The 2017 annual Adventures in Wood Contest at the Rockler Woodworking and Hardware’s Indianapolis store had a diverse group of entries and participants. The opening was bustling with the woodworkers, the respective proud friends and family, and store customers. There were five different categories in the competition: Boxes, Miscellaneous, Furniture, Turning, Sculpture, and an award for Best in Show.
Ralph Buschbacher really took home the honey pot by winning three awards. Ralph won First Place in the Furniture Division for Starburst and Chair, and then he won Best in Show and First Place in the Box Division for his jewelry box, Jewel of a Box. Ralph was a returning winner from last year.
Other returning winners included: Dale Smith, Tom Meeker and Jeffrey Shaw. Dale Smith is quite an animated character. He loves building model cars, and he estimates it took him about 1,000 hours to complete his winning entry, 1910 Buick Bug — which explains to me why Dale said his wife doesn’t even mind if he works on the model cars in their bedroom! Tom Meeker had a total of three entries this year; one entry was a helmet cabinet that will be sold at a silent auction to benefit The Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. Jeffrey Shaw pays attention to detail, and he made all the tiny furniture that is inside his winning work, Adirondack Log Cabin. Jeffrey even made the roof using hand-split pine shingles.
Sculpture was a new category for the competition this year. There were only a total of three participants in this new genre. John L. Lagzdins won this new category by making a beautiful wall sculpture that is a traditional Latvian Coat of Arms. Another wall sculpture by Theresa Groth won second place. Theresa and her husband are starting a woodworking business.
I think that everyone who participated deserves recognition, but there are a couple of projects that I particularly enjoyed. Nexus by Dana Mosley is a pair of mahogany side tables that each have beautifully shaped fronts carved by using different techniques – for one table she used a Dremel rotary tool, and for the other she used gouges. Each table has drawers that can be opened together, or you can remove a pin and open them separately (hence, the name Nexus).
My second choice is Josh DeWitt. Josh created a crib and a dresser for his 10-month-old daughter. The crib can be adjusted into a toddler bed and then into a full-size bed. The two pieces were crafted with the utmost care, including half-blind dovetails for the drawers. I’m sure Josh had “heirloom” in mind when he was making these.
This is a fun event with a lot of return participants. With $1,375 worth of gift cards awarded, I think next year should bring even more people to get involved. I was happy to be a part of the event, and it is always nice to see friendly new and old faces.