“Chromosomes have nothing to do with your abilities or potential in a woodshop.”
— Barbie, of Barbie Woodshop
Among the first questions posed to any woman in woodworking seems to be: “How did you get into this?” Followed by: “Was your father a woodworker? Your husband?”
In Megan Fitzpatrick’s case, anyone familiar with her whip-smart writing about her home restoration exploits might speculate that her involvement in woodworking began with her interest in restoring old houses. She’s lived in old houses her entire life — first an Arts & Crafts cottage; then, when she was 7 or 8, her family moved into an antebellum farmhouse in Louisville. Amazingly, that property still had its original smokehouse and summer kitchen. Because it was more than a century old, she says, “it always needed work.” But her father “wasn’t terribly handy.” So, no, she didn’t get started in woodworking because of her dad; nor was it really because of old houses. Rather, she arrived at wood through words.
“I was brought up to be an academic,” she says. “There was no question that I would have to go to college,” though she doesn’t recall being pressured to pursue any particular course of study. A longtime fan of Dave Barry and Richard Des Ruisseaux, humor columnists for the Miami Herald and Louisville’s The Courier-Journal respectively, Megan wanted to be a journalist. “When I got older,” she adds, “I realized humor was pretty much the hardest thing to write.” She enrolled in undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati, which had no journalism major. “So I got a degree in English Literature instead.”
Those who know Megan as an erudite and entertaining woodworking instructor, author and editor may be shocked to learn that she failed out of college. “I was so busy having so much fun working for the school paper, The News Record, that I never went to my classes — except for the few I liked. I was asked to leave.”
Needing income, she took the kinds of retail and service-industry jobs that gave many of us our start — selling clothes at Banana Republic, serving customers at a coffee shop. The first glimmerings of a break came in the early 1990s, when she was hired as a clerk at The Cincinnati Post, a position that involved “doing whatever you were told: go pick up donuts, go to the printing plant. We would get the papers when they came off the press and bring them back for the writers and editors. We ran things up and down stairs to the ‘morgue’” (where clippings were kept).
It wasn’t long before she realized she wanted to write, and her editor began giving her opportunities to do so — though she stresses it was “always as a guest reporter” and the assignments involved matters of such non-pressing local interest as recent goings-on at the Great Dane Rescue Society. Her first professional byline was covering a Kenny G concert, because, as she says, “no writers on staff wanted to do it.” She wanted to write more, but they wouldn’t hire her in that capacity without a degree.
With fresh motivation, Megan signed up for evening classes with a plan to complete her bachelor’s in English at the University of Cincinnati. By day she worked full-time at The Cincinnati Post, still mainly as a clerk but with the occasional chance to write. She graduated in 1996.
“I immediately realized I liked school again, so I applied to graduate programs for a master’s in English,” she says. She earned a scholarship from The Scripps Howard Foundation for newspaper employees that paid for her tuition and living expenses, and allowed her to complete her master’s in English in two years.
Megan was smitten early on by the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. When she was 11 or 12 (she can’t remember exactly) her family traveled to Greece after visiting an aunt and uncle stationed in Germany by the Air Force. As her parents drove their rental car through Greece’s ancient architectural wonders, Megan sat in the back seat with her brother, scarcely looking out the window, so focused was she on memorizing Mark Antony’s oration at Caesar’s funeral.
“Shakespeare’s language was lovely, as were the universal truths revealed in his plays,” says Megan on why she enjoyed Shakespeare then and still does, today. “Anything you want to read about, you can pretty much read about it in Shakespeare’s plays.”
Her favorite play, however, “The Knight of the Burning Pestle,” is not by the illustrious bard. Rather it’s written by Francis Beaumont. “It’s a joke about syphilis,” she says. “But few people know Francis Beaumont, so I say I studied Shakespeare.”
In 1998, when she was 30, Megan was hired by F+W Media, a few months after completing her M.A.
“I was a low-level copy writer, hired to write promotional material,” she says. “I dressed up for work every day — skirts and high heels. My immediate supervisor left and I was hired for her position — promotions manager. It would have been 2000 or 2001, so I was actually in charge of some titles and did all the marketing for them. One of those titles was Popular Woodworking. I would stomp down to the offices of Popular Woodworking in my high heels and short skirt and give the editor and publisher, Steve Shanesy, a piece of my mind, because he was always late returning materials.”
