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Jim Morgans Wood Profits

Wood Profits by Jim Morgan

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First Prize "Ambo" Lectern Randall Rosenthal East Hampton, NY

Randy Rosenthal's workshop is just a few minutes' walk from the ocean on the eastern him." Inspired by the master, Condran made curved-bottomed planes to shape the concavc and convex door and side panels. He even designed and built a foot-powered scrollsaw to cut the delicate flower marquetry.

tip of Long Island, NY. His intricately carved lectern faces another ocean, serving as a centerpiece in Seattle's recently restored St. James Cathedral.

Rosenthal began his artistic career wielding brushes rather than chisels and gouges. His

Since graduation last May, Condran has already rented spacc inside a local woodworking shop. "1 hope to design and execute my own ideas, then find people who can afford them and, hopefully, appreciate them."

water and wave paintings have been exhibited in the U.S. and overseas. But he was coaxed into woodworking by noted architect Norman Jaffe, who needed some sculptural friezes for a multimillion-dollar house he was designing.

Rosenthal prefers to creatc a sculpture from a single block of wood, doing most of the work with a varied assortment of flexible-shaft tools, bits and abrasive discs. "The sawdust really flies when I'm in the middle of a project," he says. "People who catch me in the act are usually shocked."

To create this lectern, the 49-year-old craftsman glued up 2-in.-thick slabs of mahogany to form the rough shape of the piecc. The carving work was done directly on the face of the lectern, allowing Rosenthal to carve a highly relieved pastoral scene that seems to spill from its borders.

Second Prize Sheraton Sideboard Nik Meller Los Angeles, CA

When it comes to studying woodworking, Nikolaus Meller might argue that you can't get too much of a good thing. Before enrolling in the two-year woodworking program at Boston's North Bcnnct Street School, Meller completed a rigorous three-year apprenticeship in Munich, Germany.

The son of German parents who lived in New York City for most of his childhood, Meller returned to Germany to take advantage of the government-run apprenticeship program there. "It's a very traditional education that integrates academic study with woodworking skills and business exposure," he explains.

Second Prize "Library Table of Sciences" Paul Schurch Santa Barbara, CA

Paul Schurch underwent three formal woodworking apprenticeships in three countries— Switzerland, England and Italy—before finally settling in California to pursue his furniture-making specialty: marquetry. "In marquetry, you need to make very precise cuts to fit all the pieces together," he notes. "Otherwise, you get gaps." As the son of a Swiss engineer, it's no surprise that his furniture reflects the precision of a well-crafted timepiece.

The winning table was commissioned by a longstanding client with a passion for astronomy and scientific instruments. To oblige, Schurch inlaid images from

holly stringing in the legs, and he hand-planed the individual fan sections to fit.

Motsis says this project has taught him a greater appreciation of inlay work, which consumed almost 80% of the total construction time. But the experience was worth it. "It's like leaving your mark on the world; it's a very spiritual thing."

"I chose to build the sideboard as my final student project at the Bennet Street School because its details reminded me of the Biedermeier pieces I worked on in Europe," says Mellcr. %4I also wanted the challenge of making coopered doors and turned, reeded legs."

Mcllcr's sideboard has door and drawer fronts made with bookmatchcd walnut crotch veneer. The walnut veneer is framed with inlaid holly stringing and herringbone mahogany vcnccr; the three ivory keyhole escutcheons were carved from broken piano keys.

Third Prize Federal Sideboard John Motsis Boston, MA

Ever since his first high-school woodshop class thrce-and-a-half years ago, John Motsis has been planning for a future as a furniture maker. Now in his second year at North Bcnnct Street School in Boston, he says he realizes that the learning process will take a lifetime.

Motsis made this elegant hall table of mahogany—with inlays of bubinga, holly, fid-dlcback mahogany and dyed black veneer. The design is based loosely on Federal-period motifs (ca. 1800), including square-section, tapering legs and handmade inlay bandings. Motsis used hand tools to shape and inlay the dclicatc bcllflowers and

glass tubes filled with colored liquid. Both ends are attached with rare-earth magnets, making them easy to disassemble for cleaning.

Beall's biggest challenge was developing a prccisc way to join the curly maple and brass parts so they'd look great and operate smoothly while also accounting for wood movement. As he explains, "It's a task that required all my technical experience to pull off."

the cosmos, as well as geometric symbols for earth, air, water and fire.

Using medium-density fiberboard as the core material, Schiirch veneered almost every square inch of the table, gluing three layers of cross-banded vcnccr to the corc to keep the delicate marquetry panels stable. He selected matched sheets of white ash root and walnut for the predominant veneers, then inlaid dots of silver, brass and pewter. More dots were added from sapphire, opal, tiger's eye and marble.

The marquetry on the top of the table features a 72-sided polyhedron made from more than 180 picccs of veneer. The geometric image is startlingly realistic. ' Rendering into three dimensions is the most exciting aspect of the work I do," he explains.

Third Prize Kaleidoscope Jerry Beall Newark, OH

After years of making wooden stringed instruments and clocks for a living, Jerry Beall decided to try making "world-class" kaleidoscopes. Initially conccived as a profit-making venture, the kaleidoscope's complex construction and aesthetic beauty inspired Beall: "I wanted to push the envelope," he confesses.

T he pri/.ewinning scope is the second in a series of eight. All the wood, brass and internal glass parts and optics were custom designed and fabricated by Beall—right down to the knurled screws and nuts. The scope's end is mounted on ball bearings for smooth operation. Inside, there are pieces of colored glass, semiprecious stones and small

Simple and strong.

A mark of good craftsmanship, the tapered sliding dovetail is a time-honored joint that's both strong and beautiful.

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