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Mathieson sweeps awards at Ga. National Fair

By Sherri Ellington Local woodturner Niall Mathieson ran away with all the awards, including people’s choice and best of show, again this year at the Georgia National Fair in Perry for his massive wood turnings and carvings. This is his third year competing, and he had several other pieces place but they have not yet been officially announced. The larger piece won Best of Show and People’s choice as well as first place in two of six woodturning classes. It is turned and carved from a single oak stump that was strangled by a huge wisteria vine, causing the spiral bark shape Mathieson worked with. ’The tree was 50 or 60 years old and the wisteria got hold of it about 40 years ago,’ said Mathieson. His ambrosia maple bowl brought in first place in its category. The wood it was made from was invaded by the ambrosia beetle, which caused it to change colors as the bug bored its way through the wood. The cap of the large carving, above a metal collar, came from the same maple tree. ’The color comes from the beetle, spalting and fungus that gets inside the tree,’ he said. Mathieson’s award winning creations will be on display in Lamar Arts’ Turned Wood and Hammered Iron show by Barnesville Woodturners members and metal artists in the Barnesville Depot. The show opens Friday, Nov. 2, with a reception from 6-8 p.m. and closes Saturday, Dec. 15. Gallery hours are Fridays from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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