She made an impression. (Christopher Schwarz was promoted to editor just as Megan joined the staff; Steve stayed on as publisher.)
“When Kara [Uhl] was leaving Pop Wood to join the Writer’s Digest team, I had turned in my resignation at F+W to go back to school and get my Ph.D.,” Megan says. “It would have been August 2005. And both Chris and Steve said, ‘Hey, do you want the managing editor job at Pop Wood?'”
The job, she explains, was to be the traffic cop — “making sure people got their stuff in on time, copy editing, making sure people got paid. Basically it was back to my clerking job, but with a better title. But this time I was also working with the words. And there was nothing wrong with being a clerk! It was more intellectually rewarding than making coffee for people.”
At first Megan told Chris and Steve no. Undeterred, they offered her the opportunity to do the job while taking classes. So she changed her mind and stayed. And even though she still planned to leave the magazine eventually in exchange for college-level teaching, she took the opportunity to gain some serious woodworking skills with Chris’s encouragement and the use of the Pop Wood shop (and, she notes, “using Chris’s tools, which he kindly loaned me”). She had always made things, such as a simple bookcase in lumberyard pine held together with angle brackets. But now she was able to use high-quality tools in a well-equipped shop, with expert guidance just a request away. She took to furniture making like a duck to water and built pieces for project articles in the magazine, such as a wall cabinet, a plate rack and a workbench with an LVL top.
Megan tackled her doctoral coursework from 2005 to 2008, toggling back and forth between the University of Cincinnati campus and the offices at Pop Wood every day. She would leave work, take classes, then come back to the office to make sure everything was done as it should be. “They didn’t mind, as long as the work got done,” she says.
Meanwhile, instead of taking vacations out of town, or even the occasional week off, she was strategically banking paid leave. When it was time to take her comprehensive exams, Steve and Chris let her take off six consecutive weeks to study. To call her days focused would be an understatement. “I sat on the couch, had a cat on my lap, read my books,” she says. “It was really kind of them, and I don’t know if I thanked them enough.”
Megan took her exams in February 2009, and began working on her dissertation. Then, in 2011, she was promoted to executive editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine. A mere nine months later she was promoted again, this time to content director (editor of the magazine, also with oversight of her publisher’s entire woodworking community).
At this point, she says, “I had to choose. I had no time left to work on my dissertation. ‘Am I going to stay with woodworking or finish my Ph.D. and go teach full time?’”
She considered switching to a creative dissertation, which was an option at the University of Cincinnati. “You would do a short critical paper and produce a creative work — a novel, a play — and that would be your dissertation,” she says. She envisioned a critical paper about the use of furniture in plays by Shakespeare and others, then building 10 or so of the pieces mentioned therein. But her dissertation directors weren’t keen on the idea. “It was too far outside the accepted paradigm,” she says. “I don’t think they knew how to evaluate such an approach.” She lost the drive to finish the dissertation, and even though she loves teaching, she says, “I chose woodworking.”
“As a woman editor of a woodworking magazine, I faced some sexual harassment,” Megan says. “I was often in situations where I was one of few women at a tool show, industry event or what have you, and it led to some uncomfortable situations. I thought that if we could see a broader swath of representation in the magazines and at events, that might help to address an imbalance — and cut down on that sort of crap. The people from whom we ran articles were (and still are) great woodworkers … but I knew there was room to expand into a more representative view of the world at large. There are more people than white men building wonderful things, many of whom have things to teach us. I did my best to level that field a little bit. There are black woodworkers, there are Hispanic woodworkers … there are women of all races who are woodworkers. Why shouldn’t they have a space, too?”
She made a point of inviting woodworkers from diverse demographic groups to speak and present workshops at Popular Woodworking’s biennial national event, Woodworking in America. She followed up with members of under-represented groups who’d submitted article proposals in years past. (That was how my first article for Popular Woodworking came to be published.) Then, in March 2017, she published her editor’s note for the magazine’s May-June issue online.
