ATLANTA — A table featuring pau ferro, holly, lacewood, wenge, laurel burl and pear veneers was chosen as the top entry out of a total 168 entries in the fourth annual Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge competition, announced in Atlanta during the IWF 2008 show. Gregg Novosad of Divine Design, Palatine, IL, was awarded the $5,000 grand prize for excellence in woodwork featuring natural veneer and wood product applications. Certainly Wood, distributor to Divine Design, received a cash award of $3,000 and salesman Jim Carroll received $2,000 in recognition of their participation in the supply chain. 

Pete Michelinie of The North Bennet Street School, Boston, MA, received a $1,000 scholarship check in the Student category for his corner cabinet featuring basswood, poplar, hard maple, satinwood, holly, mappa burl, walnut burl, eucalyptus, black castello and zebrawood veneers. Michelinie’s design was inspired by French furniture.

Category winners receiving trophies were: 

Architectural Woodworking — “Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center” by Ralph Peterson of ONSITE Woodwork Corp., Loves Park, IL

Cabinetry — “Torah Ark, Brooklyn Heights Synagogue” by Lorelei and Alex Gruss of Studio Gruss, Brooklyn, NY

Furniture — “Cognac Cabinet” by Silas Kopf of Kopf Woodworking, Northampton, MA

Specialty Items — “Steinway D Duo-Art Art Case Piano” by Geoffrey Kaiser and David Snyder of Snyder’s Piano Service Inc., Robesonia, PA

Store Fixtures — “Strata Fixture, Furniture Environment” by Thomas Reistetter of Thomas Reistetter Studio for Silvestri California, Los Angeles, CA.

This year’s judges were Marc Adams, director of Marc Adams School of Woodworking; Will Sampson, editor-in-chief of CabinetMaker magazine; and Richard Ungerbuehler, Sr., president of Federal Millwork Corp. and current president of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI).

All entries can be viewed on the company’s Web site at There also is an easy-to-access archive of 2005, 2006 and 2007 entries.

Entries in the 2009 competition will be accepted beginning September 15. There will be a change in cash awards for 2009, with each category winner receiving $1000, and the Grand Prize award being $3000. The Grand Prize distributor will receive $2000 and the sales representative will receive $1000. The results of next year’s competition will be announced at AWFS 2009 in Las Vegas. FDM and CabinetMaker magazines again will be the Craftsman’s Challenge partner sponsors.

Student Design winner Pete Michelinie's cabinet.
Gregg Novosad's grand prize-winning "Clicker Control."

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