There as a post on the Popular Woodworking blog titled “Who are your woodworking heroes?” The title gave me pause, because I could think of one quickly but then I was a little more stumped. I had LOTS of heroes, so many it was hard to pick, or worse remember their names because much of what inspires me is the object, not the maker in most cases. I narrowed it down by a criteria of who started me down this crazy journey of hand tool wood-working and making things. I also restricted this list to people alive today, the modern day heroes. I have a couple of historical ones, but I’ll keep it current day for now.
Roy Underhill – Sort of a “Gimme” for this list, but I really can’t say enough good things about this man. I was lucky enough to travel across the country to take a class at his school, and it’s still one of the all time best experiences I’ve had. He is an author, teacher, comedian and entertainer and is genuinely the guy he portrays on TV. I’ve read all the books, and watched as many of the episodes of Woodwright’s Shop as I can.
Chris Schwarz – I sort of view Chris as the heir to the throne for what Roy has been teaching. He’s taken the cause to heart and is doing an amazing amount to promote and educate on the craft. I like the enthusiasm he shows for it, and the energy he puts into it. Writing books, starting a small press, and educating people. He’s gained a near cult of followers for his troubles, and I really enjoyed his “Anarchists Toolbox” book. One of his editorials in Popular Woodworking about what we could all do to “save woodworking” and said “start a blog!” so I did.
Kari Hultman – I found her blog through another linked blog, and ended up reading the entire thing over the course of a few days. She got me excited about making wooden things, but more importantly gave me the feeling that “Hey, I can do that…” She takes great clear progress shots, and explains just what you need to try it your self.
Peter Follansbee – In addition to woodworking, I have a passion for history. Peter helps combine both, and educates every one who reads his blog on both. It’s inspired me to dig deeper into what I want to do, and helped me learn relief carving quickly. He has a new book coming out, and I’m hoping he will write and write and write.