“Welcome, Gentles All” (a riff on a line from Shakespeare’s “Henry V”), invited “any excellent woodworker — women and men (cisgender, transgender, gay, straight, bi-sexual, asexual) of all ages, races, nationalities, religions and political persuasions” to pitch an idea for an article. While she received many emails of support after that editorial ran, Megan says she also received more negative responses than for anything she’s ever written — not that she let them bother her.
In short, Megan has made it her business to broaden the range of images that come to mind in response to the question, “What does a woodworker look like?”
“But after I threw down that gauntlet I was sort of shuffled off the stage,” she says. She’d spent nearly 20 years working for F+W when she was unceremoniously let go in early December 2017. “I would have liked to have more time to have done more, but if I did give a larger platform to people of non-binary sexuality, to women, to people of color, great. I’m glad to have had that platform to do whatever I could for however long I could do it.”
She notes that in hindsight, with F+W filing for bankruptcy about 14 months later, she was actually thankful she left when she did, but at the time, she was utterly shocked. She’d thought it was a fairly safe job. As one of those who got to know her during her last couple of years there, I can attest to her proficiency, professionalism and the unstinting dedication she gave to the operation, as well as to contributors and colleagues. She worked as many hours as it took, seven days a week. She put visiting speakers and authors up in her home when they couldn’t find a place to stay. She never missed a deadline. And through it all, she somehow managed to maintain her graciousness and composure.
“Most people love Megan for her cheerful and genuinely helpful nature,” Chris Schwarz says. “I became bonded to her because she can make grown men cry.”
“We were both hired at F+W in the late 1990s,” Chris continues. “She was in the promotions department (marketing, basically). I was in editorial. We crossed paths occasionally when she asked my fellow editors for help writing junk mail for our magazine. When they put her off or dismissed her, there was a specific hell to pay. She was always professional, but she did not suffer fools.
“When my managing editor left, I wanted to hire her. Megan was spending her free time in our workshop, building stuff and asking woodworking questions, plus she was supremely qualified in the language department. I, however, was afraid to recommend her as a candidate to my boss because she had ripped him in two on many occasions.
“The following is a credit to Megan: It was my boss’s idea to interview her for the job.
“She took the job under difficult conditions. She was taking courses to complete her doctorate. Her boss in the marketing department didn’t want to let her go and asked her to continue writing promotional material. And I was training her as managing editor (the most unforgiving job at a magazine).
“On her first day at the magazine, a technology guy came down to set up her computer station. It wasn’t simple. She needed a PC to do her marketing work and a Mac to do the magazine work — plus logins across the company’s many networks.
“The tech guy they sent generally required everyone to kiss his butt if you wanted the job done. I know this is true because I had chapped lips for about a decade because of him.
“At some point during the day, I heard the tech guy say there was a problem. He was going to leave and come back and finish the job some other day. (This would delay both her work for her old boss and her training at the magazine.)
“Then Megan spoke. It wasn’t loud or angry. I don’t know what she said. But when I walked past him a few minutes later the guy was at her keyboard, working and crying.
“By the end of the day her computers were (mostly) working.
“And the following is a credit to Megan: She and the crying tech guy got along just fine for years after that.
“She’s the best co-worker and employee I’ve ever had. Works like the devil. Holds herself to the highest standards possible. And she will not take shit from anyone.”
Back to Megan: “Of course it hurts,” she says. “It feels like you’re being let go because you weren’t doing a good job. In the last few years I was working 80 hours a week and giving everything to make the magazine and related publications as good as I could with the resources I was given, which were few.” She had given up her goal of teaching literature, a career plan in which she’d invested years of work and money, for the job.
“What the hell do I do now?” she wondered. “I was terrified. I thought that everything I had accomplished was gone.” She texted Chris immediately: “-30-” which, she explains, is “what you used to put at the bottom of the raw copy of a newspaper article to signify the end.”
Straightaway, he met her downtown — at a pub, where, she says, “I had a drink. And I went home and had many more. That was Dec. 5, 2017. On Dec. 6 I had the worst hangover I’ve had since I was an undergrad in college. I don’t recommend [getting drunk] as a coping mechanism.”
