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Originally published Saturday, July 2, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Seattle woodworking gallery crafts new exhibit

For its 25th anniversary, the Northwest Fine Woodworking gallery has assembled an exhibit of new work by 21 artisans. It opens Thursday at...

Seattle Times staff reporter

For its 25th anniversary, the Northwest Fine Woodworking gallery has assembled an exhibit of new work by 21 artisans.

It opens Thursday at its Pioneer Square location, 101 S. Jackson, Seattle.

Local artist Evert Sodergren's walnut and leather "Sculpted Chair" (designed in 1953), which was inducted into the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum recently, will be on view.

The exhibit also includes self-taught woodworker Curtis Erpelding's "Vesture Desk" in white ash, olive and ash burl, and a "Madrona Buffet" by Judith Ames, known for her marquetry (decorative inlay work).

The 30-member artist-owned cooperative — one of the premiere galleries in the nation — makes handcrafted 21st-century studio furniture, said display manager Janet Stebbins.

The group is one of the largest cooperatively owned galleries for woodworking in the nation, she said. And in the Northwest tradition, these artists often draw from Asian and Arts and Crafts styles.

"Woodworkers in this area have greater access to different varieties of wood since we're a port city," Stebbins said. These woods range from African Bubinga, which has a reddish tone with wavy purple grain, to North American Birdseye Maple, whose surface is dotted with eyelike patterns.

Mayor Greg Nickels is scheduled to join the celebration at the show's opening Thursday.

The 25th anniversary show runs through Aug. 31. Admission is free. To learn more, call 206-625-0542 or go online to www.nwfinewoodworking.com.

The show's opening will be part of First Thursday, a gallery walk that's been a local tradition for 21 years. The walks are from 6 to 8 p.m. the first Thursday of every month.

Pioneer Square galleries participate in the event, which begins at South Main Street and Occidental Avenue South. For more information, contact the Pioneer Square Community Association at 206-667-0687 or go to www.pioneersquare.org.

Judy Chia Hui Hsu: 206-464-3315 or jhsu@seattletimes.com

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