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Fresh Wood’s Best of Show winner about to set sail

Nicholas Maraldo’s “Nautical Marquetry Table”.

Nicholas Maraldo’s “Nautical Marquetry Table”.

Nicholas Maraldo, a student at the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts in Beverly, Mass., won the Best of Show award at the AWFS Fresh Wood competition.

Open to high school and post-secondary woodworking students in North America, the Fresh Wood exhibit featured 42 finalists from 25 schools competing in six categories: Case Goods, Seating, Tables, Design for Production, and Sports & Games.

Maraldo’s prize haul included a sculpture made by Judson Beaumont and a software package from KCD.

“The Fresh Wood student sompetition at the AWFS Fair was a memorable event,” says Maraldo. “It’s hard to conceive that many of the fine pieces in the show were constructed by high school students; I certainly wasn’t producing work of such exceptional quality at that age. It’s encouraging to think that these are the fine craftsmen of our future.

“Considering the exceptional quality among the finalist pieces, winning Best of Show was both a surprise and an honor. I am humbled to receive such positive feedback on my work from the judges, the students, and the show participants. My table represents seven months of planning, learning, and building, with a fair amount of experimentation along the way. Earning the top award provides a great source of encouragement and affirms that I may have the necessary skills to turn my passion into a rewarding career.”

Maraldo, also a teacher at the school founded by Phil Lowe, hopes to make custom furniture full time and pursue his other specialties such as cabinet work, shipwright work, home renovation and repair.

Judges were Beaumont (Straight Line Design), Bob Barone (Precision Drive Spindles/PDS), Scott Grove (Imagine Grove), Wendy Maruyama (Wendy Maruyama Studio) and Jim Wellever (Michigan Career & Technical Institute).

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