WES NEWSWANGER

My life’s education includes 9 years in New York City, 5 years in Kenya, one year each in Boston and Virginia, and various travels and travails. But mostly, I’ve been at home in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. ~ Wes Newswanger

During 20 years of teaching, I wandered through woodworking, various forms of metalworking, mechanical drafting, electronics, and interior design. Yes, I’m always fascinated with design, especially furniture and household goods. Early on my eye was drawn to Scandinavian furniture, and Bauhaus creations, but as my Mennonite grandparents passed on, and passed on their cultural trappings, I gained a new awareness of and appreciation for the solid, practical stuff that made up my history and my surroundings.

The Amish and their take on technology challenge me to attempt to be more practical, and to see that my life is lived with joy and appreciation for the people I have been given and the paths I have been invited to trod.

Today I find myself drawn to letting the wood and other materials I work with express themselves in fresh and open ways. I enjoy finding a piece of wood that begs to be made into a bench, or fireplace mantel, or a buggy wheel that wants to be a table. So I keep a motley collection of old and new boards, and various pieces of ancient junk waiting to be discovered again. In my retirement years, this is how I find fun.