Local woodworkers honored for their crafts

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 4:00pm

ROCKPORT — Eight Maine woodworkers were honored with awards at the opening of “Maine Wood 2020” in Rockport this past Friday.

The exhibition is the seventh in a biennial series presented by the Messler Gallery of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship to showcase the breadth, creativity, and excellence of wood craftsmanship in Maine. It features furniture, carving, marquetry, turning, and sculpture made by 22 Maine artists and artisans, selected from a pool of 76 entries by a distinguished independent jury, according to the Gallery, in a news release.

The “People’s Choice” award (as determined by popular vote among attendees at the opening) was taken home this year by Dennis Curtis, from Augusta, for his Ambrosia Starburst vessel. The award was a cash prize of $300 sponsored by Holt & Bugbee of Tewksbury, MA.

Steve Bartlett, a fine artist from Jefferson, earned “Juror’s Best in Show” for his biomorphic sculpture and received a $300 gift certificate from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks of Warren.

William L. Janelle, from Bridgton, received the “Outstanding Craftsmanship” award for Everyday Glory, a finely carved eagle, with a $300 gift certificate sponsored by Rockler Woodworking and Hardware of South Portland.

Dev Flaherty, from Camden, received the “Best in Furniture” award for his Arches Foyer Table that came with a $300 gift certificate from Woodcraft of Portsmouth, NH.

Heide Martin Design Studio, from Appleton, was honored for “Best Original Design” for its Rectangle Trays with a $300 gift certificate from DMT Diamond Whetstones of Marlborough, MA.

Sayer G. Houseal, from Rockport, was accorded “Best Use of Wood” for his coopered Drinks Cabinet with a $300 gift certificate sponsored by Rare Woods of Mexico, ME.

Malcolm Ray, from Damariscotta, took the honor for “Best Turned Object” with Black Mesa, a vessel inspired by traditional southwestern pottery design, receiving a $300 gift certificate from Packard Woodworks of Tryon, NC.

Scott Stuart, from Arrowsic, was selected “Best New Maker” for his Contemporary Credenza, with a $300 gift certificate from Rugby Architectural Building Products (formerly Maine Coast Lumber).


The show is co-sponsored by three Maine craft organizations: the Maine Craft Association, Maine Woodturners, and the Maine Woodworkers Association. To view the award winning pieces, visit www.woodschool.org/wood-school-gallery/current-exhibitions/61-messler-gallery/exhibitions/1016-maine-wood-2020-sponsors-and-awards.

Jurors for this year’s biennial were Heidi Earnshaw, a furniture maker in Toronto, ON; Tom Huang, a designer/maker and associate professor of design at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS; and Jennifer Shirley, a woodturner/instructor in Plainfield, IN.

For more information on the exhibition, jurors, sponsors, and awards, contact Messler Gallery Manager Victoria Allport at 207-594-5611 or victoria@woodschool.org.