She and Chris had been talking for some time about what she might do if and when she left Popular Woodworking — maybe work on a book with him, do some more editing. She had copy edited almost every book Lost Art Press published, working on the fringes of her already-demanding job. After being laid off she didn’t spend any money for about six months. She was terrified. “How am I going to pay my bills?” she wondered.
And that’s how Lost Art Press’s “The Woodworking School That’s Not a School” got its start. Chris offered her the use of his storefront shop to teach classes. She taught her first class in February, just weeks after being let go. It filled up quickly, and she says that’s when she realized, “I think it’s going to be alright.” Chris encouraged her to teach more classes. (By now she has taught so many classes on the Anarchist’s Tool Chest and the Dutch Tool Chest that she could probably teach both in a blindfold.)
Here Megan pauses. “There have been two men in my life who helped to shape it more than any other,” she says. “Jonathan Kamholtz and Chris. Dr. Kamholtz encouraged me to go to grad school when I thought I wouldn’t amount to anything. I don’t think I would have gone without him. Hell — I’m not sure I would have finished my undergraduate work without his encouragement.” As for Chris, she says, “he has always made me think I could do something with woodworking, and helped me to do it. And he’s one of my best friends.”
Megan began doing more copy editing for Lost Art Press, more work with InDesign, more writing for the blog. Chris urged her to contact other schools about freelance teaching, and encouraged her to form her own publishing business, Rude Mechanicals Press. (She named the business after “rude mechanicals” (skilled laborers) in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Her Instagram handle, @1snugthejoiner, comes from the name of “rude mechanic” Snug the Joiner.) Chris also helped her publish a new edition of Peter Nicholson’s Mechanic’s Companion, sharing his advice and allowing her full access to the scanner in his home while he and his family were on vacation so she could scan the pages of an original copy.
“Chris and his business partner, John Hoffman, gave me all the resources to make my transition into small publishing easier so I didn’t have to spend much money doing it,” she says.
In addition to writing, editing, publishing and teaching, she copy edits Mortise & Tenon Magazine and is editor of The Chronicle, the journal of the Early American Industries Association. She’s also working on that book about furniture in the plays of Shakespeare and others that she had wanted to do for her dissertation, as well as a book on Shaker furniture.
Not long after Megan started working at Popular Woodworking, she built a small dovetailed box in a class with Kelly Mehler. She showed it to her grandfather, who said women don’t belong in the shop. “Oh, those are terrible dovetails,” she recalls him saying. “They shouldn’t have let you use good wood for a beginner project.”
I’ll show you, she thought. As hurt as she was by his remarks, she thinks he’d be proud of her now. “The way to get me to do something is to say ‘you can’t do that.’ I’m not going to let it beat me. I’m going to figure it out.”
That same resilience supports her now. As a freelancer, Megan feels fortunate in this time of enforced isolation to be able to so much of her work from home. Like most of those who teach woodworking, she has lost some income due to the coronavirus pandemic, but she’s upbeat in her outlook.
“I love teaching,” she says. “I went to school to teach. I absolutely miss teaching people; that’s been the worst thing for me. And I know I’ll be teaching people [again]. You can learn from books and magazines, but having someone there to help you and show you, there’s nothing like that. And there is little as satisfying as helping people get better at something they love to do.”
— Nancy Hiller, author of “Making Things Work“
51 thoughts on “Paying it Forward: An Interview with Megan Fitzpatrick”
Megan has always been an inspiration to me, and as a trans woman woodworker , I appreciate you going to the mat for those of us outside of the stereotypical woodworker types.
Great read. Now I know why I enjoed PW so much. It wasn’t Chris’s writing. ;P Seriously though, had a class with Chris and he spoke very highly of her. I hope some day to meet her and perhaps learn from her.
I genuinely believe that PooWood’s loss is a huge gain for the rest of the woodworking community – Megan is one of the most generous people I know with her time, knowledge. encouragement and support. The students who pass through her classes are very lucky. I feel fortunate to call her a friend. And she has an outstanding bourbon collection too.
