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Northern Woods Woodworking Show — WOW!

I’d heard a lot about the Northern Woods Woodworking Shows. And I’d seen lots of photos of furniture pieces displayed there. But this weekend, my wife and I journeyed across town to take in the show in person. WOW!

There were chairs of unspeakable beauty, natural edge slab tables you wanted to take a bite out of, turned bowls that seemed impossible, kayaks fit for an art museum, carvings that nearly came to life. The craftsmanship on every piece was flawless-so it’s a little unfair to circle the work of three woodworkers in particular. But I’m going to.

Thomas Schrunk, an “Artist in Lustrous Materials” was displaying an enormous (10 foot? 15 foot? 20 foot?) standup paddle board. It was one of the largest and most amazing pieces of veneer work I’ve ever encountered. Schrunk has also create not one, not two, but three Steinway Art Pianos-one of a kind creations commissioned by the grandest grand piano maker in the land. Below are two examples of his work: The first is the Europa piano, the second a fabulous tabletop. You can find out more about his work here.

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The second amazing woodworker-and one of the organizers of the show-is Richard Tendick. For a while he specialized in Cryptex containers-the vessel made popular in “The DaVinci Code.” His latest amazing creations are bowls he “turns” on a tablesaw. I hope to run a few photos of his work soon. The third artist is a fellow by the name of Mark Laub. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing him a year or so ago for the “Great American Woodworker” department I write for American Woodworker magazine. His latest cabinet-one, that in Mark’s words, took him “20 cases of wine to build”-is art, philosophy and craftsmanship all rolled into one. His work speak for itself. Here are some of his recent creations. You can find more at Mark’s Website.

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Based on the size of the crowd and the quality of the work, it’s safe to say woodworking isn’t only alive and well-but forging into newer and braver territories all the time.

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