KINGWOOD, NJ - New Delaware Valley High School grad Justin Fiaschetti won big in Las Vegas – his African-style vase won Best in Show in the High School Division at the American Association of Woodturners' competition held in late July at AWFSFair at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The vase had won first place in the competition's Open Category, and an ornate bowl made by Fiaschetti took second place in the Functional Category. Woodturning is is done on a lathe, a machine that holds and spins wood securely while it is shaped with sharp carving tools.
Fiaschetti, who resides in Kingwood Township, will receive $500 for his first-place win, $100 for taking second place, and a state-of-the-art Jet lathe for achieving Best in Show.
The woodturners' competition was an element of the four-day biennial exposition produced by the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers, which attracts 15,000 woodworking industry professionals and features exhibits by 600-plus companies and 50-plus educational sessions.
Fiaschetti learned woodworking from Del Val teacher Josh Paul, and last spring a panel of judges agreed that a rocking chair he built entitled him a Del Val Golden Hammer Award.
"Justin's work has been consistently astonishing to us here at Del Val," said Principal Adrienne Olcott, "and it's gratifying to see it recognized in a national competition. I know his teacher, Josh Paul, is proud of his student, and we in turn are proud of Josh, an effective and caring teacher who exemplifies what we are trying to accomplish here."
Fiaschetti is about to begin work on a mechanical engineering degree at Boston University. But next year he hopes to begin advanced woodworking studies in his spare time at Boston’s North Bennet Street School.