Recently I attended the annual Working Wood in the 18th Century shindig at Colonial Williamsburg. I’ve been to many of these gatherings over the years, but this was my first since moving to White Run, and also my first entree as a speaker. The theme this year was chairmaking, and the presenters were Kaare and Ted, along with Brian Weldy and Bill Pavlak, the journeymen from the Hay shop and Ted’s crew of interns from the Joiners shop, along with Windsor chair maker Peter Galbert and moi.
The general format for these has always been hands-on demonstrations by the CW craftsmen, usually from the Anthony Hay Cabinetmaker shop, currently mastered by Kaare Loftheim, and the Joiners shop, under the tutelage of Ted Boscani.
The setting for the conference is the Hennage Auditorium of CW, with each of the presenters engaging in actual hands-on work while engaging in soliloquies of discourse on their particular topic, on-camera with live microphones.
First up with the evening lecture on the opening night was Tara Gleason Chicirda, the long time Curator of Furniture for CW, presenting Craftsmanship of the American Chair. Tara possesses a breathtaking range and depth of knowledge about the things we care about, and I have never been disappointed by the many lectures I have heard from her.
The next morning was started by a “three-ring circus” as Kaare, Brian, and Bill took the stage for near simultaneous expositions on their projects with a session titled Chairmaking Fundamentals–Three Chairs which set the stage for the exhilarating ride to come.
More abut each of their projects in coming posts.