Editor’s letter: My pal Nancy Hiller


As I sit right here placing these keys, it’s been a mere 24 hours since I realized my expensive pal Nancy Hiller died. It’s arduous, proper now, to seek out the phrases to pay tribute to her, although given weeks and even months, it wouldn’t be simpler. As phrase of Nancy’s passing spreads, social media has been filled with posts about her. The outpouring of remembrances, anecdotes, love, and phrases of admiration will not be a shock. The sheer quantity of it, although, overwhelms me. I hope it provides Nancy’s household and associates a lot consolation to know the way many individuals she has impacted in such profound methods. I’m additionally grateful and struck by the kindness of our woodworking neighborhood, the real love and help being supplied from so many instructions.

A few of what I say now I’ll borrow from what I wrote in a Misplaced Artwork Press weblog, printed in Could 2022. If you’re studying this, you possible already know of Nancy. For many years she plugged away in a calling the place it’s tough to succeed professionally. She wrote numerous articles exhibiting make attractive items of furnishings, wrote books about designing and woodworking and life, and was a woodworking social media icon. She taught, lectured across the nation, and blogged concerning the realities, joys, trials, and each different side of the woodworking life you possibly can think about.

photograph courtesy of Misplaced Artwork Press

Via her blogs on FineWoodworking.com and on Misplaced Artwork Press, Nancy launched us all to one another. Naturally curious, , and honest, she had a outstanding knack for looking for out the fascinating facets of individuals’s lives and writing eloquently about them, bringing us collectively.

Nancy paved the best way for aspiring woodworkers, authors, girls in woodworking, and designers. However these final three years, along with doing all that, she illuminated a darkish path for anyone who struggles—so, all of us. In the identical robust, decided, and regular means that she moved via her profession, Nancy confronted her pancreatic most cancers prognosis, considering creatively, managing one impediment at a time, studying, instructing and advocating, exuding grace via all of it.

I used to be intimidated by Nancy once I began out as an editor in 2006. I used to be assigned to work along with her on the article “Arts & Crafts Wall Shelf.” It will be my first (principally) solo project, and I’d be touring to Nancy’s store. On the telephone along with her it was clear I used to be out of my mental league and each different league I cared about. She was proficient, educated, and articulate, and he or she might woodwork circles round most different execs. She might write fairly nicely, had ridiculous design abilities, and was clearly going to be on high of her deadlines. I used to be a nervous beginner editor/photographer. Once I arrived for the shoot, Nancy was all I anticipated and extra. She was sort, considerate, very nicely ready, humble, skilled, accommodating, hilarious, and had an ease about her that began issues off on the proper foot. We started an extended path of friendship that has grown steadily deeper since. We made our means via that shoot and article and right this moment, virtually 16 years later, we’ve performed a couple of dozen extra. I usually marvel if I had been paired with a unique creator on that first shoot whether or not I’d have made it previous the primary 12 months in a job with fairly a steep studying curve.

Nancy HillerNancy was recognized for her smile and that improbable snicker of hers, and it was my pleasure to seize each each time we labored collectively! She was by no means stingy with both, even within the midst of doing the arduous work of staying alive. My coronary heart is heavy with the loss, however I’m honored to have had Nancy Hiller in my life. I’ll at all times love and be in awe of her.

I’m going to exit on a limb that muddles the strains between science, the magical, and faith. I don’t declare to know what occurs subsequent. I do know that vitality might be neither created nor destroyed—solely reworked. Wherever Nancy’s limitless vitality is, I hope she is feeling all of the love pouring towards her.

—Anissa Kapsales, senior editor

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