Chris Schwarz's Blog

A Furniture Show, Vandals & a Mystery

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Two weeks ago I managed to spend a few hours at the Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design in Cheltenham, an impressive display of bespoke furniture makers both young and seasoned.

Contemporary English furniture always makes my head shift gears. Most of the stuff I see in America has roots in traditional design. But in England they are much more likely to go for broke with their designs. Some succeed; some fail.

After the show ended on Aug. 31, one of the exhibitors mentioned to me that about a dozen of the pieces at the show had been vandalized. After looking at the photos, it appeared that someone had scratched the pieces deeply with a key or coin.

A bunch of us at David Savage’s school and shop wondered this week what sort of sicko would do such a thing. Someone from the plastics industry? A rogue IKEA agent?

Crazy world.

— Christopher Schwarz

5 thoughts on “A Furniture Show, Vandals & a Mystery

  1. stevemyc

    Sicko is the nicest word of the many words you could have used
    Who cares if the items are a timeless masterpiece or something a 12 year old made.

    He or she is the same type of person (jerk) who knocks over grave markers, key cars, and does a thousand other stupid things just so they can feel better about themselves

    Steve K. Swampscott, ma

  2. SailorJim

    Very sorry to read of the vandalism at the show, but as a 30 + year member of the plastic industry, I can assure you that we as a group also appreciate fine woodworking, craftsmanship and good design. Please don’t paint us with the brush of vandals. Wonder if the problem might have been caused by disgruntled woodworkers who couldn’t stand seeing someone doing better work than they could.

  3. jagriz

    I, as well as some of my associates, have experienced damaged items at woodworking shows. To date we’ve chalked it up to carelessness, people handling things despite signs saying “do not touch,” and overzealous “help” whom have rammed hand trucks and furniture dollies into our work, rather than intent to damage.

    I, as well as some of my associates, have also had small items stolen at shows.

    When I worked at a well known living history museum visitors stole all manner of items. One of the odder things was the hot cut hardy we left in the anvil when we went inside to have lunch… it was dirty and heavy! Kids took a bunch of hand filed wood screws from my bench one time… their parents were embarrassed when I found them outside showing their parents the screws! I was pretty quick at making screws but even at that they “cost” about $20 apiece at shop rates!

    Sadly, these are some the prices to pay when you display at venues that are open to the general public…

  4. Thomas

    The work looks real technical, my hat is off to them for sure. The designs are neat, but not sure they are timeless, however some are very clever. Does this stuff sell, get taken home, or go to the museum?

    As for the vandal, did you see a heavy set bearded guy there with a flannel shirt selling measured drawings? Whomever it was, they probably aren’t very good at woodworking.

  5. Ed Burns

    I also have the Veritas Mark II. It is a nice tool, but I too agree that the clamping system definitely needs improvement. I added PSA 220 sandpaper to each face of the clamping mechanism and that does help considerably.

    Ed Burns of Mount Holly, NC

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