located in the City Center, Saratoga Springs, New York, and usually held the last weekend in March; this year March 27 & 28. The show is not just for woodworkers, but anyone who appreciates art and fine craftsmanship. We brought our wives, Willow and Dolores, knowing they wood not only love the furniture but the bowl and lamp turnings as well.
The majority of the displays are by hobbyist woodworkers. In fact the large display room is restricted to hobbyists. Professionals are relegated to a rather narrow and short display area. None of the woodworking displays are for sale, keeping that portion of the show a display only for art exhibition and appreciation.
In addition to woodworking displays there is also a large room for tools, machine and materials exhibits and sales. Lie-Nielsen and Lee Valley are always present as are many others. Hardwood suppliers are in attendance with some of the finest figured woods you can imagine.
There are many free lectures and demonstrations and numerous guest speakers; this year David Ellsworth, Ernie Conover, Chris Schwarz and Phillip Lowe. This year’s special exhibits included woodworking demos, American period furniture and instrument making.
This year some of the standards were missing, I believe due to construction on the City Center grounds. Most notable were the outdoors display of Wood-Mizer portable saw mills cutting up logs into rough lumber. I suspect these will return next year.
I never miss this show. Of all the shows I attend this is by far the best, especially the hobbyists pieces. Everything from chairs to lathe turned hats, period highboys to toys and musical instruments to benches are all on display from some of this countries best woodworkers.
The setting is Saratoga Springs, a beautiful and small early colonial settlement. Saratoga played a major role in the Revolutionary War. The Battle of Saratoga sealed the fate of British General John Burgoyne’s army in the American Revolutionary War, and is generally regarded as a turning point in the war. Saratoga boasts the most beautiful and oldest race track in America and The Travers Stakes is the oldest thoroughbred horse race in America. Saratoga Springs is where President Ulysses S. Grant spent his final days while writing his memoirs and bathing in the springs to nurse his failing health. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is a cultural seasonal outdoor theatre that hosts summer theatre groups to pop artists. There are numerous and excellent restaurants and hotels in the city.
If you have never attended this show and live in the greater area make sure to see it next year. Even if you live a distance from Saratoga, NY, plan a vacation. Take in The Woodworkers Showcase along with a car tour of central to northern New England during sugaring season. I promise you won’t regret it. Let me know if you attend next year and would like to connect to talk all things woodworking.
For more information on The Northeastern Woodworkers Association or the Woodworkers Showcase visit www.nwawoodworkingshow.org. You might especially want to view the 2009 show winners at http://www.nwawoodworkingshow.org/2009awards/winners09.htm.
Note: All pictures in this post were taken by me and are of pieces on display at Woodworkers Showcase 2010. None are my pieces. However, I did examine them critically and can vouch for their excellent craftsmanship.