Rodale Press Publication

American woodworker

One of the nicest fringe benefits of my job as the publisher of american Woodworker is that I get to see a lot of great woodworking. Each year I go to dozens of furniture shows, gallery openings and exhibits—the best work by the best woodworkers in North America and Europe.

1 always come away from these shows full of ideas, chargcd up and inspired to try new things in my own work—ready to take a few risks. I'll often experiment with details I saw at a show: a clever drawer stop, perhaps, or a different edge treatment from my old tricd-and-truc. I'm not talking about copying someone else's design; that's plagiarism, an ethical no-no. I'm simply borrowing an idea, turning it around in my mind for a while and then putting my own personal spin on it to make it my own.

But the biggest thrill of all for me is the burst of inspiration I get that sends me straight to the shop. When 1 see how creative other people can be, I can't wait to give my own ideas a try.

Good woodworking ideas are all around you: in magazines, books, and catalogs; at museums, antique stores, furniture exhibitions; even on TV shows. You can never tell when inspiration might strike, and it's prudent to be prepared. A pocket-size notebook is handy for jotting down ideas.

So, if you want to improve your woodworking, study the work of people who are better than you. You can learn a lot just by looking.

Of course, studying with an excellent woodworking instructor is another great way to improve your skills. I'm pleased to welcome two prominent woodworking instructors as contributing editors to AW.

Peter Korn is a well-respected name in the wcKxlworking world. Peter is the founder and director of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in West Rockland, ME, where he also teaches woodworking. Previously, Peter ran the world-renowned woodworking program at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, CO. In addition to his teaching credentials, Peter is a talented designer/craftsman and the author of Working With Wood: The Basics of Craftsmanship (1993, Taunton Press, Newtown, CT 06470). His article on breadboard ends appears on page 58 of this issue.

Lonnie Bird teaches woodworking at the University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande, OH. Lonnie's specialty is period furniture, and you've seen his excellent work in the pages of AW for the last two years. He'll continue to provide us with knowledgeable period-furniture articles as well as useful information on shop machinery and techniques.

David Sloan Editor & publisher

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