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REGISTRATION OPEN! Colonial Williamsburg's Woodworking Conference

Colonial Williamsburg has announced the date and theme of this year's conference:

Working Wood in the 18th Century.  The event will be held from 26-29 2023, and registration IS NOW OPEN (both in-person and virtual registration options).


This year's theme is:

A Very Good Effect: Ornamenting 18th Century Woodwork

Working Wood in the 18th Century celebrates its 25th year with a flourish of ornament and a gathering of craftspeople and scholars. Whether adorned with carving, inlay, marquetry, or japanning, period woodwork draws much of its enduring appeal from thoughtfully designed and well-executed ornament. Join Colonial Williamsburg staff and special guest presenters Brock Jobe, Mary May, Frank Strazza, and Jerome Bias for an exploration of the techniques, people, and stories behind this decorative splendor.

  • Professor and prolific author Brock Jobe will take us on a tour of 18th-Century Cabinet Shops in London, Boston & Philadelphia during his Opening Keynote, generously sponsored by the Early American Industries Association.
  • Mary May, professional woodcarver, demonstrates various techniques using the Carved Details on the Pediment of a Philadelphia High Chest, as well as delivering the Banquet Keynote Address.
  • Traditional fine furniture maker Frank Strazza puts his nationally recognized award-winning skills and knowledge on display as he presents Recreating Eighteenth Century Marquetry.
  • Author and largely self-taught woodworker Jerome Bias will explore furniture design by Thomas Day, an antebellum free black man who is often regarded as the most successful cabinetmaker in North Carolina. Speaker generously underwritten by Society of American Period Furniture Makers.
  • Colonial Williamsburg’s Anthony Hay Shop Cabinetmakers, Bill Pavlak (Master Cabinetmaker) and John Peeler (Apprentice Cabinetmaker) put their skills on display during Sweld Fronts: Sculpting a Rhode Island Bureau Table.
  • Brian Weldy, Journeyman-Supervisor Joiner at the Colonial Williamsburg Joiner Shop squares up on stage with Joiner’s Work: Constructing Fluted Pilasters, generously underwritten by North Bennet Street School.
  • Apprentice Joiner Peter Hudson
  • Furniture Conservator at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Chris Swan, will lecture on The Art and Science of Japanning.
  • Colonial Williamsburg Apprentice Carpenter Harold Caldwell demonstrates African Inspired Carvings
  • Tara Chicirda, Curator of Furniture at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Rife with Inlay: The inlay and marquetry of a southwest Virginia maker. 

All lectures will take place in the Hennace Auditorium, at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

Registration is available online through this link

The Society of American
Period Furniture Makers
Contact Us!

[email protected]
P.O. Box 379, Williamsburg, VA 23187

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