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.


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. Visit Thompson Boats on Facebook for more information. 


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 is the host of Wood Choppin’ Time – a comedic approach to woodworking which 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..


Erik Blom: Wood Carver & Wood Turner


Erik Blom

Erik Blom has lived in Ann Arbor Township for over 70 years.  He started woodworking at 8 years of age, accomplished major drawings, wood and metal sculpture in high school and showed his work at the beginning of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair.  He attended college for commercial, graphic arts, and photography.  He retired as a power plant engineer and has been turning wood as an art form for 10 years.  He loves what he can see and create out of a piece of wood.



Erik Florip

Erik Florip is a hobbyist woodworker turned toolmaker. He started building custom saws five years ago and now has a tool making shop near Traverse City, MI. All Erik's tools are made in house from raw material. Erik will be showing handsaws and layout tools at the GLWF. For more information, visit FloripToolworks.com


Mid-Michigan Woodworkers Guild

The Mid-Michigan Woodworkers Guild is a group of woodworkers from the greater Lansing, MI area with the mission to promote understanding, appreciation, and skill development in woodworking for all individuals and organizations. They have been a club for over 30 years and have approximately 100 members. Meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday each month at the Dewitt Memorial Building at 206 W. Washington St, Dewitt, MI. Visit www.mmwg.org or www.facebook.com/MidMichiganWoodworkersGuild for more information.    

Patrick Estes: Knife Maker and Leatherworker

WOODEN RINGS, Forged Knives & Leather Sheaths

Patrick Estes

Patrick Estes is a local knife-maker, leather-worker, woodworker and instructor at the Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute. His hand forged knives are as beautiful as they are sharp, and complimented by sculpted wooden handles and custom leather sheaths. Patrick will also be showing his custom inlay wooden rings. He loves his craft, and welcomes custom orders. 

Email Patrick at knifecraft17@gmail.com for more information.  

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Wood Turner

Lynn Southward

Lynn Southward considers himself a cabinet maker who has evolved into an artist- someone who loves woodworking and making something beautiful out of wood. He has been a self-employed cabinet maker since 1968, owning Southward Custom Wood Products ,Inc. in Blissfield, Michigan. In recent years he has been shifting more from the functional side of wood to the artistic side with wood turning becoming his favorite art form.  He especially enjoys segmented turnings, combining local Michigan woods with exotic woods from other countries. Recently he has begun creating hollow vessels frequently using burls from trees with interesting grains and voids. Lynn's work has been featured in several art galleries, shows, and competitions throughout Michigan. He is a current member of the LCVA and an active member of the Michigan Ohio Wood Turners local chapter of the American Association of Wood Turners, currently serving as the Vice President.  Lynn has taught classes on wood turning for adults and some woodworking classes for youth as well. He is 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 in 2015, 2016 & 2017.  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
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Gregorio Perez

Gregorio Perez is a Michigan native, printmaker and illustrator.  Perez portrays elements of nature through a primitive lens to reveal a sense of spirituality and harmony with the land.  The juxtaposition of spiritualized harmony versus the real world of industrialization evokes a sense of fantasy in his work, reminiscent of his childhood.  Modern fly fishing lures are portrayed like primitive gods to reflect the idolatry of the material world.  Birds, frogs, toads and insects are popular motifs.  They reflect a passion for conservation and a childlike curiosity of the natural world.  His favorite children's book illustrators include Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) and Arnold Lobel (Frog and Toad are Friends).  They remind him of the playground of his youth in the dark woods surrounding Beaver Creek in southern Michigan.  

Perez limits the use of modern technology in his creations, preferring primitive techniques which focus more on the process rather than the product.  How material is carved away in relief is more important to him than what is left behind.    

Perez graduated from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Western Michigan University with degrees in Industrial Design and Art.  Perez has taught adult education courses in Printmaking at Community Arts of Tecumseh (MI).  He also teaches high school courses in drawing, painting and printmaking at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lakes, MI.  

For more information, visit http://gregorio-perez.format.com/