What you missed at FWW Live 2013
We had a feeling that the second annual Fine Woodworking Live conference would be even better than the first, but you never really know until it happens.
The new venue, the beautiful new student center at Southern CT State U., was near-perfect. Everything in one spot, from the classes, to the banquet, to the vendor area, to the catered lunches in the food court.
The furniture tour at nearby Yale University was a huge hit, as 30 lucky people took a guided tour of Yale’s priceless underground trove of 100 or more iconic pieces, plus the official furniture exhibits at the University’s awesome new art galleries.
We had 20% more attendees this year too, and they loved the new schedule format: almost all electives and many more classes to choose from. Of course, we had the best teachers in the world once again, and closeup cameras projecting all the action on big screens.
But the roaringest new success had to be Friday night’s 2×4 Buildoff. That was one thing we REALLY didn’t know would work, but it is now a fixture that is here to stay! Over 150 attendees and participants stayed up late to enjoy the battle. Amazing what woodworkers can do with a jigsaw, a pile of pine studs, and a box of screws!
See who took home the top honors!
The best thing of all are the friendships made, and those renewed. Many of us pursue this craft in isolation, which can be nice, but it feels good to share the love. That’s the reason we launched FWW Live, as one more way to keep us connected.
That powerful impulse drew attendees from as far as Brazil, Austria, Israel, and New Zealand, from Mexico to Canada. In fact, more than half of the attendees were back from year one. For the rest of you, there is always FWW Live 2014. I guarantee we’ll raise the bar again!
Woodworkers make great teammates, and amazing problem solvers. Next year, I'm going to make a team of editors, and join in!
Steve Latta demonstrated traditional inlay techniques, like sand-shading.
Our own Back-Cover maestro, Jon Binzen, led off each day with an all-conference seminar, this one on the forefathers of the modern woodworker.
Peter Gedrys gathered students around his bench to show them how to take their projects to the next level with color.
We hand-pick vendors who are great teachers too. Many thanks to Lie-Nielsen, Knew Concepts, Lee Valley, Nexabond 2500, and Eurekazone, plus Bosch, who sponsored the Build-Off.
The keynote speaker at the Saturday-night banquet was the legendary Brian Boggs (catch our podcast interview), who took us on a journey from his earliest discoveries, through his work with third world craftsmen, to his very latest designs and tools. The five chairs he had on hand were as big a hit as he was.
A few FWW editors, like art director Mike Pekovich, have become fantastic authors and teachers in their own right. In fact the whole staff was on hand, and we left as energized and inspired as the attendees.
Even on our one rainy day, we were inside having a blast.
The 2x4 Buildoff was the biggest hit of all.
Chris Becksvoort uses a small cabinet "teaching aid" to demonstrate some of his construction techniques.