FWW award goes to young San Diego woodworker

comments (0) June 14th, 2013 in blogs

AsaC Asa Christiana, Special Projects Editor, Fine Woodworking magazine
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I gave the special FWW award to up-and-coming woodworker Tyler Stokes, for his elegantly simple cherry jewelry cabinet. The award comes with cash, the full archive of FWW issues, and more.
The young El Cajon woodworker already knows the secret: simple things, done well.
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Boris Khechoyans Unfinished Table will definitely be the peoples choice, with a carved top you would swear is draped fabric, and lots of other surprises.
The Anaheim woodworker must be a fan of classic literature.
A spider hides below. I wonder how many fair-goers will find it?
The turnings at this show are amazing, too. Escondidos Philip Stivers made this hollow vessel from beautiful burly oak. Reminds me of a dark, windy forest.
San Diegos own Sean Canning manufactured his DIY table on a CNC. It doesnt try to hide its industrial pedigree.
FWW frequent contributor Craig Thibodeau made this audience-pleaser, a trompe-loiel game table, with hidden compartments and features galore.
I gave the special FWW award to up-and-coming woodworker Tyler Stokes, for his elegantly simple cherry jewelry cabinet. The award comes with cash, the full archive of FWW issues, and more. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

I gave the special FWW award to up-and-coming woodworker Tyler Stokes, for his elegantly simple cherry jewelry cabinet. The award comes with cash, the full archive of FWW issues, and more.

Photo: Asa Christiana

The annual Design in Wood show, on display for a full month each year at the San Diego County Fair, in Del Mar, is the biggest of its kind in North America, hosted by one of the biggest county fairs in the land and seen by one million fair-goers.

Put on largely by the big local guild, the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association, Design in Wood boasts a beautiful display hall and features hundreds of top-notch pieces by hobbyists and pros alike. Local turning, carving, and scrolling clubs join in, rounding out a jaw-dropping display. Volunteers work tirelessly to put on the show, and conduct live woodworking demos every day, working in an adhoc chair shop in the back of the hall, making lovely little chairs for a children's charity.

The show has drawn pieces from as far as Europe, and most of them actually sell at the show. Local pro and FWW contributor Craig Thibodeau says that his exhibit pieces have led to many referrals, even if the actual piece at the show didn't happen to sell that year.

This year's Design in Wood show is bigger than ever, and I walked away as inspired as always, ready to get back out in the shop, and secretly wishing I lived nearby. I don't always agree with the state-appointed judges picks, so this blog is my revenge. Most of my faves are here, as well as the piece I picked for our special FWW award.

The award comes with some cash and the complete FWW archive, and this year I gave it to Tyler Stokes, who I heard was relatively new to the craft. I was torn between a couple of pieces, so I asked the show organizers who would make the best use of the award.

Stokes' entry was an elegantly simple jewelry box in cherry. After getting the news, he emailed me to say: "I've only been woodworking for about two years now and I tend to build a bit more on the conservative side so I was surprised to have my work be recognized in such a great way. Receiving the award was amazing, I have a great deal of new information to take in now and my bank account was very happy."

Look for more of the San Diego pieces in an upcoming issue of FWW. And if you are in SoCal this summer, the show runs through July 4 at the Del Mar fairgrounds. It comes with turkey legs, live bands, and roller coasters.


posted in: blogs, show, san diego, Del Mar, San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association, SDFWA


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