Timber framing is both art and science, form and function. The craft dates back centuries, from the Middle East to Europe to Asia. As long as there have been timber frames, there have been talented craftspeople and loyal admirers. So, it only makes sense that these stunning structures bring with them not just legacy, but community.
In 1985, that sense of community became official with the formation of the Timber Framers Guild, which has been “promoting, supporting, honoring and advancing the craft of timber framing” for nearly four decades. As a non-profit educational membership association for all — from professionals to homeowners to fans — the Guild hosts annual conferences, workshops and community projects, as well as publishes magazines and journals.
The CauseFor many, the Guild’s benefits are tangible. Every year, the group organizes community projects across North America in the following categories: local agriculture; recreation, including bridges and pavilions; houses of worship and contemplation; educational institutions and non-profit programs; and historic preservation and restoration. Since 1988, the Guild has organized more than 100 community projects, benefiting public or non-profit entities, such as towns, local, state, or federal agencies, land trusts and community organizations.
The Oso Slide Memorial
This past May, Guild members descended on northwest Washington to contribute to the Oso Slide Mem-orial. The project pays respect to the 43 individuals killed by the Oso landslide in 2014, the deadliest in U.S. history. The memorial will “commemorate and educate about the lives lost, a community destroyed, the first responders’ and rescuers’ heroic efforts, the grief and resilience of the survivors and the geological event itself.” In 2020, the Guild corralled instructors and volunteers who built memorial portals at either end of the slide area. Three years later, the Guild returned, this time to erect an entry arbor, gathering shelter, reflection pavilion and survivors’ shelter.