ony Hayden was making a good living as a construction contractor, but he dreamed of making fine furniture. He had to face a decision: "I could struggle along as a woodworking novice or quit my job to leam the fine techniques of furniture making at a proper school."
This bent-laminated side chair leaves little doubt which path he chose. Using mostly liand tools, he made the chair over a five-month period at the North Bennct Street School in Boston, before graduating in July 1993.
The chair's elegant appearance belies its complexity. The side pieces arc 13 laminations of '/i<rin.-thick rift-cut maple, and the crest rail is hand carved from quarter-sawn 16/4 maple so the flcckcd grain follows the shape. Altogether, the laminations required seven forms.
The joiner>' (including the chair's 52 mortise-and-tenon joints) occurs along angled and curved lines. The seat rail, comcr blocks and crest rail are veneered with English curly sycamore and shaded with hot sand to give a three-dimensional effect. Every edge has /ib-in. by '/Win. pur-fling formed from dyed afrormosia veneer.
Bent-laminated Side Chair By Tony Hayden Boston, Massachusetts
First Prize, Professional
Newport Block/rout Chest of Drawers By John W Goff San Diego, California
John Goff was a cool and die maker back in 1980 when he dccidcd to take a few woodworking classes. "Right from the start w(xxlworking came easy to me and I felt as though I d found my gift," he says. So he embraced the craft and honed his skills by reading books and magazines, visiting museums and talking to professional woodworkers, who generously shared their knowledge.
Today, Goff is a pro himself, making picccs on commission, like this (ioddard-Townsend, Newport-style, three-shell blockfront chest. Goff used 1 lawaiian koa wood for the chest. The wood's color and figure are a major departure from the muted tones traditionally seen on such a piece, but Goff argues that the old Newport craftsmen "used whatever beautiful w<xxl they could, and would have used koa wood if it had been available." The drawer sides and interior parts are tulip poplar. The chest took about 250 hours to build and features hand-cut dovetails on the ease and drawers.
A self-taught instrument maker, Mac Barnes was inspired to make violins by his love of country music and "the challenge of putting simple materials together to produce a great sound." Barnes has made 31 violins and prefers to give most of them to country musicians. (The Grand Old Opry presented one of his violins to country star Roy Acuff.)
This violin took about 300 hours to complete. The body Is a Stradivarius style, but the carved head and inlayed scene were copied from a French-made "I)uiffoprugcar"-style violin from the 1840s that Is now owned by country musician Ricky Scaggs. The top is European spruce; the back, sides and neck arc European curly maple and die fingerboard is ebony. Barnes used veneers of holly, olive, walnut, mahogany, zebra and dyed pear wcxxl for the marquetry on the back.
First Prize, Amateur
"Dniffopriigcar" Violin By Mac H. Barnes III Dale City, Virginia
he used them to make simple tools and wooden toys.
Chan, who now builds custom furniture and cabinets in the U.S., regu
Second Prize, Professional
Custom Knife and Display Stand By Yeiing Chan Millbrae, California
Knifcmaking is practically a personal tradition for Yeung Chan, who started crafting knives as a young boy in China, where he used them to make simple tools and wooden toys.
Chan, who now builds custom furniture and cabinets in the U.S., regu larly makes knives for carving, marking, and scraping chores in his workshop. But he decided to challenge himself by making this special 5-in.-long knife, which has a bird's-eye-maple handle and blade cover, and a curly-maple display stand. His motivation: "I never get tired of making beautiful things for people to enjoy seeing and using."
For the blade, Chan used an old industrial hacksaw blade that he ground to shape and polished by hand. The brass ferrules, which he shaped with a file, arc dovetailed and epoxied into the handle and blade cover.
While Craig Stevens was attending the College of the Redwoods in California, James Krenov, the school's reknowned instructor, told him that "By working in wood, you'll discover your own voice." Now graduated and making fine furniture, Stevens is proving the truth behind Krenov's words.
This cabinet is made of Norway maple veneered over bending plywood, with white oak legs and rails. 'Ilic marquetry scene was inspired by the winter view from Stevens' kitchen window, where black-capped chickadees perch in a hawthorn tree.
The chest features curved panels made with hand-sawn veneers and bent-laminated rails, and there's not a single 90° joint in the whole piece.
Second Prize, Student
Chickadee-Walkabout" Cabinet By Craig Vandal Stevens Sun bury, Ohio a
a ed. I d rather work from the ideas in my head, with no rules to follow."
Ramsey made this intricate 24-in.-long fire truck over a period of lx/i months, working about eight hours a day in his modest shop. He uses common tools like files, tweezers and nail dippers, as well as a small drill press and handsaw. He chooses woods like cedar, poplar and mahogany for their color. The detailed construction features full dashboard instruments, glass rear-view mirror and brass handrails.
A self-taught woodworker, Joseph Ramsey has always leaned toward making models instead of furniture. It might have something to do with his fond memory of a hand-carved German beer wagon his father brought home when Ramsey was four years old.
-I'll work from a picture in a book to get ideas," says Ramsey. He scales the models by eye. based on the size his materials because, he says, 'When I start worrying about measuring for scale, it gets regiment
Second Prize, Amateur
Fire Engine Model By Josej)h W. Ramsey Ormond Beach, Florida
While studying architecture at Rhode Island School of Design 30 yean» ago, Robert March took some woodworking classes and got hooked. "In woodworking, you a project in a couple of a tangible result, unlike architecture, says March. Today, he runs a woodworking shop that turns out "a little bit of everything" and lie also teaches woodworking.
Bird's-eye-maple Bench By Robert March Princeton, Massachusetts
March made two of these 72-in.-long benches on commission, then decided to make a third one for himself because "I liked the strong design with its Arts and Crafts influence." The bird's-eye-maple bench, which took 200 hours to make, is mostly constructed with mortise-and-tenon joinery. The back splats are bent laminations and the ebony inlays fit in template-routed recesses.
After two years of engineering school, Kevin Riley realized he felt a stronger calling from a fascination with the colors and textures of wood. So he switched to the woodworking program at the Heron School of Art in Indianapolis, finishing up with a bachelor of fine arts degree.
Riley made this adjustable music-stand using ebonized walnut, bird's-eye maple, brass and stainless steel. The delicate vertical adjustment shaft
• »>—»*M»«»»WM»M»»H»t»»W»Mf«»M«M>»M»»MM»M«f»*»M«»H«»>»H<tl is made from bird's-eye maple cpox-ied to a ^in.-dia. stainless steel rod, then carefully lathc-turncd until the
maple sheathing was just xAt> in. thick.
Third Prize, Student
Music Stand By Kevin Burke Riley Capitola, California
Third Prize, Amateur
Model Sailing Ship By Benito De Teresa Mexico City Mexico
It took Benito De Teresa 1,500 hours to recreate Christopher Columbus' ship, the Santa Maria, in such painstaking detail. But to him "it was not a chore but a joy."
He cut the mahogany planking for this 53-in.-long operating model with a miniature tablesaw. stained the wood with ink to create an aged look and fastened it to the ship's frame with more than 2,000 hand-cut, tapered bamboo pegs, lie made the brass hardware by hand, and the linen sails were embroidered and painted by his three daughters.
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