Megan is as kind and gracious as anyone I have ever met. She is generous with her time and talent to a fault, never to busy to answer a woodworking question or engage in conversation. My friend Joe and I met the staff from Popular Woodworking magazine about 15 years ago while working on a restoration project at Whitewater Shaker Village located in Harrison, Ohio. Megan and Chris helped move that project forward in so many ways, promoting it at Woodworking in America, in Pop Wood magazine, organizing and promoting tours, and tool events at the site, and answering our never ending questions. Without their help and input the project, although still incomplete, would not be where it is today. Their foot and hand prints are all over that monumental project. They have encouraged me to become a more advanced woodworker but more importantly, they took the time to become our friends! Forever grateful and thankful to Megan and Chris. Dave Coleman
These interviews of women woodworkers and their individual journeys to it have been so interesting on many levels. Much hard work and determination to get to the present and so many skills leading to it. I am grateful to meet and learn about Megan whose perseverance shines a light on what it takes. I stand in awe while realizing that the “I’ll show you” attitude is not natural for some of us or that we just get worn down and why is that? Is it the combination of inner and outer encouragement? Does one have to have both? Is coming to it through academia more affirming to an individual then coming to it first through a blue collar approach? Or is it just the simple fact that belief in oneself and taking your rightful place a necessity for all, gender excluded. I admire Megan’s abilities and wished I had stayed connecting to the woodworking world after I left teaching at CFFC. My response to that experience was to not engage outwardly with the woodworking community anymore and I missed meeting and learning about Megan, Nancy, and all the wonderful, determined women that continue to be mentors for so many. Nelson Mandela said “your playing small does not serve the world”. These women highlighted in these interviews are not playing small and are serving the world.
Again, thank you.
Your comments are always so thoughtful, Lynette. I was unaware of that Mandela quote. I am going to print it out and put it on my shop wall. It is *so* important! For what it’s worth, this “Comforting Soups” series is not only about women. The next post will be about Jameel and Father John Abraham. And there will be more!
In wanting to give you the entire quote, I looked it up and found that this has been accredited to Mandela but is, in fact, by Marianne Williamson! Interesting. So, I apologize for that misquote. There is more to it, as well, which can be found on line.
Look forward to all the stories you write so look forward to more.
Thanks, Lynette. I will look it up.
What a great story and testament to Megan’s professionalism and success!
Encouraging story of perseverance. As an amateur woodworker I always feel like one the mechanicals stumbling in my shop watching and trying to learn from the real actors from afar. Meghan should run classes online.
Thanks to Nancy for this wonderful series highlighting women in woodworking. The stories are fascinating and inspiring – not just because these women came to work with wood but because of their humanity. Nancy, you’ve captured the unique forces which shaped their lives and are reflected in how they in turn shape wood. The weekend I spent at LostArtPress with Megan was transformative. Her kindness, skill, knowledge and humility were something to behold first-hand. It gave me the confidence to build things but more importantly it made me feel connected. Thanks to you both for all you do.
Serious thanks are also due to Chris for allowing (and in fact, encouraging) me to write these profiles for his blog.
Megan is one of the best woodworking friends I have.
My congratulations to Meghan for her perseverance, accomplishments and continuing on her journey in Woodworking. It is interesting how life changes our course as it has for Meghan to something we didn’t plan on that works out better than our original plan. I met her in Chicago at a Lie Nielsen event at Jeff Miller’s shop several years ago, we had a nice conversation. I wrote a response that was published in Popwood when she was there and she showed her skills in revising my poor grammar into what I thought was a masterpiece! I took a CLEP exam to get my college English credits. Hopefully I will be able to take a class from her one day when we get back to normal, if there ever will be a normal.
This is so wonderful! One amazing woodworking woman interviews another. I’ve had the opportunity to meet each once at an open house at Chris’s shop. They both impressed me with their openness and authenticity and the beautiful things they make with wood. Good on you miss Nancy and miss Meghan. Thanks for sharing this.
Nancy, you did it again. A great piece about a truly amazing person. Thanks for opening the door to Megan’s story. Well done.
Thanks, Anthony, though others have opened this door before I did here! It was only after meeting Megan in person that I began to grasp her extraordinary graciousness. I was incredulous when she was let go from the magazine job — it’s exceedingly rare to find an employee with that level of dedication and the ability to maintain her composure — all with a sense of humor.
