Field Trip: Northern Woods Exhibition

Anyone who creates a woodworking piece to be publicly displayed and judged deserves recognition for the effort. Especially when the audience will include the critical eyes of fellow woodworkers.

The Northern Woods Exhibition is self-described as “an annual woodworking show and friendly competition sponsored by the Minnesota Woodworkers Guild. The show provides an opportunity … to present and discuss the best in high quality woodworking design and construction with fellow woodworkers and the general public. The pieces on display are more than furniture. They are works of art.”

The exhibition is held at Southdale Center (the first fully-enclosed climate-controlled shopping center in the U.S.!) and offers an opportunity for people to see local craftsmanship in wood.

Having the exhibition in a shopping mall means people who wouldn’t ordinarily attend such an event (especially families) can just happen upon the pieces and check them out.

Many of the pieces would be at home on the pages of Fine Woodworking. Out-of-the ordinary wood species, fusion of various styles, overt craftsmanship and impeccable finishes are all on display.

In addition to furniture, there are carved art pieces such as this bust of Abraham Lincoln.

Not limited to traditional furniture pieces, the show has a good degree of variety. Through the uses of gears, this all-wooden piece has a woman walking a dog. This is how to get people engaged.

More examples of the craftsmanship on display.

A wonderful solution to a folding chair that is comfortable, looks great and takes up minimal space when stored.

Info about this particular chair:

The exhibition also serves as a marketing tool for custom craftsman. And if you’re marketing a woodworking business, you may as well have a custom wooden business card holder.

As an introduction to woodworking, I hope this exhibition encourages people to try designing and building something out of wood. The craft of woodworking can only be enhanced b having a wider variety of participants.

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