Winners Named in Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge Awards
August 26, 2012 | 8:38 pm CDT

ATLANTA - The “Boatroom” transformation of a Newport, RI, residence crawlspace into a mahogany masterpiece reminiscent of a classic sailing yacht earned Jutras Woodworking, Greenville, RI, the grand prize and won the Architectural Woodworking category in the eighth annual Veneer Tech Craftsman’s ChallengeTM recognizing excellence in veneer woodworking. Jutras essentially utilized one log of crotch mahogany in transforming a subterranean area into a nautical dream room designed by Langan Design Partners. The company receives a total of $5000 in prize winnings, including the early entry $1000 bonus, as announced at IWF Atlanta.

Indiana Architectural Plywood was the supplier of the veneer for the project and receives $2000. Sales representative John Wright receives $1000 in recognition of his participation in the supply chain.

“With well over 200 entries, the task to pick a limited number of winners was daunting at best,” said Michael Bell of Allegheny Millwork, one of three judges this year and a board member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute. “Mixing the sheer quantity with the high level of quality exhibited in every category made picking the winners a true ‘craftsman's challenge.’”

The other category winners in this year’s competition, each receiving $1000, were:

Cabinetry, BenchCraft Custom Woodwork, Fort Collins, CO, for “Burled to Perfection;” Furniture, Ricardo Vasquez Custom Furniture, Haiku, HI, “Kalokahi;” Specialty Items, Green Grove Design, Rochester, NY, “Melissa;” and Student Design, Cale Caboth, Mt. Pleasant, IA, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, “Cantilevered.”

The judges deemed 29 additional entries as meriting honorable mention: Architectural Woodworking, William Doub Custom Furniture, Deerfield, NH, for “Iris Mantle;” Cabinetry, Brian Newell Furniture, Fort Bragg, CA, for “Dinosaur Cabinet,” and Gary Silver Fine Woodworking, Cottonwood, CA, for “Art Deco Drinks Cabinet;” Furniture, Richard Babbitt, Friday Harbor, WA, for “Table De Vino,” Kirk Kreations, Elkhard, IN, for “Summer Love Bed,” Eric Englander Cabinet & Furniture Making, New York, NY, for “Walnut Sideboard,” Hess Custom Woodwork, Fletcher, NC, for “The Armoire,” K International Woodworking, Norwood, MA, for “Dining Table,” Loy D. Martin Furniture, Palo Alto, CA, for “Hillsborough Console,” Terry Moore Fine Furniture, Wilmot, NH, for “Carlton House Desk,” Thomas R. Schrunk, Minneapolis, MN, for “Offset Radial Table,” Schürch Woodwork, Santa Barbara, CA, for “Rose Chest“ and also for “Rose Table,” CT Fine Furniture, San Diego, CA, for “Gladiola Blanket Chest” and also for “Dining Set,” and Ricardo Vasquez Custom Furniture, Haiku, HI, for “Holomoku;” Specialty Items, Charles Bingham Inlay Arts, Battle Creek, MI, for “Nostalgia,” Jane Burke, Duluth, GA, for “Magnolia,” Lynne Buss, Monument, CO, for “Cannon Beach Panorama,” Vincent Doan, Garden Grove, CA, for “Hurricane Alley,” EMC Woodworking, Phoenix, AZ, for “Floating Obelisk,” Timothy G. Johnson, Luthier, Hewitt, TX, for “Bass Viola da Gamba,” Rodney Pike, Wendouree Victoria, AU, for “Lion,” Rob Milam Veneer Images, Sandy Springs, GA, for “Michael,” and Zongkers Custom Woods, Omaha, NE, for “Traditional Style Jewelry Box;” and Student Design, Byron Conn, RIT School for American Crafts, for “Demilune,” Mark Kornell, Okanagan College, for “Cactus Table,” Brian McClain, Red Rocks Community College, for “Walnut Burl Demilune Table,” and Coby Unger, Philadelphia University, for “Arborglass Wooden Eyewear.”

All entries can be viewed on Veneer Technologies’ website at There also is an archive of 2005-2011 entries.

Impartial third-party experts from the fields of woodworking media, furniture making and architectural woodworking judge the Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge. Along with Michael Bell, the 2012 panel included Alfred Sharp, instructor and fine furniture maker, and Tim Fixmer, publisher of CabinetMaker+FDM (co-sponsor of the Craftsman’s Challenge) and WoodLINKS board member.

“Virtually every one of the entries in this competition deserved very serious consideration, and narrowing the field down to the final award winners was excruciating,” commented Sharp. “Whether using traditional techniques and designs, or striking out in innovative uses for veneer, each of the winners has created work to be marveled at.”

Fixmer added, “There can be no doubt that craftsmanship and creativity abound in today's woodworking industry. One of the delightful surprises in the judging experience was to discover the student entries far exceeded my expectations. It thrills me to think that we have young people with skills of that magnitude preparing to make careers in woodworking and furniture making.”

Veneer Technologies’ John Varner reiterates that a key purpose of the Craftsman’s Challenge is to recognize all the people in the veneer distribution chain as well as the craftsmen. “We really consider this as woodworking’s best opportunity to promote industry creativity and to strengthen supply relationships.”

The Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge entries for 2013 will be accepted beginning later this year. Next year’s competition results will be announced at AWFS® Las Vegas.

Veneer Technologies, located in Newport, NC, is one of the industry’s largest manufacturers of high quality face veneer and sheet veneer. Veneer Tech sources wood species worldwide.

Source: Veneer Technologies

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