Had Megan not been fired, I wouldn’t have spent those two days in Covington, making a silverware tray (bald guy, green shirt). Everytime I look at it, I’m reminded of the fun that I had, and the type of people that Megan and Chris are.
At times, it seems like a lopsided trade-off for the world of woodworking, but I’ll take it.
Yes! The classes at the storefront have been a real gift to the community. Chris deserves far more credit than most people are aware for his generosity in making those classes possible.
Great story of a great person, teacher and someone we can all admire.
Superb article about a wonderful person and excellent woodworker. My initial Fitz experience was at The first Woodworking in America Conference in Berea,KY in 2008. I was a bit disoriented trying to locate my first class, and there was the “conference conductor” Megan Fitzpatrick directing the traffic of and questions from attendees and vendors alike, like a New York cop at the St.Patrick’s Day Parade. I asked her for my class location directions, and she never missed a beat in answering it in a direct and kind way. I thanked her. From that day forward, if I ever had a PWW issue with my subscription or an order, I contacted Megan and she handled the problem quickly, and always with courtesy. Her growth as a professional woodworker and teacher has been delightful to watch, and her engaging personality is always a treat, like a fine wine. I look forward to someday taking a class from “Fitz”. And I just love the chocolate cake, thumb in the mouth photo.
Congratulations Megan, on all of your accomplishments
Valley Head, AL
Another wonderful and very human, story, Nancy. I had the opportunity to meet Megan at LAP a year ago during a Welsh stick chair class with Chris Williams. Chris Schwarz was unexpectedly called away and Megan was our “shop leader” for the week. She was (and is) always there to assist, encourage, and pull out the whip as needed! All with grace, humor, and a genuine caring for everyone. It was never about her, it was about others having their best experience.
And it’s funny the little things that can make such a difference in one’s life. As I was packing my car to reluctantly leave on the last day, there was concern that my chair would not fit safely along with my tools and other belongings. So Megan ran to her car and found a towel (clean!) and wrapped it around my chair so it would be protected. I always remember that small, humble act of kindness. And Megan, I owe you more than a towel for all that you mean. I can’t wait to see more of the wonderful things you will do. Thank you.
What an amazing article. I love reading such inspiring stories, especially in time like these.
What a joy to read! Thank you Nancy. Thank you Megan.
What the world needs is a collaborative work by these two wonderful writers and woodworkers.
[Insert Title Here]
Hiller and Fitzpatrick
And thank you Chris!
I am waiting patiently (?) for the book on furniture in Shakespeare’s’ works! Why has that idea taken 400 years to come about? Probably because no scholar, writer, editor, woodworker has ever been in a position to make it happen, or perhaps ever existed pre-Megan Fitzpatrick. The book must exist!
My friends no doubt live in fear of me finding a way to combine Shakespeare and woodworking. It sounds like I’ll be able to blame it all on Megan once the book is done.
“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
That was supposed to be a door
Ugh, the joiners are drunk again.”
Thank you Nancy and Megan! As an 80-something yr old woman, I’m moved to tears to read this! I’ve been passionate about woodworking – furniture making – for about 20 years, very part time. An artist friend, around a wood stove late one New Years Eve, once said to me, “you know you could have your own shop”! And that had never occurred to me. I promptly added workshop space onto my garage, took some classes with Michael Wheeler (of Tomorrow’s Antiques, Boston), and have become quite skillful at Shaker and Arts & Crafts styles furniture, designing everything I make except for Adirondack chairs! I’m headed out there now to finish up a hand-cut dovetailed blanket chest for a granddaughter!
Go Megan! What a wonderful person and a wonderful write up
A fascinating story of an amazing person!
This is wonderful. Megan and Nancy are two of my favorite Woodworking people. Having worked with Megan during WIA 2015, I discovered she is a joy in person and in writing. Cheers.
When Megan was let go from the magazine, I let my subscription lapse. It was obvious to me that if the higher ups had such blindness for quality that I didn’t need to waste my money supporting them.
