Vermont woodworkers display their best
I was beginning to think that every piece of furniture was made in China, sold at Walmart, cost less than $99, and had a “real cherry finish”. It was refreshing then to walk through the Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival this past weekend. Not only was the number of exhibitors higher than last time, but the standard of design and workmanship was excellent.
Three of us – architect John Ostrum, woodworker Phil Lowe, and myself had the task of judging pieces entered in seven categories. The most competitive section was Custom and Studio Furniture with one-off pieces from medium-sized shops competing against one-person, often newly established businesses. After mulling over our notes while we drank the local fresh-pressed cider, we awarded Doug Clarner (www.clarnerwoodworks.com) first prize for his Threadleaf table. Not only was the design attractive, but the mica panels were particularly harmonious with the cherry.
Second prize went to Erin Hanley (www.erinhanley.com) for her pear and rosewood night table. The workmanship was impecable and the veneered top with its woven appearance tied in nicely with the weave on the lower shelf. Hanley only graduated from North Bennett Street School in 2007 so she obviously has a bright future. To see more pieces made in the Green Mountain state visit www.vermontfurniuremakers.com.
Phil Lowe testing a chair entered by Janet Collins
John Ostrum (left) and Phil Lowe check out the pear and rosewood night stand made by Erin Hanley
The cherry and mica panel Threadleaf Table made by Doug Clarner which won first prize in the studio furniture category.