Paul Wanrooij, former HCC professional crafts-wood student, was recently awarded a 2009 NICHE Award for his Oceana end table in the category Home Furnishings. This is the fifth year in a row one of Wanrooij’s designs was selected as a finalist and the third time one was selected as a winner. Winners were announced and honored in a special ceremony held during the February Buyers Market of American Craft.

In addition, HCC current Professional Crafts Wood student Ken Tuell was selected as a finalist for a NICHE Award for his jewelry box.

The NICHE award recognizes the outstanding creative achievements of American craft artists who produce work for craft galleries and retail stores. Judging criteria for the NICHE award is based on technical excellence and creativity both in surface design and form, market viability, and a distinct quality of unique and original thought.

“Woodworking is in my genes,” explains Wanrooij. “I was born and raised in the Netherlands, where my father and uncle were both craftsmen. I feel that through them, I inherited a sense for beauty, harmony and balance. I craft pieces of furniture that are a pleasure to live with - harmonious creations of functionality and beauty. Through my work I have created a fulfilling life for my wife and myself, while adding comfort and harmony to the living and working environment of my clients.”

Wanrooij’s Oceana end table is sold locally at the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville, NC.

For more information about HCC's Professional Crafts Programs, please visit www.haywood.edu or call 627-4670.

Pictured is Oceana end table, a piece by former HCC professional crafts-wood student Paul Wanrooij. The table recently received a 2009 NICHE Award in the category Home Furnishings.