I happened upon one of my pieces last week I hadn't seen in a long time, and admired the workmanship. In this case, though, the workmanship wasn't mine.
With a gorgeous Sunday on tap, my wife and I decided to take an all-day outing up to central Ohio where there was a large annual craft show we wanted to check out, an historic village, and a Civil War reenactment all within about 35 miles of each other. Naturally, I opted that we go the reenactment first.
While walking around the Union camp, I saw a familiar-looking table by an officer's tent. There was no one there, so I took a closer look. Although a standard design common during the 19th century, I could tell that this one was made exactly to the specs and with the same details as the table in my Civil War woodworking book that came out last year.
This was a first for me. Not only was the owner of that table someone who'd bought my book, but he'd also made at least one of the projects in it. Cool!
We hung around camp till the officer came back, and returned to his tent to ask about the table, without giving any hint I already knew all about it. He proudly noted that he'd made it himself from plans in this great book he'd found. I subtly queried him about how easy the project instructions were to follow, and if he'd made any other projects from the book (he had) and how those went. He spoke in glowing terms of the book without a clue - in spite of the obvious size to which my head had swelled at this point - that he was talking to the author.
We chatted about woodworking and reenacting in general for a while and I finally admitted that I wrote the book he'd used to make the table. As if I needed to inflate my already inflated ego, he was thrilled to meet me. At that point we discussed woodworking some more (he's quite good at it, it turns out), and some of the projects that will be in the next volume of the book that I'm finishing up now.
It's not often woodworkers come across their work long after they've worked on it and I totally enjoyed the moment. In all, a wonderful experience I hope to repeat.
Till next time,