Las Vegas - An art deco entry table featuring a pau ferro veneer exterior, a quilted maple veneer top bordered with Gabon ebony inlay, and 15 different types of wood veneer for the trompe l’oeil interior is the grand prize winner of the 2013 Veneer Tech Craftsman's Challenge™ as announced at the AWFS Fair® in Las Vegas. Craig Thibodeau of CT Fine Furniture, San Diego, CA, is awarded $3,000 for his creation that tops this ninth annual design competition recognizing excellence in veneer woodworking.

Herzog Veneer is the materials supplier for the project and receives $2000. Sales representative Julienne Barata receives $1000 in recognition of her participation in the supply chain. Sam Parisette-Herzog commented, “We greatly appreciate the folks at Veneer Tech for their sponsorship…of the Challenge. They have consistently supported the creators, the suppliers and the salespeople in the veneer industries for what is a love of a fine natural material. When it comes to beautiful wood and beautiful workmanship, they have continually led the way.”

The category winners in this year’s competition, each receiving $1000, are: Architectural Woodworking, Savante Wine Cellars, Denver, CO, for “Promenade Wine Room;” Cabinetry, Jarrett Bay Boatworks, Beaufort, NC, for sportfish “Custom 77' Blank Check;” Furniture, Studio of Michael P. McDunn, Greenville, SC, for table “Illusion Series No. 3;” Specialty Items, Colin Smith, Long Beach, CA, for display case “Memories of Russia;” and Student Design, Matthew Stoltz, College of the Redwoods, San Francisco, CA, for his table “Widowink.”

The judges awarded special honorable mention to Chuck Sharbaugh, Holly, MI, for his cabinet on a stand, “UP.” An additional eleven entries merited honorable mention: Architectural Woodworking, Tahiti Cabinets, Inc., Anaheim, CA, for “Whittier Law;” Cabinetry, Don Rizzie, Jersey Shore Originals, Farmingdale, NJ, for “Beverage Credenza,” and Douglas Harris, Lake Country Woodworkers, Middlesex, NY, for “Floral Kitchen Island;” Furniture, Anthony Balzer, Sooke, British Columbia, for “Satinwood Desk,” Scott Grove, Green Grove Design, Rochester, NY, for “Relationship,” and Craig Thibodeau, CT Fine Furniture, San Diego, CA, for “Art Deco Club Chairs;” Specialty Items, Steve Bartholomew Studio, Cedar City, UT, for “Day Break Pedestal,” Rob Milam, Veneer Images, Sandy Springs, GA, for “Charlie,” and Don Rizzie, Jersey Shore Originals, Farmingdale, NJ, for “Tackle/Fly Box;” and Student Design, Justin Inkson, Okanagan College, Ituna, Saskatchewan, for “Lewis Table,” and Nucharin Wangphongsawasd, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, for “FLEX: Room Divider.”

All entries can be viewed on the Veneer Technologies website at There is also an archive of 2005-2012 entries.

Experts from the fields of woodworking media, furniture making/manufacturing and woodworking education formed the panel of judges for the 2013 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge. Dale Broholm designs and makes custom furniture out of his Boston area studio, and is senior critic in the Department of Furniture Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. WoodLINKS USA representative Tim Fixmer of CCI Media is publisher of CabinetMaker+FDM, the co-sponsor of the Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge. Thomas Tuck, also a WoodLINKS USA representative, is product and distribution manager with equipment supplier Casadei-Busellato.

Judges’ decisions are in large part based on the quality of execution, and the greatest optimization of material. “Technique is important, as is the originality of the work piece,” said Tuck. “Really, we look for functional design that is unusual and bends the boundaries, expressing something that hasn't been done before.”

Fixmer added, “The entries represent the very best of our industry, from the students to the time tested pros. In the final analysis, the winners in each category were chosen by only fractions of a point separating them from the majority of the other entrants. It was that close in every category.”

The Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge entries for 2014 will be accepted beginning the first of January. Next year’s competition results will be announced at IWF in Atlanta.

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

Source: Veneer Technologies

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