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Furniture conference returns to N.C.

Presentations by Al Breed, Steve Latta and Alf Sharp will highlight the 2008 Society of American Period Furniture Makers Mid-Year Conference Aug. 8-10 at Rockingham Community College in Wentworth, N.C.

This year’s theme, “Presenters’ Choice,” will focus on the individual presenters and their respective “bag of tricks” to showcase a wide range of techniques that are among their favorites, according to a SAPFM press release. Instructor Mike Quinn and the staff at Rockingham Community College also hosted the 2004 SAPFM Mid-Year Conference.

The event gets under way with an optional bus trip to the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Old Salem Aug. 8 in Winston-Salem, N.C. The museum’s staff has prepared a special tour for conference participants. 

The presentations at this year’s event get under way Aug. 9 with:

• Al Breed, a period furniture maker and founder of the Breed School in South Berwick, Maine, which teaches the design and construction of American 18th-century furniture. Breed was a presenter at the 2003 SAPFM Mid-Year Conference, and among his many specialties is period furniture carving. This year, Breed will share his practical approach to tackling a wide range of joinery options with a focus on efficiency. As he has previously done, Breed will share some of his carving strategies as well. 

• Steve Latta is an instructor in the Cabinetmaking & Wood Technology Program at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster, Pa., which often hosts the mid-year event. He is well-known for his furniture-making talents with a specialty in inlay techniques and is a contributing editor to Fine Woodworking magazine. At this year’s conference, Latta will cover a wide range of topics including traditional and not-so traditional approaches to inlay, sequential joinery and a few oddball additions such as glass door construction. He will also give an in-depth talk on his research covering inlay during the Federal period.

• Alf Sharp is a period furniture maker from Woodbury, Tenn., (Woodshop News cover story, November 2006), and conducted a presentation on French polishing at last year’s mid-year conference. Sharp is the recipient of SAPFM’s 2008 Cartouche Award, which annually recognizes an individual or organization whose achievements and contributions reflect the understanding, education and appreciation of American period furniture. He will provide a detailed demonstration on constructing and veneering curved components.

As in the past, members will gather for a reception/barbecue Friday evening (Aug. 8) as well as a banquet Saturday night (Aug. 9). Keeping with tradition, attendees are encouraged to bring pieces of their work for the Members Gallery or digital images for a presentation Saturday evening. Information about the 2008 SAPFM Mid-Year Conference will continually be updated on the association’s Web site.

Contact: Tom Turriff. Tel: 920-336-5506. E-mail:

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