Regional Chapter Coordinator
We enjoyed a fantastic Second Peach State Chapter meeting last weekend at the Atlanta Woodcraft Store shop/meeting room, with almost 40 members and guests attending both the Friday evening session and the all-day Saturday session. The presentation Friday evening given by fellow member and master craftsman, Marion Smith, was primarily about the history of 17th and 18th century finishing materials, their evolution, and application techniques from the 1600's through today. This exceptional presentation was followed by a lively discussion and the many questions and comments which followed showed the intense interest members had on this topic.
Saturday's meeting included equally detailed and riveting discussions of the building of a Newport-Shell style chest by local member Jay Stallman - complete with the efforts at researching the project, extracting the dimensions, and then detailed videos and verbal description of the actual construction as illustrated by the actual piece itself - completed except for the finish. Based on the many questions during and after the presentation and despite his modesty, it's obvious Jay has mastered this style of construction. After a short break, Jay's presentation was followed by a live demonstration of how to lay out, cut, and create your own marquetry for inlay by veteran master craftsman Henry Randall and his lovely young prot?g?', Eva Nankeli. Eva is relatively new to woodworking, but she demonstrated exceptional natural talent by drawing a custom marquetry design, showing us how to lay a "book" for it, cutting out the design, and then re-constructing it as a finished design ready for inlaying. Since the program was centered around Federal Period design, Henry and Eva also demonstrated the " sand-burning" techniques used in the federal-style fans and quarter fans.
After a lunch break and show and tell period, we were treated to discussions and demonstrations of Federal-style stringing and banding by master craftsmen Ronnie Young and David Coker- how to make it, size it, route it, and finish it. Also, many custom-made shop-built tools, as well as commercial tools, used for this activity were shown and discussed. Of particular interest was construction of the tools each man had made and how they were used, or how they had improved ease of us from some of the commercial varieties. With imitation being the highest form of flattery, and a great indicator the value of this information, a full half-hour after the presentation members were still taking pictures and asking detailed questions about specific techniques and methods of making and using the many tools which were explained and used during the demonstrations. Everyone agreed this one one of the most informative meetings in recent memory.