SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Thousands of expert and amateur woodworkers gathered over the weekend at the 2022 Northeastern Woodworkers Association’s annual Fine Woodworking Show.
The event, now in its 29th year, was held at the Saratoga Springs City Center on Saturday and Sunday.
The showcase featured a gallery exhibit, vendors, demonstrations, classes and opportunities for both children and adult attendees to try their hand at woodworking.
This year marked the event’s grand return after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For us, it’s kind of like a regathering,” said the show’s chairperson Wally Carpenter. “We had to cancel in 2020 and 2021 – and now that we’re back, it’s almost like Christmas.”
The purpose of the annual show is to bring the association’s membership together and display their most recent work, while educating both members and the public about the many methods and styles of woodworking.
NWA member Brad Conklin of Brad’s Artistic Heirlooms was glad to be back at the city center as an exhibitor.
“I look forward to this,” he said. “I love this show. It’s my favorite show of the year.”
Conklin was excited to show off his latest creations, including a high-tech, musical piece that he calls the Robox. This special project – which plays “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor – was completed in 2020 and finally got to make its debut.
In the vendor area, Daniel Falkenstrom of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity in downtown Troy was telling eventgoers about the local makerspace facilities, including a woodshop with a wide assortment of tools and equipment available.
“We have kind of a similar mission to the NWA in that we want to support people who make things with their hands,” Falkenstrom said, “So we’re here to help spread the word about our community and what resources we can provide.”
Over in the event’s Toy Factory, young woodworkers got to have a hands-on experience. Seven-year-old Auggie Simpson, who attended with his grandparents Colleen and Pat Young of Round Lake, enjoyed making a wooden boat. The Youngs were happy to support their grandson’s interest in this field, and were amazed at the talent of the show’s exhibitors while walking through the city center on Sunday morning.
Grown-ups also had a chance to create a showcase souvenir by making a custom wooden pen using a lathe. This activity, included in the admission fee, is a common introduction to woodworking, Carpenter explained. “I would say that a number of our members came into NWA as a result of making their first pen,” he said. “You will be totally enthralled – and you’ll have an instant heirloom that you’ll keep for the rest of your life.”
With its Herm Finkbeiner Learning Center located at 97 Railroad Ave. in Colonie, NWA is an all-volunteer, nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and crafts of fine woodworking through education, programs and activities.
The group’s 30th anniversary woodworkers showcase is already scheduled for March 25 and 26, 2023 at the Saratoga Springs City Center.
More information about NWA is available online at woodworker.org.