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John Hunter, from Haywood Community College (N.C.), made one of my favorite pieces in the show. He credited the work of Hans Wegner, and you can definitely see the influence.
Beautiful and creative furniture from the top design colleges and best high-school programs in the U.S. once again drew a steady stream of browsers. Most showgoers work in a factory or production environment, and I could tell from their whispered comments as they walked around the DesignEmphasis 2010 exhibit that they were happy to see the kind of work that probably drew them into the industry in the first place.
The student furniture was inspiring. Knowing that the woodworking audience is greying by the minute, it is always good to see young people catching the bug and doing such great work so quickly.
One student who stood out was Melissa Engler from Haywood Community College in North Carolina. Her “Swallowtail Writing Desk” took top honors in Accent Furniture/Tables, and her room screen and chair were finalists in other categories. Haywood instructor Brian Wurst must be a talented teacher, because his students’ work dominated the show. To see some of it, and a few other of my favorite pieces, click on the pics.
Read about other great tool finds at IWF 2010
Melissa Engler's Swallowtail Writing Desk took first prize in the accent furniture/table category. She's another Haywood student.
Engler's Skyline room screen was another of my favorites. I like the carved texturing, and the city theme.
But I think I liked Engler's understated birch chair the best.
Students like Molly Miller, from college-level design programs, create prototypes for stylish contemporary production furniture. This coffee table is a great example. Miller attends Miami University in Ohio.
I love the drawer pulls on this nightstand/endtable, by Ben Clement of BYU.
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Red F also took home an award at IWF!
Haywood Community College’s professional crafts program is one of the best! (Okay, I admit to being a tad partial!)
Besides excellent instructors, the program is demanding, classes are small and it is very affordable! Many schools teach the basics of design and technique, but HCC was one of the first to teach the whole range of skills needed to succeed. Right after graduation, I opened my own studio and started selling work. And I wasn't saddled with a big student loan.
Beside woodworking and design, students learn art history, machine maintenance, marketing, studio planning, finishing, drafting (and now some CAD), bookkeeping and write a business plan.
I personally can’t understand why everyone doesn’t come here.
When we move into our new state-of-the-art Creative Arts Building, stand back. Here we come!
The work that comes out of Haywood Community College is always disproportionate to the recognition that the school receives. Schools such as Rochester and Savannah get a lot of recognition and publicity, but Haywood always holds it's own in competitions.
To be fair, I am a HCC graduate from 2004. I never understood why the school didn't seem to be well known in the woodworking world. It didn't make sense to me that the wellspring of numerous Niche and IWF winners was so relatively unknown. In my class alone we had 3 graduates, that took home 4 awards from IWF, one receiving "Best in Show". The next year one of the students accidentally entered the professional instead of student catagory for the Niche award and subsequently won.
The quality of instruction at HCC is excellent. First under Wayne Rabb and now under his former student Brian Wurst. It doesn't suprise me in the least that one of his students would take home 2 first place awards.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to suggest that the teaching alone is what won the Design Emphasis awards. Melissa Engler obviously has an eye for design. But channeling her innate ability through Brian Wurst's teachings has taken her work to a very impressive level.
I just hope that Haywood Community College and it's instructors (past and present) get the recognition they deserve.
PS. Asa, thank you for doing posts on this year's IWF, and especially for including the student design competition. I also appreciate seeing my alma mater recognized. Thanks again.
Carl Swensson's woodworking skills go very, very deep. But they go wide as well.
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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