The first European Woodworking Show was a marker for Maguire Workbenches because it was the very first time that we dragged ourselves out of the workshop to showcase the benches in public. It was a very dauting experience indeed but it was at least a little reasuring to know that the show itself was also finding it’s feet.
As a first show we were definately spoilt and it would be very hard for any other woodworking event to live up to this one for us so we’ve always been keen to return to the beautiful barns each year since.
There’s always a risk at these kind of events that it’s the big brands and lower quality gizmos that are able to fill the spots with one or two craftsmen cramped up in to a corner. The difference with the EWS is that you’re really aware that the organisers want to bring us a great show since they’ve gone to such efforts to bring in a broad range of woodworkers with diverse talents from all around the globe. As an exhibitor we appreciate how much space the setting allows and instead of standing regimented behind a workbench all day we can allow people to use the workbenches and we can discuss and demonstrate as well.
We all see far too many product photos plastered on our computer screens and the countless brochures sent through the post and so for a good show we really should demand more than items on display. The EWS goes a long way to create an enganging weekend where there’s heaps of breathing space between exhibits so you can take it all in. And the important part – you can watch, learn from and discuss the works and techniques with each maker. It’s one of those events where you can get out of it what you put in, so if you have any questions it gives you an opportunity to ask.
The variety of work on show is always inspiring and for me it is one of the best ways to get a sense of the real richness of the art of woodwork. It’s not all about lavish products but very much about the humble artisans who’ve spent their hours mastering their crafts – you won’t get that in a catalogue.
We’ve heard on the wind that this years show could possibly be the last one to be held at Cressing Temple Barns – If this is true and you haven’t been before then that’s got to be a good reason to make it to this year’s.