LAS VEGAS − Nicholas Maraldo won the Best of Show award in the 2019 AWFS Fresh Wood competition after judges reviewed 42 finalist projects of from 25 different high schools and colleges in the U.S. at the AWFS Fair. Maraldo is a student at Furniture Institute of Beverly, Massachusetts.

Thirty-three Fresh Wood student finalists won monetary prizes ranging from $250 to $1,000, along with trophies and software prizes.

Maraldo was awarded a sculpture made by woodworker and artist Judson Beaumont, a reference to his work The Apple Cabinet, which was unveiled during the award ceremony. He received $1,000 and a KCD Software Package. He also received First Place in the Post Secondary Tables category of the competition, which included another $1,000 prize and a Certificate of Merit. The Best of Show award is sponsored by KCD Software.

Maraldo’s Nautical Marquetry Table was an interpretation of a period piece in the Federal style. The nautical theme recalls Maraldo’s time in the Navy. Maraldo’s project goal was to maximize his learning experience, and he incorporated as many woodworking elements as possible. Woods used included mahogany, eastern white pine, walnut, holly and Gaboon Ebony.

Fair attendees awarded the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Wagner Meters, and a $750 prize to Cole Daniels at Rolla Technical Institute in Rolla, Missouri, for his project Hard Ninety, a shuffleboard with intricate paneling and accenting, which also won Second Place in the 2019 High School Special Theme Category: Sports and Games. Daniels used stock oak and maple, with burled maple veneer for paneling. The playing surface is a butcher block styles.

Cole Daniels at Rolla Technical Institute won the People's Choice Award for his project Hard Ninety.

A new Bravo to Teachers award was given out. Sponsor PantoRouter presented a well-deserving teacher they selected with a PantoRouter tool. The recipient was Joe Davis from Dale Jackson Career Center in Flower Mound, Texas. Davis’s student Kyle Hassett also won First Place in the High School “Sports and Games” Category for his poker table The Big Slick.

Fresh Wood category sponsors for 2019 were Next Wave Automation, Design for Production Category Sponsor; Lignia Wood Co. Ltd, Seating Category Sponsor; and Northwest Hardwoods, Table Category Sponsor.

The Fresh Wood 2019 judging panel, consisting of Bob Barone (Precision Drive Spindles/PDS); Judson Beaumont (Straight Line Design); Scott Grove (Imagine Grove); Wendy Maruyama (Wendy Maruyama Studio) and Jim Wellever (Michigan Career & Technical Institute), provided a variety of perspectives to the judging process.    

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

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