NEWPORT, N.C. - Entrants in the eighth annual Veneer Tech Craftsman’s ChallengeTM will be pleased to learn the names of the three seasoned industry panelists who will judge this international design competition that highlights achievement in the use of natural wood veneer products. The trio for 2012–each with a passion for hands-on woodworking–are Michael Bell, president elect of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) and a senior manager with Allegheny Millwork, Lawrence, PA; midwesterner Tim Fixmer, member of the WoodLINKS USA board of directors and publisher of CabinetMaker+FDM; and Woodbury, TN, studio furniture maker Alfred Sharp, current president of The Furniture Society, who concentrates primarily in 18th Century American styles and builds pieces merging traditional design and proportions with contemporary idioms and exotic woods.

The Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge rewards excellence in the use of veneer and wood products through cash awards and other recognition for the entire supply chain including craftsmen, distributors and distributor sales representatives, and also for student designers. The competition is co-sponsored this year by CabinetMaker+FDM.

Past grand prize winners include Wilkie Sanderson, Architectural Woodworking; Kent Townsend Fine Furniture; Paul Schurch, Schurch Woodworking; Gregg Novosad, Divine Design; Scott Grove, Green Grove Design; student Andrew Prioli; and Paul Mann Custom Boats.

Industry Judges Named for 2012 Craftsman’s Challenge CompetitionMichael Bell is director of estimating at Allegheny Millwork and has 38 years experience in the industry, starting as a cabinetmaker after studying with Buckminster Fuller at Southern Illinois University and since working in every aspect of architectural woodwork–office, plant and installation. He was deeply involved in the AWI/AWMAC/WI project that resulted in the first edition of Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS). He conducts seminars and presentations on the AWS for the design and woodworking communities.

Industry Judges Named for 2012 Craftsman’s Challenge CompetitionTim Fixmer’s involvement in the industry started with a position in a hardwood plant in Wisconsin. After graduation from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, he joined Johnson Hill Press and was publisher of Furniture/Woodworking Product News that later became Wood Digest. He formed CCI-Media, and acquired CabinetMaker+FDM in 2011. As a WoodLINKS representative he advocates for and promotes industry and education working together to train the future workforce.

Industry Judges Named for 2012 Craftsman’s Challenge CompetitionAlfred Sharp is a native of Nashville, TN, who dropped out of Vanderbilt University’s Law School when he realized his heart’s calling was working with wood. He segued from operating a 25-worker production shop to concentrating on museum-quality commissions including pieces made for The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home) and the Tennessee State Capital. He is an instructor at O’More College of Art and Design, Marc Adams School of Woodworking, and the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, ME. His work has been featured in magazines including Colonial Homes, Antiques Magazine, Fine Workworking, Woodwork, Woodshop News and Custom Woodworking, as well as in several books chronicling the studio furniture movement.

Craftsman’s Challenge entries are accepted through June 1, 2012. Competition categories include Architectural Woodworking, Cabinetry, Furniture, Specialty Products, Store Fixtures, and Student Design. Entry materials are available online through www.veneertech.com and from Veneer Technologies sales representatives and distributors.

A cash award of $3000 will be made to the creator of the grand prize winning entry. The distributor of the veneer for the grand prize winning entry will receive $2000, and the corresponding distributor salesman will receive $1000. Category winners receive $1000 each. There is also an additional $1000 award to the grand prizewinner for early entry by March 31, 2012. Awards will be announced at IWF-Atlanta, August 22-25.

Source: Veneer Technologies

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