Simply the Best


Simply the Best

issues-SSW44-DesignPresenting the winners of the 2011 Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts Best Project Design Contest

The winners of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts’s annual Best Project Design Contest were announced in the Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts Fall 2011 (Issue 44).  Each year, the entries impress the editors with beautiful designs and skilled craftsmanship. The designs, materials, and inspirations vary, but the results are always admirable, and it’s a pleasure to share them with you.  Our thanks to the artists who submitted their entries, as well as the readers who participated in the online voting.

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Best In Contest

People’s Choice

11Nature’s Majestic Creatures

by Rita Williams Armstrong, New Castle, Ind.

Rita Armstrong said her winning piece, Nature’s Majestic Creatures, is “a culmination of all the wonderful things my parents gave me—the love of animals and nature from my father, and the desire and the artistic ability to create things of beauty from my mother.” Rita began carving about eight years ago after her mother gave her a set of knives and a blank, and they joined a local carving club together. Scrolling naturally followed.

Rita learned to cut three-dimensional sculptures on the scroll saw by following a pattern. She applied the technique to a photo of a rearing horse to design her own pattern for this project. She used walnut for the horse. “Coming from a carving background, it was only natural for me to take my carving tools to each individual piece to add detail and definition,” said Rita. She added muscle tone by lightly burning the wood with a small pencil torch. Rita says that gluing the pieces together was her greatest challenge. “Each piece must align precisely—very nerve- racking!”

Rita wasn’t sure how to display the horse until she turned a piece of root upside down and realized it looked like a tree. “The tree helped create the balanced effect I was seeking, but [the scene] was still missing something,” she said. That’s when Rita came up with the reason for the horse to be rearing—the eagle in the tree.

Editor’s Choice

7Flower Cabinet

by Duane F. Martin, Newfields, N.H.

The editors admired this blanket chest for its simple Shaker-style design paired with the lovely high-relief intarsia flowers.

Duane Martin made the cabinet for his wife as a home for the many treasures given to her by their five grandchildren. Duane is experienced at making raised-panel cherry cabinets, but said the idea of substituting intarsia for the front panels is new. His wife chose the flowers—California poppies and black-eyed Susans—and Duane based the designs on photos and line drawings. He made the poppies from osage orange, yellowheart, and poplar, and made the black-eyed Susans from yellowheart, purpleheart, and poplar; both are on cherry backgrounds.

“I’m very happy with the concept of inserting intarsia work in my raised-panel cabinets,” said Duane. “I intend to include them in the entertainment center I will be making in the near future. The finished cabinet is truly a treasure chest, as both my wife and our grandchildren cherish its contents.”

Fretwork Portrait Category

General Scroll Saw Category

Intarsia and Segmentation Category

Traditional Fretwork Category