The League of NH Craftsmen 36th Annual Ornament

“Through the Thicket”

Hand crafted by Kevin Turgeon

The League’s 36th Annual Ornament, “Through the Thicket” is a nod to ingenuity and the innate beauty of natural wood. Segmented blocks of wood are hand-assembled and shaped by Franklin woodworker and artist, Kevin Turgeon, to create a tiny reindeer with a winsome turn of the head. 

“I was inspired by an image with an optical illusion that gave a wooden sculpture the appearance of being turned at an angle,” says craftsman Kevin Turgeon,”and it got me thinking of ways that I could actually make the angle a reality.” Turgeon uses seven different species of woods in the blocks he creates as a first step in the ornament process. “I use African Mahogany, Ash, Cherry, Hickory, Maple, Red Oak, and White Oak. Six reindeer are crafted from each block and while you may find a few twins in the mix, they are largely unique in their appearance.” 

The 2023 League ornament comes gift-boxed and sells for $26. This annual offering is an important fundraiser for the League that supports local artists and affiliated League Fine Craft Galleries. The ornament is a thoughtful keepsake to mark any special occasion, milestone or holiday. Each of these turned wooden ornaments, which feature seven different species of wood, is hand finished and inscribed by the artist with his signature and the date. 

About the Maker: Kevin Turgeon 

Kevin Turgeon used to fight against being labeled as an artist. He preferred being called a woodworker because woodworkers make useful things. Grudgingly he has come to accept that he is more artist than woodworker. He feels his best attributes are creativity and patience and prefers to work with an improvisational approach. He finds enjoyment in discovering how a piece works out and feels he is at his most creative in the middle of the project. At times Turgeon refers to his work as the war against straight lines and flat surfaces. 

About the Annual Ornament Program

Since the program began, in 1988, the League’s Annual Ornament has become a New Hampshire holiday tradition. Each year, juried members of the League submit a piece to be considered for the Annual Ornament competition. Their work is reviewed by the managers of the eight League of NH Craftsmen Fine Craft Galleries, and a winner is selected. Now in its 36th year, these ornaments have become a holiday collectible and a must-have holiday treasure.

About the League of NH Craftsmen

The League of NH Craftsmen is a non-profit, craft education organization that represents the signature of excellence in fine craft, through the work of its juried members, and its rigorous standards for self-expression, vision, and quality craftsmanship. Its mission is to advance, cultivate and champion excellence in fine craft. The League pursues this mission through educational programming, leadership initiatives, marketplace strategies and support services.


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