The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College Fine Woodworking Technology Program will host the spring meeting of the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the Society of Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM) April 1-2 on campus. The meeting allows SAPFM members from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania to share their work and techniques with one another in a central location. Eric Matson, instructor of fine woodworking said hosting these meetings allow students to network with and learn from both professional woodworkers and hobbyists from across the region and the techniques they use for their woodworking projects.
“These woodworkers are extremely passionate about what they do and are very skilled at their craft. Each of the organization’s events cover a different topic regarding furniture making, which provides a good resource for our students to learn new tricks of the trade. I learn something myself at each of these events that I can pass on to my students,” Matson said. “Networking in the woodworking community is very important because it opens up new ideas, techniques and resources to you that will allow you to continue improving your own work.”
SAPFM is a national organization that works to encourage understanding, education and appreciation of American period furniture while developing and encouraging the use of standards and ethical practices to reproduce and conserve period furniture. Matson said he and the organization both feel it is important to provide new woodworkers with a quality education of woodworking to allow the craft and its different styles to continue for future generations. “Hosting this meeting allows woodworkers to see what our program is doing and our commitment to the craft. There have been several times where members have gone home and recommended us to potential students. It’s a great feeling to know they can see how focused the program is on providing a quality education of woodworking to our students,” Matson said. “Woodworkers are devoted to seeing the trade continue with the next generation. Because of this, many organizations provide scholarships for students in accredited programs like ours. We want to make education as affordable for the students as possible, so we encourage them to take opportunities to apply for woodworking scholarships.”
Matson said the meetings are mainly for dues-paying members, but hobbyists and woodworkers interested in the group or American period furniture are also welcome to attend by registration. Anyone interested in registering can contact Eric Matson at email@example.com or 740-245-7441.