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Newcomers shine at Midwest juried show

The 27th annual Northern Woods Exhibition, sponsored by the Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, was recently held at the Southdale Center in Edina, Minn. The juried show included 67 pieces from 55 professional and amateur makers.

The Best in Show award at the 2010 Northern Woods Show went to Craig Johnson for his "Kwila Sideboard."

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"It was bigger than I expected in terms of the number of entries," says Tony Kubalak, guild spokesman. "I think it was well-received, especially on Saturday when we had a really good turnout based on the number of catalogs we gave out.

"There were more amateur entrants than professionals as opposed to the earlier years when there were more professionals. This year there were a lot of first-time entrants, too. There could have been 20-something first-timers. Some years it appears that being a first-timer is a hurdle to get over, but this year it didn't appear to be."

Craig Johnson won the Best in Show award for his "Kwila Sideboard." Kubalak says it is always difficult to predict the Best in Show winner.

"I'm always surprised. It is hard to understand what appeals to the judges. I don't really have any insight as to why the judges picked it."

Tom Shrunk won the Most Technically Accomplished and Peer awards for his "Offset Radial Table."

Tom Shrunk won the Most Technically Accomplished award and Peer award for his "Offset Radial Table."

"He's done a lot of veneer [pieces] over the years and has been recognized multiple times and not just in this venue," Kubalak says. "He's done work for Steinway Piano and many other [places]. He is very well accomplished and he makes wood kind of dazzle. There is some dramatic stuff in there."

Mark Laub, an annual winner, took home the Best Detail and People's Choice awards for "Abraxas."

"His design was different and he has had this idea for a while to have a couple of ovals come together," says Kubalak. "I have to give him credit for that because my mind doesn't work that way."

Other winners included Richard Helgeson, David Lane, Adam Peterson, Brian Lorentzen, John Walkowiak, Joel Ficke, John Griffin-Wesiner and Tim Gorman.

Mark Laub's oval "Abraxas" won the Best Detail and People's Choice awards.

Kubalak says the guild is looking for ways to increase the size of the show. The guild has approximately 1,100 members.

Boxes on parade

The travelling exhibition, "Boxes and their Makers," has moved to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Mass., through Oct. 27. Future venues include the Mobile Art Museum in Mobile, Ala., and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausaw, Wis.

Participating exhibitors include Bonnie Bishoff and J.M. Syron, Jenna Goldberg, Michael Mode, Emi Ozawa, Tommy Simpson, Jacques Vesery, Andy Buck, Kip Christensen, Jim Christiansen, Michael Cullen, Louise Hibbert, Ray Jones, Kim Kelzer, Bonnie Klein, Po Shun Leong, Tom Loeser, Craig Nutt, Jay and Janet O'Rourke, Jeffrey Seaton, and Phil Weber.

International exhibitors include Andrew Potocnik and Richard Raffan from Australia; Michael Hosaluk and Steven Kennard from Canada; Jean-Christophe Couradin from France; Ulrike Scriba and Hans Weissflog from Germany; Yuji Kubo from Japan; and Robert Ingham and Peter Lloyd from the United Kingdom.


Applications are now being accepted for Craftboston Spring and Craftboston Holiday 2011. There is only one application for both 2011 shows. The deadline to apply is Sept. 14. Applications are available at

Craftboston Spring is scheduled for March 25-27, 2011 at the Seaport Trade Center in Boston, while Craftboston Holiday will be held Dec. 9-11, 2011 at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts.


Craftboston. E-mail:

Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak St., Brockton, MA 02301-1340. Tel: 508-588-6000.

Minnesota Woodworkers Guild.

This article originally appeared in the September 2010 issue.

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