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Craftsmen respond to challenge

Veneer Technologies, a veneer supplier, announced the results of its 10th annual Craftsman’s Challenge competition at IWF 2014. Keith Morgan and Aaron Nash of Bespoke Minneapolis, a custom shop in Larchwood, Iowa, won the grand prize from the transitional cabinet category.

The grand-prize winner in the 2014 Craftsman's Challenge, produced by Bespoke Minneapolis in Larchwood, Iowa.

“When I look at this entry, I’m envious of the level of design and even more of the quality of execution that went into this work,” Alfred Sharpe said in his judging comments.

“The main goal of this project was to create a platform that could showcase our strengths in both our detail and marquetry/veneer work in a more contemporary format,” the shop’s entry description said. “The cabinets offer many unique details that demonstrate this, from the micro-reeded details, the up-lighting of each deck, the herringbone parquetry work on the lower deck and ceiling, the curved interior corners, the perpendicular veneer door edges flanked by the walnut piping, the automotive finish on the drawer box sides interrupted by the teak micro-reeding to the both vertical and horizontal matching of all of the ziricote exteriors and Burmese teak interiors. A lot of details in an understated package.”

The grand prize consists of a $3,000 cash award. Certainly Wood, the project’s veneer supplier, received $2,000 and sales representative Greg Engle won $1,000.

Bespoke also won the cabinetry category for a residential kitchen in the Royal Crescent, the former retreat of Queen Mary in Bath, England.

The competition drew more than 100 entries.

“This year’s competition was filled with high-quality entrants,” Sharpe said. “We had some very difficult decisions to make in many categories, and we created an ad hoc category, ‘Wearable Veneers,’ to recognize three veneer eyeglass frame designs.”

Category winners also included:

Architectural Woodworking: Kirk Coryn of Kirk’s Kreations in Sapulpa, Okla.

Furniture: Richard Hubbs of Richard Hubbs Furniture and Design in Ferdinand, Ind.

Special Items: Spider Johnson and Lora Hunt of Mason, Texas

Student Design: Olof Jondelius from the University of Washington in Seattle

Wearable Veneer: Arc-Iris of Pocatello, Idaho

Additional photos of the winning entries can be viewed at, which also has details about the 2015 Craftsman’s Challenge.

This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue.

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