Second thought: Megan, if you are writing the book, look into seeing if they will accept it as your dissertation. I realize a doctorate would be nothing but a feather in your cap, but to have come so close…. it at least warrants some inquiries. My wife was halfway through her doctorate (piano pedagogy) when she realized professorship was killing her, so she switched to a private studio and stopped the classwork. It was the right decision (as was yours, it sounds) but I like to brag about her and a doctorate is one more thing to brag about 🙂
You never asked if shes a 3way or 5way at the local Skyline?
Or, does she even like Cincinnati chilli?
A very nice article, thank you. The issues of Popular Woodworking that were produced under Megan’s leadership as editor were really excellent.
Great interview. I chuckled at the section where her grandfather gives her a hard time about her dovetails. Because every time I start a project with dovetails, I watch Megan’s dovetail layout video for a refresher before warming up my sawing arm.
I am really looking forward to getting in one of her classes when the world opens back up.
I always enjoyed meeting Megan at WIA when it was going. Too bad they didn’t continue that, but I’m sure they couldn’t do it without her!
I have enjoyed these interviews/profiles a great deal! So much so that upon finishing them I’ve almost immediately shared the links with my twenty-something year old daughter as an encouragement to her. I especially enjoyed this quote, “She’s the best co-worker and employee I’ve ever had. Works like the devil. Holds herself to the highest standards possible. And she will not take shit from anyone.” Thank you!
Thanks for another great read Nancy. Most journeys are never in a straight line and what a delight it was to read about the meandering route Megan took to get where she is today. You are both wonderful role models for us all.
And I have it on good authority that fried egg sandwiches are a good remedy for bad hangovers. 🥴
As a member of the Cincinnati woodworking club I have benefitted by Megan and Chris generosity with their time giving free presentation at our club meetings. Thank you both for that.
I really like the step back cupboard. Is there a plan for it or an article?
Even though I have commented on this interview entry already, I spent the day gardening and reflecting on all that was said. I did not want to pass up an opportunity here and that is to thank and acknowledge how important outward encouragement can be, and in this case, the support of Lost Art Press and Chris and his role in letting the Lost Art Press site be a vehicle for the conversations about women in woodworking. Yes, I agree with Barbie and that chromosomes don’t determine who can and who can’t. Seeing the picture of Megan and Chris together, acknowledging an important friendship of support that goes both ways, well, that is it isn’t it. A flower can not grow without water, nor can a friendship. We water each other and it grows deep roots. I see these deep roots in their faces when I see them in that picture.
And lastly, thank you Chris for encouraging Nancy in her gifts as well. I felt honored and supported by both of you when she wrote that article of me months back. But just in case I forgot to say it directly, thank you so much for your everything you bring here including your wit, your own writings, your choice of what to write about and your openness to supporting the gifts of others.
Holy cow, fantastic profile, definite hat tip to both the author and the, uh, other author!
I really appreciate this profile. I have four daughters, all of whom have shown at least a little interest in woodworking (they see me do it a lot, anyhow). But there are always those moments when one of them will pause and ask, “Are there girl woodworkers?” And I can show them, yes, there are. So thank you, Megan and Nancy, for making woodworking a normal thing for women to do. My daughters will be the better for it.
What a wonderful story. Inspiring to hear the path that life takes. Thank you for writing this!
Megan is an excellent human. Glad to call her friend!
I remember the day I met Megan like it was almost 12 years ago. We started off eating mediocre Mexican food in Berea, while she was in the early part of her ABD journey and I was fresh off taking the ABD exit. We have since had many outstanding meals and conversations. I am lucky to call Megan a good friend and there are few sounds in this universe that are funnier than when she laugh-snorts.
It’s been great fun to watch Megan’s progression as a woodworker. She seems to be as good a person as she is writer, editor, and woodworker. We are all better off for having her in the craft. I hope to keep looking over her shoulder, as it were, for a very long time.
And thanks again to Nancy for doing these. I was aware of some of Megan’s background from past blogs and articles, but this piece added a lot.
There are also incriminating pictures of me smeared with chocolate. But they were taken just last week.
I just reread this and saw I’m in the last picture. Very cool! I’m glad to be a part of the Megan Fitzpatrick Fan Club. Great group. Meets on Tuesdays.
Can’t make it this week.
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