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Deadline set for Craftsman’s Challenge entries

Entries are now being accepted for the 2015 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge. The 11th annual contest highlights achievements by woodworkers through the use of natural wood veneer in furniture and casework products.

Paul Schürch

Veneer Tech, a sheet veneer supplier and the contest sponsor, is requesting all entries by the May 25 deadline. There is no entry fee and cash prizes will be awarded in July at the AWFS fair in Las Vegas. Competition categories include architectural woodworking, cabinetry, furniture, marquetry, specialty products and student design.

The contest judges are Mavis Morgan, Paul Schürch and Gene Wengert.

Schürch, a past grand-prize winner, owns a custom studio in Santa Barbara, Calif., known for fine inlaid marquetry furniture and art projects. He also teaches veneering and furniture-making workshops across the country. This is his second time judging the contest.

“The economy’s rebounding and I expect we’ll have more entries. The quality is probably going to be a lot higher. It’s always been improving since I’ve been part of the show,” Schürch says.

“This year we’ve established a dedicated marquetry category, given the strength of past entries featuring this veneer work. And who better to judge this craft than Paul Schürch?,” Veneer Tech sales manager Alan Hubbard says.

Mavis Morgan has been with Timber Products Co. for 28 years, beginning in California and relocating to the company’s hardwood/plywood plant in Corinth, Miss., in 1996. She manages the grading room and is in charge of procurement of hardwood veneer.

Gene Wengert is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and president of The Wood Doctor’s Rx LLC. A former professor and extension specialist at Virginia Tech and researcher at the U.S. Forest Products Lab, Wengert teaches many on-site practical wood processing classes and seminars each year.

“It is fitting that a competition recognizing the entire supply chain, from material source to distributor to designer/craftsperson, will be juried by a wood scientist, a veneer quality control specialist and a master craftsman,” Hubbard says.

For contest details, visit

This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue.

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