Jim Altemus

We are very sad to announce that Jim Altemus passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Most of you knew Jim, as he was a long time passionate charter member of SAPFM (Member No. 119), former Board member, and Treasurer for many years. He was head of the Iroquois chapter and a dear friend to all of us. He and his wife Carol were regular attendees at our Midyear and Williamsburg meetings.

Jim was a prolific period furniture maker, and filled their house with beautiful projects of many forms of furniture, representing several periods and regions. After his retirement he leveraged his high skills to become a cabinet maker and gunsmith at Genesee Country Village & Museum, the largest living history museum in NY State. Jim was also a history buff, 1812 reenactor, and in recent years was helping to restore the boat, Pat II, at the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. His long term volunteer work for SAPFM, and strong fellowship with Members, was the essence of what makes SAPFM so valuable to many. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

 Additional information and final arrangements can be found at

 SAPFM Board of Directors


September 23, 2019

This note reminds members of our annual process and deadlines for electing new members to the Board. 2019 is swiftly passing, and the annual election for the SAPFM Board of Directors is approaching. The Mid-Year Conference has been completed and the registration for Working Wood in the Eighteenth Century at Colonial Williamsburg is open. These are just two of the many activities that are either organized or supported by SAPFM. American Period Furniture, Pins and Tails, Chapter meetings and museum tours are some of the benefits of this largely volunteer organization. It takes many volunteers to make all of these endeavors successful. It also takes an active, dedicated leadership to keep things running smoothly.

Please consider taking a hands-on role in SAPFM. Elections for the Board of Directors are scheduled to begin 29 October. Three of the current Board members have terms that expire at the end of 2019, and the Board has also taken steps to increase the Board size to meet our volunteer needs. We can have up to 12 members of the Board. Please consider running for a position on the Board of Directors. 

Files containing the Board of Directors Candidate Registration Form and the Board of Directors Responsibilities can be found below.

  • SAPFM Board of Directors Candidate Registration Form (pdfPDF)  (docxMS Word)
  • SAPFM Board of Directors Responsibilities (pdfPDF)

If you have any questions about requirements or what would be expected of you in terms of time and commitment, contact a member of the Nominating Committee. If this is something that you have considered but not moved forward on complete the Director Candidate Registration Form and submit to the Nominating Committee. The deadline for submissions is 15 October. (We are a little behind schedule this year.)

An earlier recent member-wide email also put out a call to members willing to fill an immediate opening for our vacant Vice President/President Elect (VPPE) position. We have received several inquiries as to filling this immediate need, including several who expressed a willingness to join the Board without yet committing to the specific VPPE role. Responders to that email who desire to join the Board, but not pursue a near term appointment to the VPPE role should also submit a Candidate Registration Form to the Nominating Committee by 15 October.

Please consider serving, SAPFM depends on your contributions for its continued success.  If the time commitment of being a Director is more than you are able to add to your current schedule, you may have the time to become a member of one of the committees that make are important to SAPFM’s continued success. All of our Committees, Outreach, Mid-Year, Nominating, Chapter Support, Website, Education, Cartouche Award, could use new members to add some new ideas and energy to the committee.  If you have any questions about requirements or what would be expected of you in terms of time and commitment, contact a member of the Nominating Committee.

The Nominating Committee,

Jim Crammond, Chair, Mike Holden, Ken Johnson, Herb Kettler, Jeff Saylor, Jim Shapiro


Working Wood 2020 image from CW site joinery wood drill

Registration Is Now Open – Please Register!

Registration for the Colonial Williamsburg Working Wood in the 18th Century 2020 conference has opened. Be sure to register quickly as there is only a single session and it could conceivably reach capacity.

The link for registration is


The theme of the conference this year is Down the Great Wagon Road: Furnishing the Southern Backcountry. The dates for the conference are January 16-19, 2020.

