Once the rafters went up, we breathed a sigh of relief.
Joshua and I have been so fixated on the House by Hand project that we’ve neglected a number of our professional responsibilities. Emails have gone long unanswered. The shop hasn’t been swept in ages. It’s been weeks since I’ve written a Friday blog post. But after a successful frame raising last Saturday and subsequent progress this week between rain showers, we were able to sit down, exhale, and look at what’s next for M&T. And let me tell you, there’s a lot.
Issue Fifteen is right around the corner. Authors’ manuscripts have already started trickling in, and our own articles are in the works. We have book ideas coming to the forefront, podcasts to record, videos to shoot, and some in-person classes to get ready for. But the biggest thing on the calendar, the largest looming event that will be taking up a good deal of our focus for the next several months… is Handworks 2023.
If you haven’t heard of Handworks, come on out from under that rock and I’ll tell you a little about it. It’s the largest hand-tool woodworking gathering in the world. It’s like a two-day party for handcraft. Exhibitors from all over the planet travel to Amana, Iowa, and do demonstrations, sell wares, meet, and create a festive atmosphere that has no rival. The event is free for attendees, and tens of thousands show up. But there hasn’t been a Handworks since 2017.
Joshua couldn’t attend that year because his wife was 9 months pregnant (a justifiable reason, I suppose). Their son was born on the Saturday of the event, so it’s a good thing he stayed behind. I took my family on a 4,000-mile road trip with our van loaded with two workbenches, cases of T-shirts, DVDs, and magazines (we were only up to Issue Two back then!), and we had an unbelievable time. We still talk about it. I remember when we were shuttling stuff out of the van and into our booth space and our youngest (4 years old at the time) spotted a familiar face from across the parking lot – in awe, he pointed and shouted “Hey! There’s Roy Underpants!” The event was a giddy blur of names and faces, and we couldn’t wait to go back.
Handworks is held on an irregular schedule of every other year or so (with every time possibly being the last!), and Handworks 2020 was canceled due to crazy global events, so here we find ourselves – it’s been six years, everyone is ready, and the countdown is on. It’s going to be big. Are you in?