In its 17th year, the entrants in this year’s Design Portfolio Awards competition have once again impressed and amazed the judges with their complex designs and expert craftsmanship. All the projects were beautiful, and it was a tough call for the judges to choose winners. But in the end they awarded the coveted top honors to six companies and Honorable Mention awards to 18 companies. The top six winning entries are:

Architectural Millwork Category and Overall Winner: Burger Boat Co., Manitowoc, WI, for “Sycara IV Yacht.”

Kitchen/Bath Cabinets: M.A. Johnston Construction, Wellington, FL, for “New Old World Metal Job.”

Residential Furniture, Built-In: Culin & Colella Inc., Mamaroneck, NY, for “Entertainment Center.”

Residential Furniture, Freestanding: Kinloch Woodworking, Unionville, PA, for “18th Century Desk.”

Specialty Products: Tortorelli Creations, Colton, CA, for “Crucifix.”

Commercial/Institutional: Mielach Woodwork, Edison, NJ, for “Library Reception Desk, Bookcases and Plinth.”

CWB congratulates all the winners for their originality in design and excellence in craftsmanship. Full coverage is on the following pages of this special section.

Click below to enter the 2011 contest.

Thanks to the Judges

2010 judges were: first row from left to right: Tom Gleason and Dennis Bork; second row from left to right: Jerry Finch, Scott DeGenova and Robert Kleeman.

The Design Portfolio Awards competition saw a number of outstanding entries, making the job of picking the final winners a tough — and time-consuming — challenge. CWB expresses its deep gratitude to this year’s judges, who spent the better part of a day reading entry forms, viewing accompanying images and discussing the merits of the projects submitted. We congratulate and thank them for their hard work and thoughtful consideration of all the entries. This year’s panel included:

  • Gerald Finch, who recently retired as an instructor at Fox Valley Technical College in Oshkosh, WI, which offers a one-year vocational diploma designed to prepare graduates to be shop-level woodworkers. He developed the department’s curriculum and served as its head for 25 years. He was selected as the Woodworking Machinery Industry Assn.’s 1996 “Educator of the Year” and has served on the WoodLINKS-USA Board. He currently is doing woodworking education and training services as a consultant and is on the board of the Woodwork Career Alliance, which is developing National Skill Standards for the woodworking industry.
  • Tom Gleason is the founder of Gleason Woodwork in Chicago. The firm specializes in ultra high-end custom cabinets and architectural millwork. He is a past president of the Chicago chapter of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) and active in AWI at the national level. Gleason also is an active supporter of the Fabretto Children’s Foundation, assisting with a carpentry program in Cusmapa, Nicaragua, that produces furniture for the local market and small household decorative items for sale in the United States. He was named Fabretto’s Volunteer of the Year for 2007.
  • Scott DeGenova is the General Manager at Wampach Woodwork Inc. in South Elgin, IL. Wampach produces custom cabinetry, countertops and other architectural millwork for business and residential buildings. He is a past president of the Chicago chapter of the Architectural Woodwork Institute.
  • Robert Kleeman has been a full-time woodworker since 1975, beginning as an apprentice in a violin shop, before moving on to furniture conservation and historic reproductions in 1986. He is currently employed at Payne Street Imports in Skokie, IL.
  • Dennis Bork specializes in late 17th, 18th and early 19th century furniture using traditional methods — traditional tools are used whether they are old or reproductions. Bork’s father was a wood patternmaker so woodworking was an early interest. He attended UW-Milwaukee, received a degree in physics and worked for three years in research. Bork also completed a five-year apprenticeship as a wood patternmaker and has worked in the trade for 12 years. Special thanks also go to Jerry Finch and Mark Lorge at Fox Valley Tech for providing the beautiful butternut plaques for the top winners this year.


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