Elected IWCS US South East Trustee, Oct. 1 2016-2019
I am fairly new to IWCS. My wood experiences have never been by way of schooling. College was not an option for me; at least, that is what I believed in 1981, when I graduated from High School in Glen Burnie, MD. I have spent the last 30 years in the welding supply business. Quite different from woodworking, although I get to see great craftsmanship from metal mechanics, fabrication shops and blacksmiths.
My wood experience started in the basement of our home, when my father built all the furniture we had in our house: kitchen tables with benches that stored our school supplies, kitchen hand towels, and Dad’s head bench that his normal household bills got stored in. He built cabinets, hutches, beds, and other furniture that went to other family members.
When I was 14, Dad decided to buy a piece of property to build a house. This really was of no interest to me. I became a laborer of sort for my dad. My brother was dropped down to the property every morning that whole summer. Dad gave my brother instructions on what to build. Other friends and family helped with raising walls and trusses. I was exposed to roofing, siding and window installation through this.
I have always admired fine woodworking skills. It was not until a few years back, when I was in a local Woodcraft store and saw the many species of wood, that my mind got thinking towards doing more with wood.
I now have the hobby of making pens, yo-yos, key chains, kaleidoscopes, and other various kids toys. My wood collection consists of roughly 220 species that I have gotten from many exotic wood stores in my travels. IWCS was introduced to me through buying wood off eBay from a current member, Doug Van Buskirk. Doug has become a great friend in spite of our distance.
Last year was my second year attending the Florida conference. My whole family was able to come. IWCS needs to be passed down to the next generation. Part of my desire is to be a salesman of sort for the organization. I think, connecting with schools, clubs, and classes that offer woodworking, including high school shop classes, could be opportunities to get this next generation engaged in becoming active participating members. IWCS has the ability to continue for another 50 years. How can I help?