8th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival

The Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers participated in the Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival as they have done for the past eight years.


The show was held at the Union Arena at Woodstock High School on September 24th and 25th. The spacious Guild booth displayed the newest and finest work made by the top furniture makers living and working in Vermont. Many of the Guild members from around the state brought their custom furniture to display, including George Ainley, Jas. Becker, Hugh Belton, Dave Boynton, Kit Clark, Johns Congdon, Chris Ericson, Bob Gasperetti, Erin Hanley, William Laberge, Mario Messina and Walt Stanley.

Top Honors: first, second and third in the Festival’s Design Competition, Custom and Studio Furniture Category went to Guild members.


Johns Congdon of Charlotte, VT was awarded First Place for his Alienor Desk. Johns wife, Giovanna Brunini Congdon, designed the desk, Johns built the desk. The desk is named for the famed Alienor of Aquitaine, a powerful woman of the Middle Ages. The desk uses a strong and elegant sculptural silhouette utilizing intensely figured Sapele Pomelle veneer to make its statement. Johns used traditional mortise and tenon and dovetailed construction and applied the finish of shellac polished with wax. The piece is accented with custom solid silver pulls and feet.

First Place – Johns Congdon’s Alienor Desk

Johns Congdon’s Alienor Desk Close-up

Mario Messina of Fairfax, VT was awarded Second Place for his Japanese inspired Abacus-Soroban Table. The table is constructed with mitered dovetails, mortise and tenon and breadboard joinery. Mario chose the combination of Spalted Maple, ebonized Mahogany, Wenge and granite beach pebbles for his award-winning table.

Second Place – Mario Messina’s Abacus-Soroban Table

Mario Messina’s Ababus-Soroban Table Close Up

David Hurwitz of Randolph, VT was awarded Third Place for his State of Craft Console Table. David’s design of this piece included the use of carved Vermont Ash, painted Poplar and Tamo, Japanese Quilted Ash for the top. David was invited to exhibit a piece in the “State of Craft” exhibit at the Bennington Museum in 2010 and this was the piece he built for that exhibit.


Third Place – David Hurwitz’s State of Craft Console Table

David Hurwitz’s State of Craft Console Table Close Up



In addition to placing work for display in the Guild booth, several members had a booth featuring just their furniture. Members with individual booths include: Jas. Becker, Timothy Clark, Janet A. Collins, David Hurwitz, Bob Gasperetti, William Laberge, Maguire Family Furniture Makers, Charles Shackleton and Walt Stanley.

In spite of the sagging economy and recent storm damage in Vermont, the Eighth Annual Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival was a success for the members of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers, not only in capturing First, Second and Third place in the Design Competition, but also in the number of sales reported and orders received for custom pieces of furniture.


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