Six UCOL students took home awards at the National Woodskills Competition held in Kawerau last week.
Now in its 26th year, the National Woodskills Competition is held in conjunction with the Kawerau Woodfest which attracts around 12,000 people during the week.
Second year UCOL Diploma in Furniture Design and Making students entered projects they worked on during the second semester.
UCOL students dominated the Furniture (First Time Entrants) category, with Tom Santing, Jacqui Knight, and Jerry Yan taking out the top three placings for chairs they constructed. Tom also picked up a highly commended award for a toy box he built.
Tom says he was pleased to take out the top spot after six weeks of hard work.
“I was actually surprised, but I was really happy to win,” he says.
Toms says the most enjoyable part of constructing his winning baby chair was learning how to bend the wood.
He says he plans to keep the chair and gift the toy box to a friend.
Maehe Thompson took out first and second place in the Raranga/Weaving category.
In the Musical Instrument category, Heather Campbell placed first and Paige Wood received a highly commended award for ukulele’s they built.
UCOL Furniture Design and Making Lecturer Rowan Dicks says building ukuleles was a new component he added to the course this year.
“Wood bending is a big part of the course, so I thought for an intro the students could make ukuleles. From there we moved onto advanced wood bending, where the students chose their own projects.”
Rowan says he was proud to see all of his students win awards.
“I couldn’t be prouder. From starting their second year of the course up until now it’s mind-blowing what they’ve achieved.”
More honours could be on the cards, with Jacqui Knight entering her chair in the ECC Student Craft/Design Awards.
A contingent of first year and international students travelled to the festival to observe, with the goal of entering next year.
"It was great having 14 international students along with us, mostly from India. We’re looking forward to seeing these guys enter the Woodskills competition next year," says And Halewood, UCOL Senior Lecturer in Furniture Making and Design.
Pictured above: Jacqui Knight’s chair that earnt her second place in the Furniture (First Time Entrants) category.