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San Diego woodworker wins Craftsman’s Challenge

Craig Thibodeau of San Diego won the grand prize in the 12th annual Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge.

Thibodeau’s “Automation Table,” an Art Deco design, impressed the judges with highly complex mechanical functionality and exceptional craftsmanship featuring pau ferro, maple and maple burl, ebony and various marquetry woods, according to Veneer Tech, a manufacturer of face veneer, sheet veneer and edgebanding in Newport, N.C.

Thibodeau won the design competition’s $3,000 top prize, recognizing excellence in veneer woodworking, plus $1,000 for an early deadline entry. Herzog Veneers won $2,000 as the veneer supplier and sales representative Julienne Barata was awarded $1,000 in recognition of participation in the supply chain.

Category winners were:

Architectural Woodworking: Bespoke in Larchwood, Iowa, for “Transitional Panelled Office.”

Cabinetry: Paul Mann Custom Boats in Manns Harbor, N.C., for the interior of “Caught Up.”

Furniture: David Bondy of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., for the “Coliseum Coffee Table.”

Marquetry: Ken Cowell of Yorba Linda, Calif., for “The Lady.

Specialty Items: Rolling Arts Bicycles of Burr Ridge, Ill., for “Meep-Meep.”

Student Design: John Ausel of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Quarryville, Pa., for “Federal Card Table.”

The nearly 100 entries in this year’s competition can be viewed at

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