WOODSTOCK—On Sept. 27, 2014, at the 11th annual Vermont Fine Furniture, Woodworking & Forest Festival, the finest wood craftspeople in Vermont exhibited their design entries in the design competition hosted by the Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association (VWMA).
The competition is open only to those pieces that are designed and made in Vermont, by Vermont woodworkers and students. The five professional categories included Custom or Studio Furniture, Production Furniture, Production Woodenware, Custom Woodenware, and Carvings & Sculptures and a student/apprentice category for those enrolled in a woodworking program or apprenticing with a woodworker.
Judges roamed the booths with their clipboards in hand, making notes that would help them decide who would walk away with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards in the various categories presented. Pieces were judged based upon the quality of the craftsmanship and the innovativeness of the design.
The entries were displayed not only for the judges, but to give the public an opportunity to see, first hand, the broad scope of work designed and created by the state’s many wood artisans. The panel of prestigious judges included returning judge Eleanor Shepard, an interior designer & owner of Shepard Interior Selections, and Peter Brough, owner of Peter Brough, Inc., in East Calais, who has been building high quality, custom furniture and architectural woodwork for over 35 years.
First Place prizes were awarded in each of the categories to the following professional woodworkers: Custom/Studio Furniture was awarded to Brent Karner of ClearLake Furniture in
Ludlow, Vt., for Rio de Fuego; Production Furniture went to Tim Clark of Timothy Clark, Cabinetmaker & Chairwright in Waltham, Vt., for his Waltham Rocker; Custom Woodenware went to Russ Fellows of Skunk Hollow Studios in Jericho, Vt., for his Wave Board; Production Woodenware was awarded to Maple Landmark Woodcraft in Middlebury, Vt., for their Rolling Shape Sorter; Carving & Sculpture went to Russ Fellows of Skunk Hollow Studios in Jericho, Vt., for Vermont: Embracing Diversity; and Student-Apprentice was awarded to Jesse Fox from the Vermont Woodworking School located in Fairfax, Vt., for his chair, Graf.
Judge Peter Brough stated, “I found the show to be varied in content, impressive in the quality of execution and design, and, as a woodworker, inspiring. I thought the level of craft was very high, and there were several instances of imaginative uses of materials. As an aging furniture maker, I was excited to see a strong presence of young woodworkers bringing fresh eyes and ideas to the trade. I found the show to very worthwhile and rewarding on many levels.”
Many thanks for the first place prizes donated and sponsored by Alderfer Lumber, Amoskeag Woodworking & Morse Hardwoods, Fine Woodworking Magazine, General Finishes, Gagnon Lumber, Duluth Trading Company, Ball & Ball, and Super Thin Saws.
Congratulations to everyone who entered the competition. A complete list of winners in all categories can be found at www.vermontwooddesigns.org, under 2014 Winners.
The VWMA’s mission is to support the wood products manufacturing industry in Vermont and promote its long-term viability by expanding members’ presence in the marketplace, ensuring a sustainable supply of raw materials, increasing workforce skill and acting as responsible employers and community members.