AWFS Fair: Veneer Tech Names Challenger WinnersLAS VEGAS, NV

- Masterful cherry veneer cabinetry work earned Paul Mann Custom Boats’ entry of an 81-foot sportfishing yacht, Georgia Girl, the Cabinetry category and grand prize in the seventh annual Veneer Tech Craftman’s Challenge competition.

Announced during the opening day of the AWFS Fair, competition winners included six winners in five categories, including Paul Mann, a Manns Harbor, NC, boat builder. His firm receives $4,000 in prize winnings including both the grand prize for a best in show entry, and for the cabinetry category prize.

Mann's project used hand selected plain-sliced cherry sheet veneer accented with figured cherry for custom countertops and cabinetry throughout Georgia Girl, an “elegant yet lightweight solution in a marine project where weight is a significant consideration,” noted Bill Esler, board member of WoodLINKS USA and associate publisher for Vance Publishing/Woodworking Network, one of three judges for the 2011 competition.

“Overall the quality of the work was remarkable,” said Keith Yow, another judge for this year’s competition. Yow is department chair of the furniture and cabinetmaking program at Cedar Ridge High School, Hillsborough, NC, which is also  affiliated with the WoodLINKS woodworking educational program. Veneer Tech actively supports the WoodLINKS program, frequently supply veneer for the educational programs throughout the U.S.

“The scope of the projects was tremendous, particularly in the Specialty Items category," noted Yow. "The marquetry in many pieces displays incredible artistic visions and abilities; it made judging difficult. The craftsmanship was exceptional, especially in the case of fitting cabinets with so many radiuses into the cabin of a yacht.”

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

  • Architectural Woodworking, Fetzer Architectural Woodwork, Salt Lake City, UT, for “Montage Hotel and Resort”
  • Furniture, Craig Thibodeau, CT Fine Furniture, San Diego, CA, for “Dogwood Cabinet”
  • Specialty Items, two winners: Rob Milam of VeneerImages, Atlanta, GA, for “Self Portrait 3,” and Paul Schürch, Schürch Woodwork, Santa Barbara, CA, for “Bustier de Bois–The Sassy Zebra”
  • Student Design, Christian Seifert, College of the Redwoods, for “Danish Sideboard.”

Eight other wood veneer project entries earned honorable mentions. All entries are posted at

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