The Winners: Overall Best, AWR Student Awards 2018

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Award Winner: Riley Nichols, Year 12, Freshwater Senior Campus, NSW. Teacher: Ben Percy

Riley Nichols received a Gift Card to the value of $4000 from CARBATEC for his Armchair in blackwood and leather. After phoning to congratulate him we asked Riley some questions about designing and making his outstanding piece in the midst of an already busy final year at high school.

AWR: When did you start woodworking?
RN: I began woodwork as an elective in year 9 and have been doing small projects since.

AWR: Biggest influence on your woodworking?
RN: Ben Percy would my biggest influence on woodworking and has taught me since 2017 when I began in year 11.

AWR: Hardest thing about making the armchair?
RN: Routing the outer arm curved components posed the biggest troubles as they tended to tear out and as a result I ended up regluing and routing deeper curves. Another challenge was shaping the backrest as it was difficult to make it even on both sides.

AWR: Best thing?
RN: Applying the oil finish and screwing the upholstered seat platform on was the best thing and in my opinion was the most rewarding.

AWR: Hours spent?
RN: Completing the armchair took the whole of year 12 working in all Industrial Tech periods and many extra lunchtimes towards the end of the year. This was largely due to the construction of my own formers instead of outsourcing.

AWR: Favourite tool /machine?
RN: The bandsaw was my favourite machine and cut the most efficiently.

AWR: What was the thing your teacher said to you most often?
RN: “Where is your portfolio?”

AWR: Any words for your teacher?
RN: Thank you Ben Percy for a great two years and all the help you gave me.

AWR: What are you doing this year?
RN: Beginning my first year carpentry apprenticeship.

AWR: Are you planning to keep up your woodworking?
RN: Yes, I am hoping to continue it as a hobby at home.

AWR: Any last comments you would like to make?
RN: Thank you Wood Review for this opportunity and I am truly surprised to win especially looking at other entries.

See an 8-page feature on AWR Student Awards 2018 including comments from the judges in the March issue of Australian Wood Review. See all Student Award entries for 2018 in our online gallery.

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