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AWFS announces new look for Fresh Wood trophy

Beginning this year, the Best of Show trophy for the Fresh Wood student woodworking competition will be created by a different woodworking craftsperson, involving and recognizing the outstanding makers in the field.

An award cherished by student recipients, the trophy was created in 2003 by legendary woodworker Sam Maloof, featuring a sculpture of his iconic rocking chair arm.

“We are grateful to Sam Maloof and Sam Maloof Woodworker Inc. for their long-standing support of Fresh Wood and it has been an honor to associate Sam’s name with Fresh Wood,” AWFS assistant education director Adria Torrez said in a statement. “This new approach to the Fresh Wood Best of Show trophy will now highlight other woodworkers and give the Best of Show recipient a truly one-of-a-kind and memorable piece to recognize his or her achievement.”

Maker and marquetry expert Paul Schürch, who is designing the first of this rotating award, will unveil his interpretation at a July 24 ceremony during the fair. “I am honored to be the first chosen for this opportunity,” Schürch says. “I have a long history with AWFS and Fresh Wood, including serving as a judge in 2007 and I am happy to see this student competition continue to thrive.”

There are 169 entries for this year’s competition, the most since 2007, from 44 schools across the U.S. and Canada.

“This is a great sign that correlates with other positive indicators of growth for the AWFS Fair,” AWFS executive vice president Angelo Gangone said. “We are happy to see that Fresh Wood is becoming a recognized and desirable competition among high school and post secondary woodworking and design programs.”

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