By CARRIE WILLIAMS
Novices they may be, but the junior high and high school students at Tuesday’s Young Craftsman Fair demonstrated talent that would fool even experienced craftsman into thinking they were older.
The projects displayed at the BYU sponsored Craftsman Fair presented professional excellence.
As bystanders entered the Ernest L. Wilkinson Center Ballroom, they were greeted by fine furniture and metal displays one would expect in the finest custom design stores.
“It was an elective freshman year. I liked it, so I continued,” said Randy Stuaffer, the winner of a Craftsman Award, the highest honor at the fair.
Stauffer designed and made a roll-top desk out of walnut wood with both box and dove-tail joints. The desk was built during school hours in a class he was taking.
Upstairs, architectural drafts and drawings were displayed with other small crafts such as clocks and models of planes.
One blue ribbon project was a restored 45-70 Remington gun by Kirk Owens from Delta. Kirk’s father, Ed Owens said, “More parents ought to come to help get their kids motivated.”
Outside one could see restored cars and trailers. Paul Dewsnue, a senior from Delta, received the blue ribbon for the work he’s done on his 1966 Toronado Oldsmobile. Dewsnue started his own business with a sand blaster he created.
The sand blaster takes the rust off the car much more effectively than hand sanding. When Dewsnue first got the car, every part of it was dented or wrecked. He said he has spent the last three years getting it back into what is almost mint condition.
“Everything you see I did here, I taught myself,” Dewsnue said. Everything from hammering out body dents to rebuilding the engine and painting the car, Dewsnue learned how to do as he went.
Skills tests also were a large part of the fair. One test involved cabinet making. It contained two parts. The first was written. In the second, participants were given a set of plans to build the cabinet in a certain amount of time.
“It’s a lot of pressure, but a lot of fun. You have to be able to think in your head about measurements, know a little bit of math and have an imagination,” said Ben Brown, a senior from American Fork.
One student constructed a porcelain doll cabinet from oak wood and stained it red mahogany for his mother. When asked what his mother thought of his great accomplishment, Chad Nelson, a junior from Evanston, Wyo., said, “She’s thrilled.”
Performing another good deed for others, David Bennett, who is also from Evanston, constructed a custom entertainment center to fit all his families needs.
“Wood working is an awesome talent that few people have. Hand-made furniture is very rare,” said Jared Rex, a blue ribbon winner from Evanstan. His table is 11.5 feet long and made of solid oak.
Rex said he could sell his table for at least a couple of thousand dollars. He said last year he entered a desk in the fair. He spent $600 and sold it for $3,000.
Jennifer Walker, a junior from Roy, placed third with her ammunition box.
“I like working with my hands,” she said. On top of her box, she wood burned a nature scene.
Most of the students involved said they were interested in their craft as a hobby. Many plan to continue it throughout their lives. Some students, however, said they enjoyed their craft so much that they plan on making it their life’s vocation.