Is your veneer work a winner?
Veneer furniture winner

Honduras mahogany, beech, holly, ebony, and amboyna veneers were used in Steven Lash’s Marquetry of Cubes Ladies Desk, which won the furniture category in the 2023 Veneer Tech Craftsman's Challenge.

No matter what kind of woodworking you do, if it uses veneer, there is an opportunity for you in the 2024 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge with thousands of dollars in prizes for exemplary woodwork using natural veneer in a wide variety of categories.
The designer, craftsman, or manufacturer who enters the best work submitted in the view of a panel of expert judges wins a Grand Prize of $1,500.

In addition, there are separate category prizes of $500 each for Architectural, Cabinetry, Furniture, Marquetry, Specialty Products, and Student Work.

It’s easy to enter online to post your entry, including photos. Entry deadline is June 28 for this year’s contest. Winners will be announced at IWF in Atlanta.

In the past, judges have repeatedly mentioned how important quality photographs were to their decision, so entrants should read some photographic advice from Scott Grove (…), who is a past multiple winner in the contest and has served several times as a judge.

Veneer Tech Craftsman's Challenge
An Art Deco styled music box by Dennis Zongker won the Grand Prize in the 2023 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge contest for excellence in veneer work.

Dennis Zongker captured the Grand Prize in the 2023 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge with an Art Deco styled music box that wowed the judges with its superlative craftsmanship, thoughtful use of veneer, and tremendous attention to detail.

Besides Zongker’s Grand Prize win, awards were also announced for Architectural Woodworking, Cabinetry, Furniture, Marquetry, Specialty Products, and Student Work. Some of the standout category winners:

Spider Johnson, Tesoro Design earned the top prize in the Architectural Woodwork category for a 7x8-foot tableau called Journey from Cuzco. Timothy Schefter said he had not used veneer before attempting this massive project involving 195 doors, drawers, and panels for a total of 644 square feet that won the cabinetry prize. Styled after a piece that was probably made for one of Marie Antoinette’s palaces, the “Marquetry of Cubes Ladies Desk” by Steven Lash, is a masterpiece of subtle complexity in classical lines that won the furniture category. 

Read more about past winners, or learn more about the 2024 contest and enter online

Originally created by Veneer Technologies to promote the use of veneer in woodworking, the Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge is now owned and conducted by CCI Media LLC, the parent company of Woodworking Network and FDMC magazine. Veneer Tech continues to sponsor the contest. 


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About the author
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.