Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On Generating Comments

The Long Island Woodworkers ClubShow was this past weekend. This year I had four (4) pieces on display: Stephen’s Step Stool, The Funeral Chair in Blue, the Shaker End Table and Lill’s Quilt rack. The show was at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, as it has been for the past few years. They have a wonderful timber frame barn that make a perfect venue. There were some amazing pieces there. From case work to bowls, the Long Island Woodworkers Club members showed their skills. None of my pieces medaled and that’s just fine. The ones that did deserved to win.

Brian McKnight's Modern Hall Table

Tony Fuoco's Bench.

Mike Josiah's Large Endgrain Bowl

Mark Oriano's All Mixed Up.

While the show ran all day on Saturday and Sunday, I was only able to attend for about 20 minutes on Saturday afternoon and for about 3 hours on Sunday. During that time I received many comments and compliments on my work. I was pleased by this, but it wasn’t too unexpected.

What was unexpected was which piece received the comments and compliments. Other than one jack ass commenting that Lill’s Quilt Rack was a “great place to hang your towels” all of the comments were aimed at the Funeral Chair in Blue. This surprised me.

My Funeral Chair in Blue on display at the show.

Every comment was about how surprised people were by the look of the Timberstrand with many saying they liked the rich tone of the blue dye also. I heard through back channels that the only reason the chair didn't win a ribbon was that it received demerits for being a non-original design. This praise and interest was much appreciated.

What I didn't appreciate was why Lill’s Quilt Rack didn't receive equal praise.
Lill's Quilt Rack on display at the show.

In my opinion, Lill’s Quilt Rack remains the most impressive piece I've built, both in terms of concept and execution. While it’s not perfect and I didn't expect it to win best in show, I did expect to generate some interest. I certainly expected it to be better received than the Funeral Chair in Blue. Why it didn't, I can’t say I understand.


  1. Lill's Quilt Rack is your best work to date IMO.
    The main issue is it's less obvious function Perhaps by itself, this piece lacks context. Had you had an appropriate subtle & modern quilt draped over it, it may have garnered more comments & attention. It always amazes me how the details that we as makers cherish in the pieces we make are not the ones noticed by others.
    (Due to a shortage of wall space we use a quilt rack at our house to in fact dry towels, a humble but essential job.)

    1. Thanks, Jeremy. I actually had a quit to show, however as the quilter would not let me leave the quilt there when I wasn't, the quilt spent the weekend in my bedroom rather than at the show.

  2. Looking at your pictures, I agree it seems the pieces that were awarded ribbons deserved the prizes.
    Although the Quilt Rack has more complex joinery, I think the Funeral Chair received more comments because of the striking color. People are visual.
    We just had our annual contest, and although I was very proud of my entry, I never expect to win any awards.
    That way, when they do come, it is all the more enjoyable.

  3. Really like the "Brian McKnight's Modern Hall Table". Carpenter like us are always trying to make something like this. Thanks for sharing.