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Craftsman’s Challenge winners announced

Paul Mann custom boats' entry of Georgia Girl, an 81-foot sportfishing yacht, won the cabinetry category and grand prize in the seventh annual Veneer Tech Craftman's Challenge.

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The boatbuilder from Manns Harbor, N.C., used plain-sliced cherry sheet veneer accented with figured cherry were used for the custom countertops and cabinetry throughout Georgia Girl, an “elegant yet lightweight solution in a marine project where weight is a significant consideration,” said Bill Esler, board member of WoodLINKS USA and associate publisher for Vance Publishing/Woodworking Network, one of three judges for the 2011 competition.

Atlantic Veneer Mill Outlet was the supplier of veneer for the project.

“Overall the quality of the work was remarkable,” said Keith Yow, also a judge for this year’s competition that rewards excellence in woodwork featuring natural veneer and wood product applications. “The scope of the projects was tremendous, particularly in the specialty items category. 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.” Yow is department chair of the Career Technical Education Program at Cedar Ridge High School, Hillsborough, N.C.

Other category winners were:

Architectural Woodworking: Fetzer Architectural Woodwork, Salt Lake City, Utah, for “Montage Hotel and Resort.”

Furniture: Craig Thibodeau, CT Fine Furniture, San Diego, for “Dogwood Cabinet”

Specialty Items: Rob Milam, VeneerImages, Atlanta for “Self Portrait 3” and Paul Schürch, Schürch Woodwork, Santa Barbara, Cailf., for “Bustier de Bois-The Sassy Zebra”

Student Design: Christian Seifert, College of the Redwoods, for “Danish Sideboard”

All entries can be viewed at

The Veneer Tech Craftsman's Challenge entries for 2012 will be accepted beginning Sept. 30. The results of the 2012 competition will be announced at IWF in Atlanta.

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