Every year when the announcement for WIA comes out I get excited. When the announcement says it’s in Cincinnati I get more excited because it’s an easy four hour drive. I always want to go but it’s tough to justify a mini vacation given our hectic lives and relatively low amount of vacation time. That’s something for a different blog, but it’s incredibly frustrating when the job market dictates frequent job changes and those changes affect your ability to accumulate vacation time. I can easily see a scenario where my wife and I celebrate our 40th birthdays both having only two weeks of vacation. I digress…
Where was I? Oh yeah, I went to WIA last weekend. Brian Clites (the woodworker formerly known as The Woodprof) picked me up early on Friday morning and we headed down to Columbus for our first stop: Woodwerks. If you’re ever in Columbus, I highly recommend you stop here. I didn’t get anything but I still had fun perusing. We hopped back on the road and pulled into Northern KY around 2:30 PM. For the next 22 hours we crammed in as much woodworking inspiration as we could.
We only had time to visit the marketplace but this helped keep costs down. I met some people I’ve only known via the interwebs (James_Son_of_James, Dyami, Narayan, Marc Spags, and others). Plus I shook hands with peeps I regularly see in Cincinnati like Megan Fitzpatrick, George Walker, The Schwarz and his band of Merry Pranksters, etc. Two highlights for me were seeing John Switzer‘s hand forged work up close and Brendan Gaffney‘s prototype sector. I left with a few things to keep me busy including some olive wood, which I’ve never used but want for some serving boards, and a hand saw vise from Brian (thanks!). Just before we left I spotted April Wilkerson who is a favorite of my daughter. She was gracious enough to make this video with me. My little girl was over the moon.
In the end, I wish I was able to stay longer, but this brief stint left me tremendously inspired and with a deep wantonness to get in the shop. And that I did. Check out my IG feed if you want a sneak peak.