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May 2004

Forest Expo Index

Value-Added Wood world

A Value-Added Marketplace at Forest Expo will explore another dimension of wood–the world of artisans and craftsmanship.

Smooth, delicious curves. Infinitestraight lines. Pastel colours worthy of an early summer dawn. Natural wood grain has texture, substance and soul. Artists have long been inspired by wood’s beauty and possibilities. Listen to them and they’ll explain that it is the wood itself that speaks. It tells them what to do, how to do it and why they should mould a collection of cells into a particular shape, or a specific use, or be used to illustrate a vision or tell a story.

Wood supports Prince George’s economy in assemblies of dimension lumber, building materials and pulp. It is of massive importance to the region and the lifestyle it sustains. That story will be reflected at Forest Expo, as it should be. But so will another.

The story of grain, colour and imagination will be evident in abundance. The showcase will be unveiled under the umbrella of Forest Expo’s Value-Added Marketplace. A wood product competition subtitled “Exploring Wood’s Potential” throws down the gauntlet to ingenuity and craftsmanship. More than 35 entrants were quick to accept the challenge. They range from artisans/crafters to students and commercial suppliers.

Forest Expo’s terms of reference are straightforward. “The focus is on the variety of products made using northern BC wood species with an emphasis on the natural beauty of wood. Competitors are encouraged to be unique and creative in the use of any part of the tree, including defects and roots.” Entrants must also be BC residents living from 100 Mile House north.

Early offerings to the competition included using the medium of driftwood, taking cedar strips to craft a canoe, carving images in wood and extracting 65 Christmas ornaments from a single 2 x 4. More than artistic bragging rights are up for grabs. Competition judges will award $10,000 in prize monies. Their verdicts will be adjudicated prior to the beginning of Forest Expo.

All the work will be on show in the Multiplex concourse at Exhibition Park throughout the June 3 to 5 event. The wood product competition is one element in the broader-based Value-Added Marketplace.

It shows a multitude of non-commodity wood products resulting from secondary or specialty manufacturing processes. The Value-Added Marketplace has gradually developed a higher profile at Forest Expo. It’s a trend organizers feel will continue as the exploration and capitalization of the potential of wood evolves.

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