Featured ArtISANS


The Goal of the Great Lakes Woodworking Festival is simple. We want to showcase all the great woodworking talent in the Great Lakes region. We believe there is a shift happening in consumer habits. People are choosing to buy handmade goods from the local craftsman. We want to make these folk aware of the artists that are right here in out area and to help forge long term relationships between artisan and buyer.


Guitar Builder

Gary Zimnicki

Over the last 30 years, I’ve built my fair share of instruments out of my home in Allen Park, Michigan. Each instrument has given me an opportunity to hone my craft and expand my skillset. Building completely unique instruments without any set models or guidelines has been challenging, but it has allowed me to offer something that most other manufacturers cannot: complete control over your instrument.

Starting each instrument fresh from the ground up allows me to craft an instrument that will perfectly match my customers needs and tastes. This removes any need to compromise on quality or purpose. Each instrument is yours and yours alone. I pride myself on giving my customers the unique opportunity to be as involved as they desire in the design of their instrument. My experience has shown me certain techniques and processes that greatly benefit specific designs, and I’m happy to draw on that experience to help you design your dream instrument.




Shaker Box Maker

John Wilson

John Wilson and the home work of the Home Shop, which he founded in Charlotte, Michigan in 1988, is well known for quality wood instruction. Born in Syracuse, New York, trained as a residential carpenter, and educated as a social anthropologist, he taught for a decade in university and college in that field. For 23 years he taught wood courses at Lansing Community College in Michigan. 

Wilson is perhaps best known for being at the forefront of the revival in Shaker oval box making. John has written two books on woodworking including "Making Wooden Tools" and "Shaker Oval Boxes Volume 1". 




Fine Furniture/ Woodworking Tv Host

Chad Stanton

Hailing out of Toledo, Ohio, Chad Stanton, is the owner of – Stanton Fine Furniture, and is a Licensed Contractor, as well as a member of the Professional Remodeling Organization, Society of American Period Furniture Makers, Spokesperson for Titebond, Guest Demonstrator and Lecturer for Woodcraft, former contributing editor for American Woodworker Magazine, and host of Popular Woodworking’s I Can Do That web series.

In addition to the above Chad Stanton is the host of Wood Choppin’ Time – a comedic approach to woodworking and has reached over three million viewers to date. His committed passion to woodworking allows him to share this knowledge with people of all skill levels. He educates and encourages fans though his method of Watch, Laugh, and Learn..



Canoe Builder

"Canoe Mike" Thomsen


Michael Thomsen of Tecumseh, Michigan, built his first canoe because he wanted a small, easily handled boat to fish from. It turned out so nice that he knew he had to build more. Michael has now retired from his day job as an electrician and devotes all of his time to building boats and paddles.

Michael makes wooden canoes using the wood strip and fiberglass method. He buys the caned seats and brass hardware for the boats, but hand makes all the other components of the boats. He also makes wooden canoe and kayak paddles.

Website Here



Premier antique tool dealer

Jim Bode

From Elizaville, N.Y. I have always been a woodworker. My dresser in my bedroom at age 6 had a vise mounted on it. It held the drawer open and my socks always had sawdust in them. Over the years I accumulated some tools. Most were given to me by my father and grandfather or picked up at yard sales. My brother-in-law took me to the CRAFTS picnic and then the Crane's auction in Nashua in the fall of 1998, where I was exposed to a quantity and quality of tools beyond a tool collector's wildest dreams. I joined all the tool clubs and was exposed to ten times more tools. I bought so many tools that I needed an outlet for my old tools. I could see now that I had no business hanging on to those old yard sale tools when I could buy any tool I could dream of... provided I had the cash.  We discovered eBay as a source for the cash and more tools. And so the 2LShark (pronounced Tool Shark) was born. We took the hobby of tool collecting as far as a hobby could go, and it was time to quit of my real job. I'd been the sales manager at a large Nissan dealership for 20 years and 11 days.  My wife Trish and I became full time tool dealers in October 2006, changing the name of the now huge website to jimbodetools.com   ...and I still have that vise.



Wood Turner

Lynn Southward

I consider myself a cabinet maker who has evolved into an artist- someone who loves woodworking and making something beautiful out of wood. I have been a self-employed cabinet maker since 1968, owning Southward Custom Wood Products ,Inc. in Blissfield, Michigan. In recent years I have been shifting more from the functional side of wood to the artistic side with wood turning becoming my favorite art form. I especially enjoy segmented turnings, combining local Michigan woods with exotic woods from other countries. Recently I have begun creating hollow vessels frequently using burls from trees with interesting grains and voids. My work has been featured in several art galleries, shows, and competitions throughout Michigan. I am a current member of the LCVA. I am also an active member of the Michigan Ohio Wood turnersa local chapter of the American Association of Wood turners ,currently serving as the Vice President. I have taught classes on wood turning for adults and some woodworking classes for youth as well. I am enjoying a working retirement making small projects for customers and projects on the lathe to take to art shows



Windsor Chair Maker

Luke A. Barnett

Luke Barnett was born on May 6th, 1985 in Adrian, Michigan. Which is where he currently resides.  He is a woodworker that specializes in ultra-high quality, traditional American Windsor chairs. Luke has been selling Windsor chairs since 2011, and has been a full time chairmaker since December 2013. Luke has won awards and been featured in internationally published magazines, Including November 2014 of Popular Woodworking Magazine in which his Continuous Arm Rocker in aged mustard finish was picked for best in the seating category for 2014. “Early American Life” magazine named Luke as Top American Craftsman in the Windsor chair making field.  Luke has had chairs on display for a traveling Smithsonian museum exhibit called “The way we work”. Luke currently works and sells chairs out of his home in Adrian, Michigan. You can follow Luke on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, for updates on current project, process photos, and tips and trick for woodworkers and chairmakers.



Cale Stoker Wood Carver - Spoon Carving Demonstration


Cale Stoker & Ashleh Worden

Cale Stoker carves spoons from greenwood using an axe and knives. He does so in Adrian, MI, his hometown, and most any place else he goes because carrying an axe and knives is easy. He goes places often because he can carry his work most any place and downed, undesired, trees are enough.

Cale often collaborates with wood burning wizard, metalsmith jeweler, illustrator and traveling partner extraordinaire, Ashleh Worden, and together they create under the shop name Cave and Canopy.

Cale and Ashleh are super excited to kick it with errbody and celebrate the many ways wood, and wood culture, are augmenting our collective lives.

Spoon carving and metalsmithed jewelry
Sweedish Spoon Caving Cale Stoker
Ashleh Worden metalworking