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Woodworkers Expo to Feature V.I.'s Best

Nov. 27, 2006 – More than 200 pieces of original handcrafted woodwork will be on display and for sale at the first annual Virgin Islands Woodworkers Expo scheduled for Dec. 8 and 9, at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center on St. Thomas. Original pieces will include pens made from the hulls of sunflower seeds, furniture made from mahogany and rattan, walking sticks made from wild tamarind, carved drinking cups made from kenip wood and jewelry made from a combination of wood and gold. One of the largest exhibits will be a five-foot replica of a Spanish galleon. There will be live demonstrations by master wood turners Avelino Samuel of St. John, Afreekan Southwell of St. Thomas and Bien Brignoni of St. Croix.
The expo is historic because it brings together woodworkers from all four Virgin Islands. The expo, based on guidelines from UVI's strategic plan, Vision 2012, will show the potential economic opportunity that can come out of the forest.
"The idea is not to go to the forest to cut down trees. But if a tree falls or if someone has to remove a tree, there are other options than just dumping it," said Carlos Robles, of the UVI Cooperative Extension Service, which is a sponsor of the event. Trees can be recycled for economic benefit. Woodworkers who want to participate must register by Nov. 30.
It will open at 1 p.m. on Dec. 8, and 10 a.m. on Dec. 9. There will be a special showing for junior and senior high school carpentry, woodworking and art/vocational classes at 10 a.m. on Dec. 8. Admission to all sessions is free. For details call 693-1083.
The expo is sponsored by CES in partnership with the West Indian Company Ltd., the V.I. Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, V.I. Resource, Conservation and Development Council Inc. and the V.I. Department of Agriculture.

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