The Gabriola Woodworkers Guild inaugural exhibit at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre was a great success. We probably had over 1000 visitors had over the two days and the members who were selling work did very well.
We had everything from kayaks to knives on display, which meant there was something of interest for almost everyone who visited. I showed my new portable lamps, and the portable Bluetooth speakers that I have been working on for the past year. At the last minute, I decided not to put them on sale – still a bit worried about the stability of the electronics for both the lamps and the speakers. I’ve got a month to tweak things before the Thanksgiving Studio Tour!
Having some kind of organization for woodworkers on Gabriola has been in the talking stages for several years – “we really should have a woodworkers group on Gabriola”. “We used to have a group years ago, but it died out…”. “I know several people who would be interested”. “Let’s have a meeting about it some time”.
Last summer (2017) a few of us finally did have that meeting and decided to form the Gabriola Woodworkers Guild. Nowadays a woodworkers guild is basically a club for woodworkers, but the name harkens back to the medieval guilds that were associations of artisans or merchants who oversaw the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. There are already several active woodworkers guilds in BC, including two on Vancouver Island. The Vancouver Island Woodworkers Guild, which is centred in Victoria, has about 150 members and has a very active program.
Our little Gabriola Guild isn’t at that level of membership or activity yet, but we do have about 20 members and we do try to meet once a month in a member’s shop for a show and tell or just a discussion about woodworking.