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Winners named in ’08 Veneer Tech contest

Gregg Novosad of Divine Design in Palatine, Ill., won the top prize in the fourth annual Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge, a contest sponsored by Veneer Technologies for best use of natural veneer.

Novosad won $5,000, while his veneer distributor, Certainly Wood of East Aurora, N.Y., won $3,000, and salesman Jim Carroll received $2,000, in recognition of their participation in the supply chain.

  Category winners: Architectural Woodworking: “Cobb Energy Performing Arts    Center,” Ralph Peterson of ONSITE Woodwork Corp., Loves Park, Ill. Cabinetry: “Torah Ark, Brooklyn Heights Synagogue,” Lorelei and Alex Gruss of Studio Gruss in Brooklyn, N.Y. Furniture: “Cognac Cabinet,”   Silas Kopf of Kopf Woodworking, Northampton, Mass. Specialty Items: “Steinway D  Duo-Art Art Case Piano,” Geoffrey Kaiser and David Snyder of Snyder’s Piano Service Inc., Robesonia, Pa. Store Fixtures: “Strata Fixture, Furniture Environment,” Thomas Reistetter of Thomas Reistetter Studio for Silvestri California, Los Angeles.

Novosad’s winning table “Clicker Control” contrasted the old and the new by placing a whimsical storyline on top of a classic egg-and-dart pattern. “Marquetry is often described as painting with wood, and 17 different veneers were used in my artist’s palette,” says Novosad. “My goal was to bring a smile to the viewer as they imagine their own ‘clicker control’ bliss.”

Pete Michelinie, of the North Bennet Street School in Boston, won a $1,000 scholarship in the Student category for his corner cabinet. Michelinie’s design was inspired by French furniture. The “Louis Cube” pattern on the front of the cabinet is commonly found on pieces from the Louis XIV and XV eras.

The competition was judged by Marc Adams, director of Marc Adams School of Woodworking; Will Sampson, editor-in-chief of CabinetMaker magazine; and Richard Ungerbuehler Sr., president of Federal Millwork Corp. and current president of the Architectural Woodwork Institute.

“We were in awe that Veneer Tech would honor not only the craftsman, but the supplier of the veneer used, especially in that contestants purchasing veneer from any source were and are considered,” says Ungerbuehler. “What could have been a commercial advertisement for Veneer Tech was and is a genuine interest on the part of the sponsors to recognize and honor those craftsmen within the industry of which they are a part.”

All entries can be viewed on the Veneer Tech Web site at www.veneer

This article originally appeared in the November 2008 issue.

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