Sometimes looks can be deceiving. Megan Fitzpatrick, the managing editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine, says she’s a 14-year-old boy trapped in the body of a 43-year-old-woman.
Wait, I shouldn’t tell that story.
Sometimes looks can be deceiving. To the outside world, Megan sometimes looks like the “I Can Do That” spokeswoman. It’s true that she’s probably built more “I Can Do That” projects than anyone. But that’s not because those are the only things she can build.
Close observers of the magazine know that she has built some big case pieces with lots of hand-cut dovetails, cove moulding and inset doors and drawers. But only the people who work with her know the whole story.
Megan is one of the more ambitious woodworkers I know. She always picks projects above her skill level in some way and then
pesters seeks out the knowledge to build them. That’s how she learned dovetailing, inlay, sharpening, you name it.
While that might not sound so unusual, she also is
ruthless persistent about learning everything about a topic. When she wanted to learn dovetails, I think she asked everyone in the office at Popular Woodworking Magazine to teach her separately. Then she’d compare the techniques and forge her own path.
In December, Megan decided to build a spice box with line-and-berry inlay as a gift for her mother. You can read the harrowing tale here. Bottom line: I hope Megan will be able to show off more of her highbrow skills – other than iambic pentameter – in the coming years.
It’s easy in this male-dominated business for some people to see women in the craft as window dressing, as has been the case on certain home-improvement television shows (I’m looking at you, Dean). Don’t buy into that with Megan, or you are liable to get a roundhouse kick in the ear.
I won’t tell that story, either.
— Christopher Schwarz