LAS VEGAS- The grand prize winning entry of the 11th Annual Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge™ is “Biedermeier Desk” by Joel Liebman, Joel Liebman Furniture, Easthampton, MA. This interpretation of a 19th Century design impressed the judges as exceptional overall, with well-executed matched curves and complexity of material including bubinga, ebony, satinwood, wenge, and birdseye maple. As announced at AWFS Las Vegas, Liebman is awarded the $3000 top prize in this design competition recognizing excellence in veneer woodworking, plus an additional $1000 for early deadline entry. VeneerSupplies.com is the primary materials supplier for the project and is awarded $2000, and supplier owner/sales representative Joe Gorleski is awarded $1000 in recognition of participation in the supply chain. 
 
The category winners in this year’s competition, each receiving $1000 are:
 
Architectural Woodworking, Architectural Woodworking Company, Monterey Park, CA, for “Investment Firm;” Cabinetry, Scott Severns, Oak Mountain Custom Woodwork, Great Meadows, NJ, for "Carpathian Elm Burl Wall Unit;” Furniture, Curtis Erpelding, Erpelding Furniture, Port Orchard, WA, for “Lady’s Desk;” new for 2015 category Marquetry, Jim Wallace, Splinters Design, Cedar Park, TX, for “A-MAZE-ING Table;” Specialty Items (co-winners), Micah Paul Bolton, Micah Paul Creative, Modesto, CA, for “Blue Rose,” and Michael J. Brolly, Bethlehem, PA, for “Homage to My Mother;” and  Student Design, Onkar Nagra, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, Brampton, ON, Canada, for “3 Way Drop.”
 
The judges cited an additional 15 entries for special awards, and deemed all of these to be near category winners: Furniture, Craig Thibodeau, CT Fine Furniture, San Diego, CA, “Puzzle Cabinet,” Sarah Marriage, Hoboken, NJ, “Leviathan,” Brian Newell, Fort Bragg, CA, “Rosewood Sideboard,” and Ricardo Vasquez, Ricardo Vasquez Fine Furniture, Haiku, HI, “Dining Room Set;” Marquetry, Richard Gady, Rich Gady Woodworking, Lakewood, CO, “Bee Comb Jewelry Cabinet,” Bill Kimbell, Heritage Veneer Works, Loveland, CO, “St. Eustache Pipe Organ,” Paul Miller, prm designs, Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada, “Louis XIV Jewelry Box,” and Al Spicer, Spicer Woodworks, Bessemer City, NC, for “Morning Glory Table” and for “Trinity Table;” Specialty Items, Paul Miller, prm designs, Cowichan Bay, BC, “Jack in the Box,” David Pollak, Woodmasters LLC, Randolph, NJ, “Satinwood, Ebony and Pearl Tea Box,” and Kevin Wardein, Ambiance Illuminated, Ofallon, MO, “Illuminated Urn;” and Student Design, Liz Mawalal, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, Brampton, ON, Canada, “Kage,” and Onkar Nagra, Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School, ”Eclipse.”
 

See Slideshow Here

 
The over 100 entries in this year’s competition can be viewed on the Veneer Technologies website at www.veneertech.com. Details about the grand prize and category winning entries plus judges’ comments can be found at the website. There is also an archive of 2005-2014 competitions’ entries.
 
Experts from the fields of woodworking media and education, furniture making, and hardwood veneer supply formed the panel of judges for the 2015 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge. They are Mavis Morgan, grading room manager and veneer procurer for Timber Products Company, Corinth, MS; Paul Schürch, a prior Craftsman’s Challenge grand prize winner, and custom studio owner and marquetry expert, from Santa Barbara, CA; and Gene Wengert, professor emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison, president of The Wood Doctor’s Rx, and monthly columnist in FDMC magazine, which is a co-sponsor of the Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge.
 
The panel made particular note of the achievements of the Student Design winners, both of whom were in attendance at AWFS also for the Fresh Wood design competition, and congratulated their instructor, Peter Boeckh of Fletcher’s Meadow. Fine woodworking is part of the school’s Specialist High Skills Major construction program in which students discover how much can be accomplished by committing their time and passion.
 
The Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge entries for 2016 will be accepted beginning the first of January. Next year’s competition results will be announced at IWF Atlanta.
 
Veneer Technologies, located in Newport, NC, is one of the industry’s largest manufacturers of high quality face veneer, sheet veneer and edgebanding. Veneer Tech sources wood species worldwide.

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