ANAHEIM, CA – Beginning in 2015, the Best of Show trophy for the Fresh Wood student woodworking competition will be created by a different woodworking craftsperson, involving and recognizing the outstanding makers in the field. An award cherished by student recipients, the trophy was created in 2003 by legendary woodworker Sam Maloof, featuring a sculpture of his iconic rocking chair arm.
“We are grateful to Sam Maloof and Sam Maloof Woodworker Inc. for their long-standing support of Fresh Wood and it has been an honor to associate Sam’s name with Fresh Wood”, says Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS®) Assistant Education Director Adria Torrez. “This new approach to the Fresh Wood Best of Show trophy will now highlight other woodworkers and give the Best of Show recipient a truly one-of-a-kind and memorable piece to recognize his or her achievement.”
Maker and marquetry expert Paul Schürch, who is designing the first of this rotating award will unveil his interpretation of the award at the Awards Ceremony on Friday, July 24 at the AWFS®Fair Stage. “I am honored to be the first chosen for this opportunity”, says Schürch. “I have a long history with AWFS® and Fresh Wood, including serving as a judge in 2007 and I am happy to see this student competition continue to thrive.” Plans are still underway to determine the 2017 featured artist, who will be announced at the 2015 AWFS®Fair.
Student Competitions Receive Over 200 Entries; Highest Number since 2007 for Fresh Wood
The Fresh Wood entry deadline on May 1 brought 169 entries, the most AWFS® has received since the record-holding year of 2007. The entries came from a total of 44 schools across the U.S. and Canada, eight of which were new to the competition. “This is a great sign that correlates with other positive indicators of growth for the AWFS®Fair”, says AWFS® Executive Vice President Angelo Gangone, “we are happy to see that Fresh Wood is becoming a recognized and desirable competition among high school and post secondary woodworking and design programs.”
Meanwhile, the inaugural Turning to the Future student woodturning competition, hosted by the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) received forty entries from twenty-nine students in 12 schools across the U.S. and Canada. The entries were equally divided between high school and post secondary students.
Panels of industry judges now have the challenging task of selecting the top-scoring finalists from the collection of impressive, creative entries including unique tables and beds, reproduction rocking chairs, musical instruments and turned pieces. The finalists will be on display and the winners will be announced at the AWFS®Fair, July 22-25 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fresh Wood entries are separated into six different categories: Case Goods, Seating, Tables, Design for Production, Open, and Musical Instruments. For the 2015 Fresh Wood competition, the most
Tables, with 16 entries, and AWFS received 39 Post Secondary Seating entries, the highest for that school level. Entries from the high school level and the post-secondary level are scored separately in both competitions.
Fresh Wood judges include a professional guitar maker and musician, custom and production furniture makers and an architectural millworker which lend a variety of perspectives to the judging process. They are:
• Bob Barone, PDS Spindles Inc., Bessemer City, NC
• Martin Goebel, Goebel & Co Furniture, St. Louis, MO
• Daniel Hellman, Hellman-Chang, New York City, NY
• Saúl Martín, Architectural Woodworking Company, Los Angeles, CA
• Richard A Schroeder, Stanley Furniture, High Point, NC
• Davide Tonizzo, Design D, Toronto, ON
The Turning to the Future judge panel include critically acclaimed artist Binh Pho, whose work in wood and glass includes painting and a unique exploration of positive and negative space. His work is exhibited internationally and in the permanent collection of numerous museums.
Judges review entries based on the design innovation and quality of presentation, the use of materials, methods and processes, the functionality and achievement of design intent and craftsmanship and quality.
AWFS®Fair exhibitor Rikon Tools returns as the sponsor for the Best of Show award, the student recipient receives a $1,000 cash prize and the new Best of Show trophy designed by Paul Schürch. The People’s Choice Award, sponsored by exhibitor Wagner Meters, is selected by AWFS®Fair attendees and carries a $500 prize. In addition to Best of Show and People’s Choice, prizes are awarded in each category and at each school level for First Place ($1,000), Second Place ($500), and Honorable Mention ($250).
Both student competitions are free enter, and AWFS® covers costs to ship the Fresh Wood entries to and from AWFS®Fair, as well as to bring the finalists and their teachers to Las Vegas. A goal of the contests is to encourage students to pursue further education and careers in woodworking, woodturning and manufacturing as the industry faces shortages of skilled workers.
The full-scale international AWFS®Fair, scheduled for Wednesday - Saturday, July 22-25, 2015 in Las Vegas, has become a critical hub for international commerce in the woodworking industry. The AWFS®Fair brings together the entire home and commercial furnishings industry, including manufacturers and distributors of machinery, hardware, plastics, lumber, construction materials and other suppliers to the furniture, cabinet manufacturers and custom woodworkers. For more information on the AWFS®Fair, please visit: AWFSFair.org.
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