Marc Adams: The Man
A Letter from Marc
Stop, Look & Listen - See the Ripple
Throughout the summer as night turns the corner on a new day, Susie and I walk through the shop to make sure snacks are ready, double check the doors and make certain all else is in order. For some reason the amount of work I have yet to do, becomes a distraction to the work that has been done. The days quickly turn to weeks which turn to months which turn into years. From the beginning of April to the end of October we typically offer over 160 classes, prepare meals for around 3000 people and make ready an entire new schedule for the following year. And somehow during the whirlwind of the summer I try to work in as many as 12 weeks of teaching assignments. As the school approaches 25 years, it becomes clear that my life has been in hyperdrive since the beginning.
But something happened this year that caused me to take a moment of pause. On Easter Sunday my mother passed away from natural causes. For years she often reminded me to “look at the rose in the vase and not the dust on the table.” On a non specific night, as Susie and I walked through the shop, I stopped and took her by the hand and said “look at the incredible blessing we have been given”. In that instant, my ears were opened to the thousands of people who have told me over the years what an incredible place this is and how it has changed their lives. I’ve heard it over and over again but I never understood until that moment, and although the school was quiet, their words rang loud and clear. My mother was right; I had never taken time to “look at the rose,” I had always concentrated on the dust.
For the first time in 23 years, I became emotional, took a deep breath, wiped the tears from my eyes, hugged my wife and in that instant I understood. I finally felt what others feel while they are here. I was able to see the extraordinary fruits of our hard work. This is an amazing place but I also realized that it didn’t happen because of Susie and my efforts alone but because of the efforts of remarkable instructors, extraordinary students and our brilliant staff, whom all make for an environment unequaled, anywhere. MASW isn’t just a craft/woodworking school, it’s a place where spirits are lifted, friendships are made, opportunities become reality and lives are impacted - forever. And somehow God has entrusted Susie and I to be the stewards of such a treasure: then sent my mother, on one non specific night to open my eyes to the ripple effect.
I can’t say that I no longer live in hyperdrive, but for one incredible moment, I was able to concentrate on what’s been done, instead of what has to be done. To be continued…
About Marc Adams
MARC ADAMS has been woodworking professionally for more than 28 years. In 1991, he became a technical consultant to the WWPA, SFPA, AHEC, and the U.S. government, representing the United States on International Quality of Furniture Making. His work has appeared in Design Book Six and Design Book Seven, and his shop was featured in The Workshop by Taunton Press. In addition, his work has appeared in many national publications, and has been featured on the front cover of Woodshop News magazine. Marc has worked with the EPA in Washington on current woodworking issues, and has been a panel commentator at the prestigious International Woodworking Fair. Marc has won the Indiana Artist/Craftsman of the Year award three times and periodically does TV and radio talk shows on woodworking topics. He co-authored the book Working With Plastic Laminates and currently consults for both the laminate and adhesive industries. His “Technical Technique” video series is the largest-selling video series in the history of woodworking, and he was recently awarded four “Telly” awards.
Marc just completed an eight-part series on workshop safety for Popular Woodworking magazine and was a judge for the 2008 Veneer Tech Craftsman Challenge Awards and the 2009 AWFS Fresh Wood Student Competition. He lectures nationally for universities, guilds, and trade shows and does train-the-trainer programs for today’s biggest tool manufacturers. In 1998, he was chosen as one of Indiana’s Top 40 Under 40 in the local business community.