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I’m in Las Vegas right now at the AWFS show (Association of Woodworking and Furnishing Suppliers). As a furniture guy, I gravitate toward the Fresh Wood competition held every other year at AWFS. Students of woodworking from colleges, universities and high schools transport pieces to the show for display and judging. As always, I’m impressed with the talent.

The piece that really caught my eye was built by Timothy Keating, from Cedar Ridge High School. Keating’s entry is called “Wandering Roses.” The table is made up of more than 700 pieces of inlay and has six roses intertwined with vines, all set in a tiger maple edge banding on a round table top. (The table has its leaf installed while on display at the show.) Each rose is made up of 75 sand-shaded pieces and the base of the table simulates roots (you can just see the table base in the photo).

Another piece that I found myself staring at was built by Jonathan Cox, a student at Brigham Young University. His low table design is titles “Split Personality”; the piece has a granadillo top with a carved natural edge. The tabletop is cantilevered and attached to the pedestal with a pinned double bridle joint.

I’m especially impressed with high schools that maintain woodworking programs , thank you for allowing America’s youth to continue a craft that we all want to see flourish. This year’s competition had, if I counted correctly, 20 high school entries and 30 entries from colleges and universities. The majority of the entries would be considered contemporary, but there were a couple antique reproductions.

– Glen D. Huey

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