Asa Christiana, editor of Fine Woodworking magazine published by Taunton Press, will kick-off Wood Week 2007 activities at Virginia Tech with a public lecture "The Science and Artistry of Fine Furniture," Tuesday Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Fralin Building on the Virginia Tech campus.

Wood Week 2007 is a series of events on the Blacksburg campus sponsored by the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products in the College of Natural Resources to bring focus and attention to the role of wood and renewable materials in society, and the contribution of department faculty and students enrolled in the program.

Christiana notes, “Wood is the perfect material for furniture. It is lightweight yet strong, it cuts and polishes beautifully with relatively simple tools, and it is widely available in a magnificent palette of colors and grain patterns. To make the most of this material, custom furniture makers master a rare blend of engineering and aesthetics, crafting pieces that are more beautiful, functional, and durable than their cheap, factory-made counterparts.”

As editor of the world’s leading magazine for the craft of furniture making, Christiana will use recent articles, and the makers featured within, to illustrate how the best pieces marry form and function. He’ll demonstrate how wood science leads to solid joinery, and how classic design principles are applied to the most beautiful furniture and home interiors.

Wood Week 2007 also includes a career fair with 40 participating companies from the industry with job opportunities for students from every college, a student scholarship reception awards program, and a technical conference on Saturday September 8 focusing on competitiveness of the industry with topics covering workforce development, globalization, and biofuels and biomaterials. Contact department head Paul Winistorfer at 540.231.8853 for more information.

The Department of Wood Science and Forest Products (www.woodscience.vt.edu) in the College of Natural Resources is the leading program in North America engaged in wood and renewable materials utilization. Faculty focus on the science and business of wood and renewable materials utilization through learning, discovery, and engagement. The department is home to the Center for Forest Products Marketing and Management, the Center for Unit Load Design, the Wood-Based Composites Center, the Sustainable Engineered Materials Institute, and the award winning Wood Magic Show for 4th and 5th grade children and their teachers. Through cooperation with the department of marketing in the Pamplin College of Business, the department co-directs the Alfred P. Sloan Forest Industries Center. Students learn from the leading wood and renewable materials scientists in the world, who bring the latest science and application of principles to the classroom.

The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of study include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development.