Several weeks ago I got a message on my machine by a gentleman by the name of Howard. He asked if I was indeed a woodworker and would like to participate in a woodworking day in town of Austerlitz. Austerlitz is a small community, there are only about 500 households and approximately 1200 people. But as it turns out our town hosts over 18 woodworkers, at least that was the number Howard was able to track down! Around 12 pro’s and 6 hobbyists. Why so many in this town? Are there others??
I was very excited by Howard’s call, I called him right back and said I would love to participate. He gave me a brief outline and asked me what I would like to bring. I guess I didn’t quite understand what he meant when he said an Austerlitz woodworker’s day. You see, I thought it was going to be a gathering of woodworkers to discuss and share ideas on our favorite subject. You know, a local guild. Then it occurred to me. This was a woodworking SHOW. I was expected to bring pieces of my work to display!! Panic set in! I had never shown anyone but family and close friends (and you folks) my work. What did I have to show??
Then I took a breath and did an inventory of things I built and was proud of. My cradle, an end table, a console table, an unfinished guild build shaker table, a few boxes. Hmm, maybe I do have enough to show. I’m not a pro, and I have nothing to be ashamed of. My excitement returned. My first woodworker show!! And where better than a mile from my house!
Now the self induced pressure was on. You see my wife and I are cursed with being over zealous and taking on too much. We tend to put undo pressure on ourselves and squeeze all we can into a day, and our life. Preparing for this was no different. As all ‘weekend woodworkers’ know there is never enough shop time.
Luckily, I have two children who heard the battle cry and came running! Max and Samantha were very excited to help on “Daddy’s show”! “We can turn pens for you to sell!” they happily declared. How awesome is that? So I had a promise of some finely turned items.
I now had to gather and put the finishing touches on the pieces I had. The twin cradle I built was no longer being used by the 10-month-old boys, so we just had to fetch that from New Hampshire. A console table I had in the basement needed a final sanding and a finish. My Greene and Greene table was finished and just had to be retrieve from our apartment in Brooklyn. The biggest item I had unfinished was a shaker table that I had started through the Wood Whisperer guild build. I had everything but the top and the drawer complete. Not much, but time was a tickin’….
Good luck with your first show. Exciting isn’t it. Just go and enjoy the show, talk to everybody as they come by. Most people are there just having fun so don’t expect to sell much. Share your ideas and explain how things are made. Make new friends. Pass out cards so they can find you when they are ready. Hard candy in a box is a good conversation starter. Take some pictures. Don