Williamsburg notes that “Bold paint decoration, intricate inlay, wedged dovetails, punched tin, and sophisticated furniture, simultaneously familiar and unique, abound as we step into the early Southern backcountry for this year’s conference. As varied as the people who settled there, surviving backcountry furniture reveals remarkable stories of cultural persistence and incorporation. Down the Great Wagon Road came people of diverse ethnic backgrounds from across the colonies and the Atlantic– notably from Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany and Switzerland. In time, they transformed the Shenandoah Valley, eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, and western North Carolina into a stable network of communities with distinctive markets for furniture that reflected their inherited traditions and the influence of their new home and neighbors. Please join us as craftspeople and scholars from across The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation work alongside distinguished guest presenters – cabinetmaker Steve Latta, chair maker Elia Bizzarri, and scholar Daniel Ackermann – to explore this diverse legacy of fine craftsmanship.”

SAPFM has donated the funding for the keynote address by Daniel Ackerman. Dr. Ackerman is always very entertaining as well as informative.

SAPFM holds key events for members in conjunction with the Working Wood conference. On Thursday afternoon, January 16, we will hold our Annual Members Meeting. Stay tuned for an agenda and location for this informative meeting.

And on Friday evening, January 17, we will hold our Annual SAPFM Cartouche Banquet. Registration for the Cartouche Banquet is separate and will be open at a later date on the SAPFM website. (Please do not confuse our Banquet with the Williamsburg conference banquet held on Saturday as part of the Working Wood Conference, included in the conference registration.)

 Please join us in Williamsburg for a wonderful and informative set of events!

  • SAPFM Board of Directors


cartouche slide

All applications must be in hand at the address below by end of business Tuesday, September 3. 
Each year the SAPFM Cartouche Selection Committee identifies a candidate that exemplifies the qualities of a craftsman that has demonstrated a lifetime excellence in furniture making.
While there are no specific criteria for the type work or the full range of skills or experience that is required, SAPFM does have suggested guidelines that the Cartouche Selection Committee may consider.  It is intended to provide a general idea of some of the traits a qualified candidate may possess: 

  • Nominees should have a “Lifetime” of excellence in building period furniture with a large body of work.  
  • The award should be presented to a “maker(s)” of period furniture. Recipients of an individual award may include two individuals although only one cartouche listing and one trophy will be given.
  • Nominees are not required to be members of SAPFM.
  • Institutions may not be nominated for the Cartouche Award.
  • Nominees should have a body of work which demonstrates excellence in the craft of furniture making.
  • Nominees should have demonstrated excellence in the skills associated with period furniture construction.
  • Nominees should support and be committed to SAPFM ideals, goals and objectives as demonstrated through service to others in the field of furniture making. Examples of service might include mentoring, teaching, writing and other ways to bring greater awareness and advancement of the craft
  • Submissions are accepted from July 15 until end of day September 1.
  • Those who have submitted their material the previous year may carry forward that application to the current year by simply sending a letter requesting that the previous material be considered for the coming nomination process.

Many of our previous Cartouche award recipients have said they do not consider they are worthy of the award.  We are sure many of us know some very skilled friends inside and outside SAPFM that exhibit many of the same skills, experience, and quality of work of our previous awards recipients.   We encourage you to consider bringing those names forward for consideration.  If you are unsure or would like to get feedback, please contact Steve Latta (  )  or Ken Johnson ( ).
The guidelines for submission are on the web site under the Cartouche Award.   Applications are accepted from July 15 until end of business September 3 (this year only- September 1 is a Sunday, and Monday the 2nd is a holiday).
Ken Johnson
SAPFM Cartouche Committee Coordinator



SAPFM's mid year conference just concluded on July 29.The Greenville Woodworkers Guild in Greenville SC was our host for the conference attended by more than 90 SAPFM and Guild members.

The conference included special presentations by Dr Daniel Ackerman from MESDA and Chris Swartz from Lost Art Press. There were demonstrations by Elia Bizzari,  Bob Van Dyke, Bob Stevenson, Michael Mascelli, Brian Weldy, and Ray Journigan on a variety of topics include carving, upholstery, Windsor chairs, wooden planes and inlays to name just a few. There were also bus trips to nearby historical sites on Friday and Monday.

Some pictures from the event are shown below. Look forward to a complete story in the next Pins & Tales detailing all the events during the busy 4 day event.

2019 Midyear browsing               2019 Midyear Greenville Shop


Gift boxShop and Give!

