There was a time, in the not so distant past, when we made more stuff. Things were less disposable – we fixed our possessions when they broke. The furniture, dishes and home goods we kept in our lives had stories behind them and were built with purpose. I believe we’ve lost much of that handmade magic. That’s why I joined this team as the new editor in January. I want people to make more of the stuff they have in their lives, to learn the virtues of craft. Fortunately, if you’re reading this, you’re already part of the solution.
All across the country, people are picking up dusty old tools, wandering into home centers and tool sheds, and reigniting that making spirit. Community workshops are opening up. The internet is enabling creatives from all disciplines to sell their wares, tell their stories and give us glimpses of a handmade ecosystem. If you’ve been paying attention, those feelings of yearning to work with your hands, to create solid, tangible, beautiful works have been there all along. At Popular Woodworking, it’s our mission to celebrate and encourage people to learn, build and discover the art of making things with wood.
You’ll continue to see some incredible, aspirational projects. You’ll learn how to wield all kinds of tools and understand materials. And, ultimately, we’re hoping you’ll be inspired to create something of your own.
So what’s happening at Popular Woodworking? We’ve assembled a great team of passionate writers, editors and creators to usher this brand forward. Joining me on this adventure are David Thiel, Scott Francis, Jake Motz, and David Lyell.
David Thiel is a name (and face) many of you are familiar with. He’s been with Popular Woodworking in different roles for a long time. Today, he’s our video producer, charged with creating great videos detailing project builds and techniques. He’s also a highly skilled woodworker in his own right, and you’ll continue to see his work highlighted on the website and in the magazine.
Scott Francis is our books editor and helps our authors clearly convey their woodworking instruction, advice and projects. Scott may be new to the craft, but he’s learned lot about the subject during his time with Popular Woodworking and has been steadily improving his skills through small builds and even a couple of furniture projects. He loves building things for and with his kids, a very noble aspiration in my book.
Jake Motz is our video editor and an aspiring maker. He’s just starting his journey into the world of woodworking, building things out of necessity for his home. Luckily for him, there’s no better place to learn about woodworking than Popular Woodworking. We’re all looking forward to seeing what he builds next and sharing his own story as his skills grow.
David Lyell is our director of online content. That means he’s responsible for everything you see on the website and in our social media feeds. He has a background in manufacturing and metalworking. His inspiration to learn woodworking came from many of the YouTube woodworking channels you love. He’s the host of our weekly PopWood Playback series and gets in the shop as much as he can. You’ll be seeing more of his work in print and online coming up.
So, what about me? I grew up making things (a common theme here), the son of a hobby quilter and a hobby woodworker. I was bit by the woodworking bug in college and I’ve been squeezing in shop time ever since, as my career path has meandered through the publishing world. I’m very familiar with the joys and the frustrations of working with wood (though I tend to focus on the joys).
I’m excited to work with our great group of contributors and to find new stories to tell, too. It’s our mission to get more people into the world of making things in wood, whether it’s a brief flirtation or a lifetime pursuit. Please join us and let me know what you think.
You can always drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s hit the shop!