LAS VEGAS - Candice Groenke, a student at College of the Redwoods, Fort Bragg, Calif., won the Best of Show Award in the 2011 AWFS Fresh Wood Competition after judges reviewed the projects of 41 finalists from 50 different high schools and colleges at AWFS®Fair in Las Vegas.

The biennial event, held as part of AWFS®Fair, attracted 137 entries from 50 different schools in the United States and Canada in 2011.

Twenty-nine students went home with monetary prizes ranging from $250 to $1,000 as well as Rikon Power Tools.

Groenke was awarded a coveted wood sculpture designed by the late renowned wood artist Sam Maloof, for her Katana Bench. She received $1000 and College of the Redwoods received the $1,500 Larry Hilchie School Grant Award for Woodworking, and a Plus Rikon 14” Bandsaw. Groenke also received First Place in the Chairs category of the competition, which included another $1,000 prize and a Certificate of Merit.

A Bravo To Teachers award, sponsored by Rikon Power Tools, was awarded to a teacher in each level of competition. Instructor Keith Yow, Cedar Ridge High School, Hillsborough, N.C., received a Rikon 15” Planer. Instructor Robert Studdard, Rolla Technical Institute, Rolla, MO, was awarded a Rikon 10” Contractors Saw. Both teachers had multiple student finalists.

Several teachers had multiple student finalists: Kip Christensen, Brigham Young University; Kern Maass, Appalachian State University; David Welter, College of Redwoods; and Keith Yow, Cedar Ridge High School.

Fair attendees awarded the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by CustomMade.com, and a $500 prize to Adam Kessler from Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY, for his Table for Dali.

First Place winners in each furniture category received a $1,000 prize, Second Place winners received $500 and Honorable Mention winners received $250. AWFS covers shipping and the majority of travel and hotel costs to bring the students and their teachers to Las Vegas.

Judges ranged from representatives from the Furniture Society and the Sustainable Furnishings Council to internationally renowned furniture makers and the owner of a popular woodworking website, providing a variety of perspectives to the judging process.


High School Level First Place Winners

Case Goods: Elias Schultz, Cedar Ridge High School, Bombecious
Tables: Greg Moore, Appleton City High School, Paduak and Ash Table Tennis Table with Paddles
Chairs: Brett Stickler, Rolla Technical Institute, Ebony & Ivory
Open: Parker Brimhall, Brighton High School, Elk Guitar
Reproduction: Christopher Gagnon, Sultana High School, Love Rocker

Post-Secondary Level First Place Winners

Case Goods: Bonner Armbruster, College of the Redwoods, Miss Peaches
Tables: Lance Smith, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Anne Boleyn’s Writing Desk
Chairs: Candice Groenke, College of the Redwoods, Katana Bench
· Open: Joshua Carson, Miami University, Evolving Shelf
· Reproduction: Collin Barker, Brigham Young University, Comb Back Windsor Chair
· Production/Contract: Benjamin Scarborough, Danville Community College/Southern Virginia Higher Education, Dead Ben Drums

High School Level Second Place Winners
· Case Goods: Tyler Spierdowis, Cedar Ridge High School, Atlantic Breakfront
· Tables: Michael Heyen, Dale Jackson Career Center, Cherry Extract
· Open: Bremely Karthigesu, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, Unfurling Buds
· Reproduction: Sam Steinberger, Lincoln East High School, Kabuto Chairs

Post-Secondary Level Second Place Winners
Case Goods: Tim McGuire, College of the Redwoods, The Milkyway Sideboard
Tables: Adam Kessler, Buffalo State College, Table for Dali
Open: Robert Palmer, Burlington College, Smokin’ Sycamore & The Doom
Reproduction: Jacob Maxfield, Brigham Young University, Ulm Stool Design
Production/Contract: David Moon Kim, Art Center College of Design, Skue

High School Level Honorary Mention Winners
· Chairs: Daryl Bartczak, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, All Things Elegant
Tables: Chris Boylan, Dakota High School, Lost in the Hand
Cole Leesnitzer, Cedar Ridge High School, Bent on Walnut
Open: Bryan Eyerly, Ontario High School, Big B
Reproduction: Trevin Roberson, Lincoln Southeast High School, Devine Recline
Production/Contract: Jacob McGinness, Shiloh High School, Computer Chair

Post-secondary Level Honorary Mention Winners
Case Goods: Francis “Mickey” McCann, College of the Redwoods Fine Furniture Program, Percival the Red Knightstand
Chairs: Austin Richards, Appalachian State University, Eleanor
Reproduction: Michael Broomell, Palomar College, Conoid Chair