2021 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge open for entries
January 26, 2021 | 3:45 pm CST
Patrice Lejeune captured the Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge 2020 Grand Prize with his “Treasure Box III,” which features spectacular marquetry on the outside with intricate interior drawers and secret compartments. Entries are now open for the 2021 contest.

Entries are open for the 2021 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge, offering the opportunity for entrants to win thousands of dollars in cash prizes for exemplary woodwork using veneer.

Grand Prize of $3,000 is available to the designer, craftsman, or manufacturer who enters the best work of submitted in the view of a panel of expert judges. But not only does the maker win, the Grand Prize awards also include $2,000 for the supplier of veneer for the winning piece and $1,000 to the salesman who sold the veneer.

In addition, there are separate category prizes of $1,000 each for Architectural, Cabinetry, Furniture, Marquetry, Specialty Products, and Student Work.

It’s easy to enter online and post your entry, including photos. The entry deadline is June 7 for this year’s contest. Winners will be announced at a special event at AWFS in Las Vegas.

In the past, judges have repeatedly mentioned how important quality photographs were to their decision, so entrants might want to check out some photographic advice from Scott Grove, who is a past winner of the contest and has served multiple times as a judge.

Patrice Lejeune captured the Grand Prize in 2020. He is a furniture maker and marquetry expert who is adept in traditional French marquetry as practiced during the 17th and 18th centuries. His piece, “Treasure Box III,” put all that skill on superb display. Inspired by a marquetry coffer attributed to Andre-Charles Boulle and currently in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the piece was downsized by a third to be more appropriate to modern interiors. The box features spectacularly detailed marquetry tableaus on all sides, featuring 40 different species of wood selected for their historical pertinence. Species include boxwood, espanilla, walnut, cherry, holy, pink ivory, yew, olive, pear, mahoganies, hornbeam, and dyed wood.

You can also see pictures and read about the 2020 winners.


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William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editorial director of Woodworking Network and FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.