2012 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s ChallengeTM Woodworking Design, Craftsmanship, and Distributor Competition Free Online Entries Due June 1

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Better hurry! Entries in the eighth annual Veneer Tech Craftsman’s ChallengeTM design, craftsmanship and distributor competition are due June 1. The competition offers free online entry at http://www.veneertech.com, cash awards, and valuable recognition and publicity in the woodworking industry and beyond. The competition rewards excellence in the use of veneer and wood products for the entire supply line and also for student designers.

2011 Winner Paul Mann Custom Boats

The 2011 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge grand prize went to Paul Mann Custom Boats for the cabinetry work in the 81-foot sportfishing yacht, Georgia Girl.

A key purpose of the Craftsman’s Challenge is to recognize all the people in the veneer distribution chain as well as the designer. This promotes industry creativity and strengthens supply relationships.

The Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge ™, co-sponsored by Veneer Technologies and CabinetMaker+FDM of CCI Media, is a design competition recognizing excellence in natural veneer and wood applications regardless from what company the material is sourced. Categories include Architectural Woodworking, Cabinetry, Furniture, Specialty Products, Store Fixtures, and Student Design. Entry forms and guidelines are available online through http://www.veneertech.com and from Veneer Technologies sales representatives and distributors. All entries are due by June 1.

A key purpose of the Craftsman’s Challenge is to recognize all the people in the veneer distribution chain as well as the designer,” explains John Varner, Veneer Tech vice president. “This promotes industry creativity and strengthens supply relationships.” 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. Awards will be announced at IWF-Atlanta, August 22-25.

Three seasoned industry panelists will judge. 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.

Michael 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.

Tim 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.

Alfred 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.

Past grand prize winners of the Craftsman’s Challenge 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.

Veneer Technologies is located in Newport, NC, and specializes in natural face veneers, sheet veneer and edgebanding. The company also offers exotic hardwood lumber and reconstituted veneer products. Inquiries can be made by telephoning 800-593-5601 or visiting http://www.veneertech.com.

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