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Students set for national Woodskills competition

Media Release

Friday, 5 September 2014

Students set for national Woodskills competition

A group of students from UCOL’s two-year Diploma in Furniture Design and Making are geared up to head off to Kawerau next week for the National Woodskills Competition.

Palmerston North-based second year students Brendan Knauf (23), Leilani Tunnage (28), Peter Crowder (21) and Adam Laker (30) have entered a total 13 works in the competition in a range of categories.

This year marks the tenth year UCOL has taken students up to the event termed New Zealand’s premier event for wood craft artists, with cash prizes up for grabs and the option for entrants to sell their exhibits.

Coffee tables, longboards, a dart board surround, a parquetry breakfast tray and a lit up pocket knife collection display cabinet are just some of the timber furniture concepts turned into reality by the students for the event starting next Friday.

Senior Furniture Lecturer at UCOL Andy Halewood who took out a first prize award last year has entered again this year with two pieces in the Open Furniture category, but he says he doesn’t see competing against his students as a bad thing. “The more participation in the event the better, it just ups everyone’s game.

“It’s really encouraging to see students go from hardly ever having used a chisel to producing work that is up there with the best of the best.”

“It’s nice to win but it’s also nice to have competition.”

Thirty year old Adam Laker was awarded a merit in the Novice section last year, and this year has created a hall table and two coffee tables for the Open Furniture category, and a stool for the Anything Goes category.

He says it is the personal confidence that can be gained that makes entering the competition worthwhile.

“It is nerve-wracking, but that doesn’t stop you from doing it,” Adam says. It’s good to have outside people judging our work and to be recognised as achieving; to know that someone else appreciates the work. Entering competitions like this gives you something to aim for.”
Leilani Tunnage won second place in the novice category last year with a Black Maire and Puriri bedside cabinet, and hopes to pick up awards in the Open Furniture, Pinus Radiatus and Anything Goes categories this year.

“I started the programme for fun but I’m loving it and now want to make a career out of it,” she says.

The four students will travel up with two UCOL Lecturers next Thursday.


UCOL Diploma in Furniture Design and Making student entries:
• Peter Crowder – 2x entries in ‘Furniture - For first time entrants’, 1x entry in ‘Marquetry & Intarsia’
• Brendan Knauf – 2x entries in ‘Special Category – Anything Goes’ (Public Vote)
• Leilani Tunnage – 2x entries in ‘Furniture – Open’, 1x entry in ‘Pinus Radiatus’, 1x entry in ‘Special Category – Anything Goes’ (Public Vote)
• Adam Laker – 3x entries in ‘Furniture – Open’, 1x entry in ‘Special Category – Anything Goes’ (Public Vote)


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