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Vermont Wood Manufacturers Recognizes Woodworker of the Year

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On January 27, at their Annual Meeting, the Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association honored Charles Shackleton with the VWMA Woodworker of the Year Award. Charles Shackleton is the President of Charles Shackleton & Miranda Thomas Ltd. located in Bridgewater, Vermont. At his furniture shop, Shackleton fulfills his lifelong passion of creating things by hand. The small shop employs a team of twelve craftspeople who work primarily with hand planes and chisels to build classic furniture with clean simple lines. Hand-carved “curls” are a signature motif found on many pieces. “I love the fact that a small hand-carved detail such as this can totally bring a piece to life,” says Shackleton. The shop is FSC-certified and most furniture is made of FSC-certified cherry grown in sustainably managed forests. Visitors are welcome to tour the workshop at the Bridgewater Mill Mall. Shackleton’s contribution to the industry goes beyond his innovative design and commitment to quality craftsmanship. He has been instrumental in helping the industry plan for and host both a fine furniture showcase and a design competition. In fact, Shackleton furniture has taken several awards in the Vermont Design Competition in 2004 and 2005. He also serves on an advisory committee that is developing an industry-wide website for the promotion of Vermont quality wood products and the wood products brand. The Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association represents nearly 120 primary and secondary processors and related businesses statewide that employ approximately 6,000 people. The Association is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, having started as a group of approximately 25 small furniture makers and wood products companies in 1996. About twenty of the original members remain in business and active in the association. During the last ten years, the Association has grown both in size and diversity with member companies that are one-person shops to manufacturing facilities that employ several hundred. VWMA’s mission is to support the industry in Vermont and promote its long-term viability by expanding members’ presence in the marketplace, ensuring a sustainable supply of raw materials, increasing workforce skill and acting as responsible employers and community members.

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