AmazonSmile offers a new way to contribute to SAPFM.

 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. It is easy to choose SAPFM to receive these donations from Amazon. These donations do not increase the cost of purchased items.

On either a desktop or mobile device simply go to and log in using your normal Amazon username and password. You will be asked to select your charity.  Simply search for “SAPFM” and select. After the selection your shopping page will be exactly as you normally experience.  Just be sure to log into rather than You can easily bookmark the site in your browser and shop from there.

If you prefer to shop from your mobile device you cannot use Amazon Smile with the Amazon App. However you can set up a shortcut to the Amazon Smile website which gives a near identical experience to the app. It’s very quick and easy to do. For an iPhone or iPad do the following (there would be an equivalent method for an Android device):

  • Open Safari and type in the web address field. AmazonSmile will open.
  • Touch the share button (looks like a box with an arrow).
  • Touch Add to Home Screen.
  • Touch Add.

Regardless of your platform, every time you make an Amazon purchase, Amazon will be contributing to SAPFM. With our many members this can add up to a significant contribution to the mission of SAPFM! We encourage all to take these simple steps to contribute to the future success of SAPFM.


SAPFM Board/Officer Changes

 Mike Holden has elected to resign from the SAPFM Board of Directors and his officer role as VP/President Elect (VPPE), due to the press of other commitments. Board member Dave Redlin has been appointed by the Board to immediately fill the VPPE officer position, and thus to assume the role of President of SAPFM for 2019. Dale Ausherman will as planned assume the role of Immediate Past President for 2019. Please join us in thanking Dave for his generous offer to serve in these roles on short notice. The Board will work diligently to help Dave fulfill these challenging responsibilities. For now we will leave the vacated Board position unfilled, but will still operate with 10 members once newly elected Board member Sam Rhodes joins in January.

 Announcing 2019 Annual Meeting of Members

Our Annual meeting of members will be held on Thursday 17 January 2019, 2-4 pm at the Williamsburg Lodge, 310 S England St, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

Tentative topics include:

  • Treasurer’s Report (Financial Statement)
  • Report from prior day’s Board Meeting
  • Midyear Plans
  • Board Plans for 2019

We hope that you can attend.

Dale Ausherman




Bob StevensonBob Stevenson caseworkThe Cartouche Award Committee is pleased to announce the selection of Bob Stevenson as the recipient of the 2019 SAPFM Cartouche Award. The Cartouche award recognizes an individual whose achievements best reflect the mission of SAPFM, as reflected in the lifetime achievement of the recipient. The award will be presented to Bob at the annual Cartouche Banquet to be held in conjunction with the Colonial Williamsburg Working Wood in the 18th Century conference.

The Chronicles article on Bob in the recent Fall 2018 issue of Pins and Tales provides a great summary of Bob’s path to master period furniture builder as well as his notable contributions to period furniture education and appreciation. (This article was entirely coincidental to Bob’s selection as Cartouche recipient.) Bob was an inaugural member of SAPFM in 1999, helped establish the criteria for the Cartouche Award, and for many years was chairman of what is now called the Cartouche Award Selection Committee. With SAPFM member Brad Ormsby he founded the Southern California chapter and has contributed for many years to its success and growth. Following a highly successful 30-year health and space science career in the Navy, during which time he vigorously pursued art and woodworking hobbies, he pursued a second full-time career as a fine woodworking cabinet maker, including instruction for others.

For nearly two decades Bob was the Coordinator of the Design in Wood Show in Del Mar California, one of the largest international juried woodworking shows in the nation with over 350 yearly entries and nearly 1 million visitors each year.  Throughout these years he became active in the impressive San Diego Fine Woodworking Association, all the while continuing his support for SAPFM and pursuing additional teaching and mentoring opportunities with youth in the community and with his woodworking peers.

Bob’s furniture efforts eventually focused on the Federal Period, and he has entertained and educated SAPFM members with his impressive pieces shown in our publications and in our midyear meeting furniture displays. Stay tuned for additional presentation of his impressive work in Pins and Tales e-Magazine and our future American Period Furniture annual journal.

