Association of Wood Working & Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS®) is honored to announce the judging panel for the 2021 Fresh Wood competition. This year, 102 entries were received from high school and post-secondary students throughout the US and Canada. Twenty-four projects will be selected for the final round of judging which will take place at the AWFS®Fair in Las Vegas. The students and their instructors whose projects advanced to the final round are invited to attend the AWFS®Fair in person, with a majority of the travel costs covered by AWFS®.


Judging Panel Draws from Experience

The Fresh Wood Judges panel is made up of distinguished woodworking professionals from different sectors of the industry:

  • Harold Greene – Harold is a custom furniture artisan based in Southern California who specializes in truly memorable furniture designs. Since 1978, Harold has been handcrafting successful works of functional art that people just need to own. His work is meant to be seen and has been featured nationally in galleries, museums, and television.
  • Alan Harp – For over 30 years, Alan has worked in furniture design and product development and holds a MS Industrial Design from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Before starting Alan Harp Design in 2010, he was part of a team designing and building custom furniture and products for people with physical disabilities at the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access. He taught furniture design at Georgia Tech and was involved in a variety of research projects related to CNC manufacturing and product design.
  • Taryn Schwartz – Taryn is a Product Design Manager for Ballard Designs in Atlanta, GA, where she started as an Industrial Design Intern in 2008. Taryn also studied industrial design earning her BS in Industrial Design with a concentration in Furniture Design at Georgia Tech under Alan’s instruction. She has worked her way up the ranks at Ballard Designs and uses watercolors, Rhino CAD, Key Shot, and Illustrator to design furniture, lighting, fabrics, and accessories.


Furniture Maker and Artist Scott Grove to Create 2021 Best of Show Trophy

Scott Grove will create the 2021 Fresh Wood Best of Show Trophy. “Scott has been a Fresh Wood judge in the past and also helped present the 2017 Fresh Wood Award on behalf of Garry Knox Bennett.” says AWFS® Education Manager Adam Kessler. “We gave Scott free reign with the trophy design and we can’t wait to see what he will come up with. We also plan to display the trophy at the Fresh Wood Booth, so be sure to check it out!”


From 1999 to 2013, the original Fresh Wood Best of Show Trophy was made by Sam Maloof and after his passing, Sam Maloof Woodworker Inc. In 2015, AWFS® invited master craftsman and marquetry expert, Paul Schürch, to design a trophy, which beautifully represented his trademark inlaid veneer style of work. In 2017, AWFS® gave Garry Knox Bennett free reign to create something symbolic of his impressive body of work. Judson Beaumont created the 2019 Best of Show trophy based off his iconic piece “The Apple Cabinet.” AWFS® was saddened to hear of Judson’s passing on February 17, 2020; he was an inspiration and a strong supporter of industry education.


The trophy crafted by Scott Grove will be presented to the Best of Show winner at the Student Awards Ceremony, 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 22 at the AWFS®Fair in the AWFS®Fair LIVE Stage, Booth # 4681. All registered Fair attendees are invited to attend the student awards ceremony, where winners of the Fresh Wood student competition and the American Association of Woodturners’ Turning to the Future student woodturning competition will be announced. No additional registration is required but seating is limited.


Fresh Wood Categories

In the preliminary round, students submit photos and answer questions about their piece for the judges to review. There are six different categories; Case Goods, Seating, Tables, Design for Production, Open, and the 2021 Special Theme: Remote Woodworking. The judging panel scored the projects in areas such as Design Innovation on original pieces, Quality of Execution on reproduction pieces, Craftsmanship, Functionality, Construction, and Aesthetics. During the final round of judging at the AWFS®Fair, Fresh Wood Judges inspect and interact with the furniture to decide a winner in each category. Student information remains anonymous throughout the judging process.


KCD Continues to Support Fresh Wood Students

Prizes are awarded in each category and at each school level for First Place ($1,000), Second Place ($500), and at the judges’ discretion, an Honorable Mention ($250). The grand prize at the Fresh Wood competition is the Best of Show Award, sponsored by KCD Software, which comes with an additional $1,000 and the trophy made by Scott Grove. The People’s Choice Award, is also presented to a Fresh Wood finalist whose project is selected by AWFS®Fair attendees using a mobile device and includes a cash prize of $750.


Fresh Wood and the AAW Turning to the Future student woodturning competition are both free to enter. The objective of the contests is to encourage students to pursue further education and careers in woodworking, woodturning and manufacturing as the industry faces shortages of skilled workers.