Friday, June 9, 2023

Colonial Williamsburg to Hold 24th Annual Working Wood Conference

Colonial Williamsburg is set to hold a woodworking conference (Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg)

WILLIAMSBURG — Colonial Williamsburg’s Annual Working Wood in the 18th-Century Conference has been scheduled for Jan. 20-23.

This year’s conference will be held both virtually and in-person, and it will focus on pieces, places and people connected to woodworking in 18th-Century Williamsburg.

“It’s one thing to learn skills and techniques from talented craftspeople doing what they love,” said Colonial Williamsburg Master Carpenter Garland Wood. “But it’s something else entirely to do that in the context of a living, breathing, 18th-century community. The nuance you gain from experiencing this trade in a social and political context makes this conference unlike anything else out there.”

Demonstrations and lectures will be held throughout the weekend include:

  • Furniture maker and artist Aspen Golann demonstrating the construction of a 1770s settee and exploring how antique objects can inspire contemporary designs that both celebrate and interrogate the past.
  • Tara Chicirda, curator of furniture, introducing guests to 18th-century Williamsburg’s furniture scene, its broader context, and the ever-changing nature of our understanding.
  • Colonial Williamsburg cabinetmakers John Peeler and Jeremy Tritchler delving into work from the 18th-century shops established by Peter Scott and Anthony Hay.
  • Master cabinetmaker Bill Pavlak demonstrating some of the carving found on a series of ceremonial chairs made or used in Williamsburg with an eye toward how these designs inform more common furniture forms then and now.
  • Master carpenter Garland Wood and crew demonstrating Tidewater timber framing techniques; later, in his banquet talk, Wood will reflect on his 40 years of discovery as a Historic Trades carpenter.
  • Supervising joiner Brian Weldy joining forces with Amy McAuley (preservation joiner/carpenter at Mount Vernon) for a detailed examination of circular windows.
  • Colonial Williamsburg joiners Peter Hudson and Scott Krogh creating some of the moldings and trim work that adorn the city’s finer homes.
  • Conservator Chris Swan sharing lessons learned through the conservation of architectural fragments.
  • Joiner Amanda Doggett demonstrating the manufacture of a coffin.
  • Carpenter Matt Sanbury exploring the buying and selling of tools in 18th-century Williamsburg.
  • Harpsichord-maker Edward Wright detailing the life of cabinetmaker-turned-soldier Edmund Dickinson who lost his life in the revolution.

In-person registration is $395 and it includes the presentations, a welcome reception, conference reception and dinner, continental breakfasts and coffee breaks. Virtual-only registration is $175 per person and includes access to all general session presentations through the conference streaming platform, opportunities for questions and answers and a PDF booklet download. All registrations include a 7-day ticket voucher to CW’s Art Museums and Historic Area, valid through the end of 2022.

The registration deadline is Dec. 31. For more information, visit the conference website.

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