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"Superb Craftsmanship again. Stunning mix of materials." [KM, Cheltenham]

19th-28th August 2017

The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers Design Prize

Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design


19th - 28th August 2017

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The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers Design Prize

We are delighted to be working with The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers (WCFM) to recognize truly extraordinary design amongst hundreds of excellent pieces.

This year’s esteemed panel of judges drew on experience from diverse careers beyond the designer-maker sphere and it is always interesting to see the perspective that this brings to their decision.  Whilst the award is labelled as a design prize, there can be no doubt that the quality of craftsmanship required by them was exceptional as all three pieces are flawless.

2016 Award


'Dragon Kre' in Cast Bronze by chaircreative

The judges said:

“A distinctive, striking and recognisable design.  This version in bronze is immaculately executed, representing a successful transition from an idea developed in wood over several iterations.  As much a work of art as a piece of furniture.”

As such a distinctive piece of design and craftsmanship we were delighted to have 'Dragon Kre' as part of this year's exhibition. Alun Heslop from chaircreative has told us that the piece was "Inspired on many different co-existing levels; through animalistic form and the shape of the journey as we move through landscape. Although not fire breathing this chair has certainly been forged by fire and commands a powerful, dominant presence."

There is no mistaking the colour of this piece. It is a strong bold statement where the beautiful semi translucent mottling effect in the patination evokes the skin of the Dragon. With highlights accentuated with the glint of polished bronze shining through.

'Dragon Kre' is a sculptural centre-piece chair in foundry cast bronze.  A functional work of art for the 21st century and beyond. This chair is based on a painstakingly hand carved wooden template form that has then been cast into bronze using the lost wax process.

Highly Commended

The 'An Absence of Noise' Collection in English, Elm, Cherry & Oak and Japanese Bambooby Hugh Miller Furniture

“All three pieces are refreshingly honest expressions of joinery and workmanship in solid timber.” (Judges Comment)

Hugh travelled to Japan as a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow in 2015 to research its unique woodworking culture. This experience is reflected in his Dining Chair, Table & Coffee set - a fusion of Japanese philosophy and his western design training.

Highly Commended

'Tweed' console table using Engineered Veneer by Philip Dobbins

“A beautifully restrained and sophisticated design, executed with great precision and craftsmanship.” (Judges Comment)

‘Tweed’ is an elegant, classic design with many traditional elements such as precision fitted drawers and ebony corner stringing, yet it embraces modern technology at every turn.  CNC machining has enabled him to push and evolve his original 1990’s design concept, whilst the engineered Italian poplar veneer is a modern take on an ancient technique.

Veneer work features very strongly in Philip’s work and the selection of a concrete-grey veneer that has the visual appearance of textile, almost more than of wood, is quite an exciting development.  This textile like pattern is formed by repeatedly laminating and then slicing the veneer at different angles until the final veneer is achieved.

2015 Award


Marc Fish’s 'One Piece Series -Console Table 2015'

“Ingenious, innovative, bold yet sophisticated; dramatic with good attention to detail.”

Highly Commended

Matthew Burt’s ‘Poise’

“Elegant and comfortable with smooth-flowing lines.  Good use of coopering and well-selected timber.”

 Charles Byron’s 'Log Stack' Cabinet

“Ingenious concept, creative thinking to combine different drawer shapes and the clever use of well air-dried end grain veneers.”

2014 Award Winners


Young and Norgate are an exciting partnership based in Devon and their ‘Animate’ writing desk was declared this year’s winner.  Its simple design and excellent making mean that this piece makes sitting down to write a letter a joy and an event rather than a mundane chore, it is a pleasure to use in every sense and the judges commented that they ‘mainly chose this table for its superb craftsmanship, interesting choice of timber and lovely details such as the side hanging drawer shown through the carcass and the sliding desk tidy’.


William Self’s ‘Ellipse’ box was Highly Commended for his ‘fine timber choice and good proportions’ and Kevin Stamper’s ‘Summer Field’ wall mirror was also Highly Commended for its ‘subtle colours and simple pixilated effect’.


2013 Award Winners

Simplicity was this year’s focus as understated elegance won favour from the panel.  This year’s winner, ‘Elevata’ shelves from Cato Design combined all of these in its sculptural yet unobtrusive design.  A worthy winner, it is a beautiful display platform for beautiful objects and is constructed using English Sycamore.

Suzanne Hodgson’s ‘River Console’ was Highly Commended along with Jan Waterston’s cabinet ‘By Nickel and Space’.  Suzanne’s versatile table uses the textures of diverse timbers and the figuring within them to embellish her minimalist design with great effect, whilst Jan combines excellent craftsmanship and good proportions within his understated yet involved piece.




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