From Melbourne to Winston-Salem

WIACLOGO_BAn e-mail recently landed out of the blue from Kevin Ireland (publisher of Popular Woodworking Magazine) with a bit of an inside scoop on the 2014 Woodworking In America. Last time I was in the U.S. selling tools at Woodworking in America in Pasadena, Calif., Kevin and I were having great chats and bouncing ideas around about WIA and the future of it all.

Much to my disappointment, I couldn’t make it to WIA 2013 in Covington, Ky., due to a clash with the big Wood Show here in Melbourne, Australia. But this year, I shall make the trek from Melbourne whilst towing a couple of suitcases overloaded with tools to Winston-Salem, N.C., for WIA 2014, Sept. 12-14. I’ll have the full range of Vesper Tools for sale and on display.

Should be a beautiful time of the year to be there. I do look forward to getting over to the U.S. for a show and a bit of exploring. My kind of exploring involves museums, fellow craftsman, woodworkers, artisans in metal and other trades and all things like that, plus nature and good food, plus maybe a splash of Bourbon along the way. No visit to Kentucky this year though… not happy guys. :-)

Wilson

Craftsman George Wilson

I’ll be looking forward to calling in on my good friend George Wilson (now retired) of Colonial Williamsburg and other amazing work fame. Then a quick sojourn to New England area to see Garrett Hack’s place, the American Precision Museum and a bunch of other things on the list up that way. Going to have to plan that one seamlessly I think, Boston (NBSS), Rhode Island (RISD), and more will make for a hectic schedule before heading home to make more tools.

As a bit of an outsider on US history and localities I was thrilled to find out about Old Salem. Having visited Colonial Williamsburg twice now I think I’m in for another treat with Old Salem. Perhaps without the American Colonial history, but not far from it. I believe there will be a behind the scenes touch and feel tour of some furniture, organized as part of WIA. Keep your e-mailing fingers ready to reply YES to that one me thinks, (after having left a spot for me please!).

Whilst its early days yet I am looking forward to exploring the more southern areas of the U.S., having never ventured farther south than Williamsburg, Va. Might even make it as far as South Carolina if anyone points me to something amazing down there.

As a solo toolmaker I found 2013 quite a challenge to keep up with orders. A punishing wood show schedule doesn’t help when one needs to be in the workshop making stock for said shows. So the big treat for me this year is a well planned and scheduled year, which may-or-may-not lead to a treat for you guys and girls if I find time to make a new tools in the range.

— Chris Vesper

 Editor’s note: Look for more Woodworking in America posts in the coming weeks and months, with announcements about special events, the presenters, sessions and other top-notch toolmakers we’ll be welcoming to this year’s conference. The conference web site will be up soon – but mark your calendars now and make plans to join us Sept. 12-14, in Winston-Salem.

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