Please join fellow SAPFM members to help Bob and his family celebrate his achievements at the Cartouche Banquet and reception to be held in the Williamsburg Lodge at 6:00 pm on Friday, 18 January 2019. Online registration for the Banquet will open on our website in late November or early December. One need not be a participant in the Working Wood Conference to attend our SAPFM Banquet.

We thank Cartouche Selection Committee coordinators Ken Johnson and Steve Latta, and Committee members Al Breed, Greg Landrey, Alf Sharp, Gary Sullivan, David deMuzio, Ronald Young, and Ben Colman for their hard work reviewing applications and the difficult task of selecting the recipient from other well-deserving nominees.

- Dale Ausherman


On  30 September the Board voted to make two changes to the Bylaws. The first changed the size of the Board from “ten” to “up to twelve.” This is to provide flexibility in our Board elections to avoid losing the volunteer Board efforts of an outstanding candidate simply because there is not room on the Board. The second change updates the definition of a Life Membership to reflect the prior Board decision that applications for Life Membership will not be accepted after 31 October 2018, but that Life Memberships or installment plans existing as of that date will be continued. The amended bylaws are posted here.


Status of Board of Directors Elections

On 1 September members received an email from the Nominating Committee recruiting additional candidates to stand for election to the Board for three year terms starting 1 January 2019. October 1 brought the close of the period to declare candidacy. Due to the hard work of the Committee (Jim Crammond (Chair), Mike Holden, Ken Johnson, Herb Kettler, Jeff Saylor and Jim Shapiro), and the generosity and SAPFM passion of the candidates, we have four members volunteering to stand for election to three-year terms on the Board – David Coker, Joel Goodwin, Dave Redlin, and Sam Rhodes. For David, Joel and Dave, this would be re-election to the Board. We thank the three for their past service to SAPFM and for volunteering to continue their contributions to the success of SAPFM. We especially thank Sam for stepping up to serve the Society in a very meaningful way.

Election Impact – All Four Candidates Are Hereby Elected to the Board.

Our Bylaws stipulate that In the event the number of Board election candidates equals the number of impending vacancies on the Board, then the candidates shall be considered as having been elected to the Board and the membership shall be so notified. On 26 August the Board amended the Bylaws to set the Board size to be up to twelve members. I am therefore pleased to announce that David Coker, Joel Goodwin, Dave Redlin, and Sam Rhodes are hereby elected to three-year terms on the SAFPM Board of Directors, with terms commencing 1 January 2019. Please join me in welcoming these talented members to the Board. Because Sam is new to the board, as a matter of introduction I include his Candidate Registration Form below containing biographical information.

Dale Ausherman

President, SAPFM


Candidate Registration Form 

Name: Sam Rhodes

Address: Fort Wayne, Indiana

SAPFM Member since 1998

Occupation: Manager, contracts department of a defense contractor.

Chapter Affiliation: Indiana (since inception)

Professional Experience and Relevance to Board Participation:

I am an amateur woodworker having made projects since the early 1970’s. In the professional world, I have held every position from chapter member to chapter President in a worldwide contracts organization. I was twice published in that organization’s magazine. I was made a fellow of the organization in recognition of many years of service. I was also named a contracts fellow by my company. Additionally I served three years on a large Homeowners Association board.


Primarily Chippendale. Queen Anne and Federal periods related to the design and construction of the pieces. Additionally the history of the period and particularly the experiences and working environment of the cabinetmakers and joiners during that period.

Woodworking/Furniture Background:

I started in the 1970’s while in the Air Force. After making a bookcase at the wood hobby shop, I became a woodworking enthusiast. Growing up in Norfolk, VA I always enjoyed the colonial period during dozens of trips to Colonial Williamsburg and surrounding historic sites. Period Furniture combines those two interests. I attended the first Working Wood Symposium at CW and have been to 15 of them over the years, but only one mid-year due to work constraints. I have taken classes from Al Breed, Mack Headley, Jeff Headley, Steve Hamilton, and Mary May. I have made Chippendale and Queen Anne chairs, a bombe chest, mantle clock, and about three dozen assorted tables, chests, and cabinets. I hope to learn more about Federal inlay to go beyond the dining room table I made that included inlay.

