Judges

“Congratulations on your well-deserved Award of Excellence in Wood at the St. Paul show! In a field of talented artists, your work truly stood out for your masterful combination of tradition and the unexpected.”

― American Craft Council

2019 Award of Excellence in Wood ― ACC Saint Paul Show

“We selected this artist as best in show because of the obvious love and respect for the medium we champion and celebrate: wood. Craig Johnson’s work emphasizes the beauty and integrity of natural materials, each piece reveals his mastery of craft and understanding of the unique properties of each species he uses. His descriptive texts, booth images, and, truly, his very way of being in the booth reflects his affinity for this incredible material.”

― American Association of Woodturners

Judge's written comment from the 2012 Northern Woods Exhibition:

"Details compliment and echo in several levels. Would want this in any room where I want to feel at home." ― Judge #3

Transcript of recorded comment:

"... commenting on entry number twelve thirty-six, the Serenity cabinet. I really enjoyed this piece, it has nicely pleasing proportions overall. I enjoy the back panel echoing the front door. This inspires me to want to employ some of your ideas, some of your vision, in some of my own work at home. I love how all the details complement with small surprises. You're able to avoid having any detail speak too loudly. They all kind of whisper. It takes a good eye to pull that off and it's very well done. I just really enjoy this piece. I could see it in a number of room settings. I could see it in my workshop holding a couple of prized chisels. I could see it in a library holding a small ceramic vase. It's a beautiful object, nicely done, nicely matched grain and figured wood. Great job. One of the nicest pieces here in the show. Thank you for sharing it." ― Judge #3

Transcript of Judge's recorded comment from the 2012 Northern Woods Exhibition:

"Twelve thirty-six, Serenity. I could not have picked a better title for this piece. Every square inch of it is beautifully considered: the figure; the way the panels in the front swell and move aside for these inlaid doussie end-grain squares; the way they are expressed with reveals all the way around; the different sizes of the squares and the disposition of them is, to my eye, really musical. I like the quartered figure used in the frame, the very quiet little indent that gives you access to it and the way it opens, and the way the back panel responds to the asymmetry of the front with a similar offset layout. Very delicate, very beautifully done in every one of its details; a piece that I would have been really proud to build myself."

― Judge #2

Judge's written comment from the 2012 Northern Woods Exhibition:

"Subtle details of this wall piece draw you in. Beautiful and simple design is timeless." ― Judge #1

Transcript of recorded comment:

"Number twelve thirty-six, Serenity. This piece is not only very well designed, but it's simplicity and style... it just has a classic look about it that all the judges responded to very strongly; and I think the details are well done. I think it is not only well executed, but it is so tasteful in not only its design, but the use of wood; I think it's a remarkable piece. I really do like how the hardware is hidden in so many ways, so it feels like it's just a natural box, a natural piece of wood that just seems to function very well. Very, very well done." ― Judge #1

Transcribed judge's comment from the 2010 Northern Woods Exhibition:

"I was lucky enough to come across this just when I was finishing judging and immediately knew I had seen the Best in Show. Flawless design, flawless execution; this is of the highest quality. The lip on the top is recognized more so by only furniture makers, but that's an extremely important detail and executed with perfection. How the design grows out of the veneers to the hardwood, to the top, is perfection itself. Was very, very, very excited to come across this piece and it's been a pleasure being able to look through it and work on it. I could make up something that I thought was wrong, but that wouldn't be... that'd be disingenuous. It is a model of restrained perfection. Everything pulls together and it wouldn't mean anything except without the absolutely perfect fabrication. This is as nice as it gets and like I said, it's an honor and a pleasure being able to see this piece. Very, very well done."

― Judge #3

Transcribed judge's comment from the 2010 Northern Woods Exhibition:

"Craig, I think you did a fantastic job on this piece. I just think overall it just has an energy to it. The piece looks alive. It has a very nice organic feel to it and I think your attention to detail and your eye for detail is outstanding. The tiny little backsplash on the back ties in so well, I think, with the handles. And the way the grain just flows down around the front of those doors, there's everything about this piece I really like. The base works well, and I just think you did a great job, plus, the shop-made hinges is just icing on the cake. I don't know what else to say. I really don't have anything critical that I would bring up. I'd love to have this piece in my house. Good job." ― Judge #2