Can Your Veneer Work Meet the Challenge?

Veneer has been used for centuries to add an artistic touch to furniture and other woodworking projects. The visual effect can be stunning, and there are things you can do with veneer that wouldn’t be possible with solid wood. Intricate patterns, exotic inlays and spectacular grain that matches across an elevation or around an entire piece are a few of the things that stretch the limits of woodworking and the talents of a craftsman. Last year I was one of the judges for the Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge, an annual contest sponsored by Veneer Tech, a North Carolina supplier of veneer. I posted several articles on our blog about how veneer is made, and this entry about last year’s winners.

I’ve been asked to return to judge this year’s contest, the seventh annual. I’m looking forward to returning to a great coastal area, with fresh seafood and wonderful hosts. This year the grand prize winner will receive a cash award of $3000, and each of the six category winners will receive $1000. One of the interesting aspects of this contest is that there are also awards for the distributor and salesman that supply the veneer for the grand prize winning entry. For complete details and rules of the contest visit the Veneer Tech website. If your entry is submitted before March 31, 2011 and you win the grand prize, you will also receive a $1000 bonus. The deadline for all entries is June 1, 2011 and the winners will be announced in July at the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I’m looking forward to meeting my fellow judges; Bill Esler, member of the WoodLINKS USA board of directors and associate publisher for Vance Publishing/Wood Interiors Media Group; and Keith Yow, a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) Carolinas Chapter and founder of the furniture and cabinetmaking program at Cedar Ridge High School, in Hillsborough, NC.

The images above are last year’s winners. Click on an image, then click again for a large version of each picture. You can view all of the winners, honorable mentions and all entries from the 2010 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge at this link. At the top of that page, there is also a link to winners and other entries from previous contests. It’s a visual treat of excellent work in beautiful materials.

–Robert W. Lang

Read up on veneer in back issues of Popular Woodworking Magazine, including “Old School Veneering” by Mario Rodriguez, and a four-part series of articles by Marc Adams.

2 thoughts on “Can Your Veneer Work Meet the Challenge?

  1. JimB

    The other thing use of veneer does of course is reduce pressure on threatened species vs. solid wood. Even wood grown sustainably or domestic hardwoods are somewhat limited in supply.

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