Other Relevant Skills and Knowledge:

Currently a member of the Chapter Outreach committee.

Biographical Info:

Retiring 1 August 2018 so additional time will become available.


Through significant SAPFM Board effort and investment in inventory, for some time now SAPFM has been able to offer members standard logo shirts which can be purchased individually at our online store on the member’s-only part of our website ( Some chapters also choose to arrange for shirts customized to their specific chapter, by adding a chapter designation to the standard logo and ordering a number of shirts at a single time.  There is a specific SAPFM-approved process and source for so doing.

We have a vendor who operates our online sales of individual standard logo shirts. This vendor has invested substantial time in working with us to set up the store, as well as working with us to develop what is now the standard logo file. We tried for several years to find a SAPFM volunteer willing to manage shirt sales to members. We were unable to find a volunteer and so co-invested our effort with this vendor. In return for his substantive efforts at setting up and running the store for us, we have committed to having our Chapter-specific needs handled by him as well.

Thus if your chapter desires a number of shirts or other clothing items with our standard logo augmented by your Chapter identification please contact our vendor:

Howard of Hatlanta (
Howard Segan

Howard will work with you to select the clothing item from his catalog (these items do not have to be those offered on our website), to determine the chapter name, and to negotiate on price depending on the number of shirts desired.

Using this single vendor enables SAPFM to continue our online store for normal logo shirts in service to our members.

Thank you for your support of SAPFM and for your cooperation.

Dale Ausherman
President, SAPFM


At the June 24, 2018 SAPFM Board of Directors meeting, a very difficult decision was made to increase the annual membership dues for SAPFM members.  A vigorous debate was held and all Board members were given an opportunity to voice their concerns – both the pros and cons – and for each to be able to provide evidence for the need to raise or not to raise these dues.  SAPFM provides our members a tremendous value for the hard-earned dollars that you entrust to us, such as: the American Period Furniture yearly publication, the quarterly Pins & Tails publication, access to the members-only section of the website (with its amazing articles, gallery, access to the Price4Antiques Reference database, etc.), the ability to attend SAPFM conferences, privilege to attend Chapter meetings and events, and so on.  We are also in the process of completely rebuilding the website in a more useful environment that will allow us to be able to provide even better services and information to our leaders and members.  And as each of you know, there is a cost to providing these publications and services.
Unfortunately, the costs of the publications alone have caught up to us much quicker than we had anticipated.  As of the end of the 2017 fiscal year, the costs of providing only the American Period Furniture yearly publication and the quarterly Pins & Tails publication almost completely consumed the entirety of the funds that were brought in from membership dues.  Outside of this, SAPFM has needed to rely on any meager profits made from the Mid-year and Williamsburg’s conferences, revenues from American Period Furniture ad sales, and has required us to dip into the organizations reserves in order to do the website rebuild work to finish out the year.  Continuing to operate in such a manner would not allow SAPFM to continue to provide such professional publications, much less to continue as an organization for very long.  There are still on-going efforts to get out the SAPFM name via advertisements on websites, blogs, and within other publications in the effort to increase membership but, unfortunately, we have seen the membership increase only nominally in almost 5 years.
The following membership dues changes take effect on November 1, 2018:

  • Single yearly membership is increasing from $60 to $75.
  • Joint yearly membership is increasing from $75 to $95.
  • Lifetime memberships will no longer be available for purchase.

