The 5 Ws of 2013 – A Woodworking Christmas Letter to You

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The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, here in northern New England. Click the image for more information on the new book from the Center’s founder, Peter Korn.

Who was this year all about? You! This has been a year in which we here at Popular Woodworking have learned more than ever about you, our audience. We have interacted more with you in all areas, asked a lot of questions, celebrated your best work and learned from you. There is much, much more to be done – so please engage frequently with the community throughout 2014! (One terrific way to do that is by using the convenient social media sharing buttons you see at the top and bottom of every blog post on our site. Please add your thoughts to the conversations!)

What happened in 2013? Taking a conservative estimate that, in the last 12 months, each of you completed one or two pieces of furniture (or other nice things for your home) approximately a quarter million woodworking projects happened! That is a lot. It’s exciting to think about all the personal enjoyment that went into that handiwork.

When did it all take place? Whenever we could squeeze it in! With day jobs, social lives and family, pretty much all our woodworking production occurred during spare time. That balance is not going to change anytime soon – in fact, life seems to get more hectic every year. It is inspiring to be part of a community of passionate woodworkers who will find time for their craft no matter what!

Where did we do our work? Again in this question, resourcefulness was the answer. We completed projects in every type of space – from apartments, basements and one-car garages to dream shops that have required years of effort to build out. Workshops are a continual source of interest, peace and productivity. Get in there as much as you can!

Why did we make things out of wood? There are as many answers to this question as there are woodworkers, so please share yours in the comments section below. I’ll leave you with just one of the millions, that of Peter Korn as he presents it in his new book:

The words I used to describe my aesthetic goals as a furniture maker – integrity, simplicity and grace – also described the person I sought to grow into through the practice of craftsmanship.

Here’s wishing you more growth as woodworkers in the New Year!

Dan Farnbach

whycoverp.s.– The new Peter Korn book is available in our store if you’d like to learn more about the “Why” of craftsmanship from a great woodworker’s perspective.

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Woodworking Daily Blog
Dan Farnbach

About Dan Farnbach

Dan apprenticed and worked in two professional shops during the years after college. But sweeping shop floors only goes so far toward learning woodworking. These days Dan is online editor for Popular Woodworking, and is learning new skills every day. He divides his time between Boston and Maine.

3 thoughts on “The 5 Ws of 2013 – A Woodworking Christmas Letter to You

  1. rellison

    This year I left a career of almost 20 years as a philanthropic planner, took a sabbatical of six months and moved to Thomaston, Maine with my wife and her mother. Three of those months were spent at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in nearby Rockport for one of the great experiences of my life. We took eleven days to drive from Texas to Maine and seventeen days to drive back, retracing less than 100 miles. After the 12 Week Intensive ended, we explored the maritime provinces of Canada and continued the discovery of Maine. When all was said and done, we ventured through 26 of the United States, the District of Columbia and five provinces of Canada. As the year comes to a end, the remodeling of my shop is nearing completion and very soon I begin making fine heirloom furniture on a full-time basis. 2013 was quite the year, impossible to ever match. 2014 will be wonderful.

  2. baderr

    This year I went from being a cabinet maker to a working with the Art Department in a small Christian University. I now get to play with the aspects of wood and see how far I can push wood and it’s wonderful properties to make beautiful things with something I have worked with for more years than I want to count but what a joy it is.

  3. paddymey

    this year I made all kinds of things from potting benches, wooden toys, 60+ bird feeder kits (for school kids to assemble) garden obelisks and the like as volunteer work, to turnings, a nice bow saw (pww article came out great),
    some furniture and so on. I also restored a 100+ year old tool chest to fill with some of my antique tools that is now in my family room as a coffee table. I do my woodworking to unwind after a workday as it lets me focus on the job at hand and makes all the daily b.s. melt into history. I get lots of satisfaction from bringing things from my mind into reality

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