November 1, 2018 was chosen as the most logical date to begin this change because October 31st is the last day that someone can be a member and still receive the 2018 copy of the American Period Furniture publication.  The Lifetime membership option has become untenable because on average the amortized cost of servicing those memberships exceeds the income from the Lifetime memberships without an unreasonable increase in the fees. Any members who are currently on the Lifetime membership track will be allowed to continue that path toward a Lifetime membership.  All current Lifetime memberships will continue to be honored.  While the decision to raise membership dues was not taken lightly, and was seriously debated for many months, it is the right time to make this change.  The additional funds will allow SAPFM to continue to provide the products and services that the membership has grown to depend upon.   
As a reminder, we believe that it is important for you to understand that everyone who does any work for SAPFM, outside of the Journal and Pins and Tales editors, their respective hired services, and our webmaster, is a volunteer.  All Board members are volunteers.  All Chapter Leads are volunteers.  All members who do side projects for the Board and Chapter Leads and those who work on setting up the Mid-Year and Williamsburg conferences and all of the woodworking trade shows are volunteers.  All of the monies that are raised go to you, the member, via the services that are provided.  It is these monies that provide the amazing American Period Furniture yearly publication, with its 100+ pages of museum quality content, and the quarterly Pins & Tails publication that is easily a direct competitor of the finest woodworking magazines in print today.  Our new website will ultimately allow us to provide even more content to the membership and will be able to tie into social media for a broader reach.  This is why it is so vitally important that we find ways to keep this increasingly important medium available from which we can all continue to learn.
This is also why it is so vitally important that each of us find even just one other person to join SAPFM.  Increasing our membership is truly the only way to continue to grow our organization and doing so will not only help us financially but will increase our knowledge and the understanding of one of the most beautiful forms of self-expression – the amazing journey of creating and displaying beautiful period furniture.
SAPFM Board of Directors.


MESDA deskThe MESDA Journal( has published groundbreaking research on early southern decorative arts and material culture since 1975. Articles in the MESDA Journal are available free of charge through its website, as are digital versions of past issues published over the last forty-three years. 

A recent issue discusses “Friendly Furniture in the Early South,” a reference to The Religious Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers. The Quakers had a notable but sometimes overlooked influence on the settlement and material landscape of the early American South. The furniture making traditions of two Quaker communities in the South—one in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and the other in Piedmont North Carolina—are explored and contextualized in significant new articles published in the Journal.

Quaker cabinetmaking families that made furniture over a ninety-year span in the Winchester region of Virginia are revealed in an article by A. Nicholas Powers, curator at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. Quaker settlement of the area began in the 1730s and a third of the woodworkers documented as working in Winchester and Frederick County before the American Revolution can be identified as members of the Society of Friends. From the Scots-born joiner Alexander Ross working in the first half of the 18th century to the Fawcett family of furniture makers working into the 19th century, Quaker woodworkers were formative settlers and residents of the northern Shenandoah Valley.

A network of ideas and trade that spanned the length of the Great Wagon Road connected the Virginia Quakers with Friends from Philadelphia south to Piedmont North Carolina, where Robert Leath, MESDA’s Chief Curator and VP of Collections & Research, thoughtfully explains the stylistic influences of three separate migration patterns in Guildford County, North Carolina. Leath establishes in his article that Quaker cabinetmakers in Guilford County produced decorative furniture between 1775 and 1825 that reflected their ethnic origins and professional training but also created a regional identity that trumped religious faith. A recently discovered shop ledger book and adept genealogical research skills allow Leath to reconsider long established attributions of surviving furniture and better identify the cabinetmakers working within Piedmont North Carolina’s Quaker communities. Thomas Pierce, a Pennsylvania-born craftsman who migrated in the 1770s, and his apprentice David Osborne have been revealed as the earliest Quaker cabinetmakers in the region and work previously assigned to Jesse Needham has been re-attributed to Henry Macy, who was born on Nantucket Island and moved to Piedmont North Carolina with his family in the 1780s.

Upcoming Events

thumb Grinling Gibbons frame

Have you ever seen woodcarvings where you wonder "How can this be carved by human hand"?

Mary May, who has been teaching woodcarving classes for the past 15 years, will be hosting a tour of the fabulous 17th century English woodcarver, Grinling Gibbons May 4 - 14, 2020. His deeply ornate carvings often appear to defy gravity.

The tour will focus on visiting churches, grand homes, palaces, and museums where his magnificent carvings are displayed such as St. Paul's Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace, and the Victoria and Albert Museum around London, England. The tour will also venture outside of London to Oxford and the Petworth House to view more of the amazing Gibbons work. There will be a few free days to explore on your own but most days will have guided tours focusing on learning, discovering and admiring his historic carvings.

Come join the fun and be inspired! Contact Mary May at for more information.