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“As usual very interesting and exceptional quality of design and workmanship.” [Anon.]

18th-27th August 2018

The Furniture Makers' Company Design Award

Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design


18th - 27th August 2018


The Furniture Makers' Company Design Award

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 award, there can be no doubt that the quality of craftsmanship required by them was exceptional as all the pieces are flawless.

2018 Award


The Display Table by Waywood

The Judges said:

“Technically challenging and beautifully executed. 
A good organic form, with nice detailing - a tour de force.”

We were indebted to one of Waywood’s and CCD’s mutual clients for the loan of this beautiful commemorative display table which they had commissioned for their home.  The table’s form, based on petals and flower buds, is particularly eye catching and we are grateful for the opportunity to view such an exceptional piece.  The glass held the engraving ‘She created spaces in which people could be happy.’ It is clearly a piece that means a great deal to the owner and it was therefore pleasing to see its excellence recognised so emphatically by the Furniture Maker’s Company.

Highly Commended

'Sika' Console Table by Laurent Peacock Design

The Judges said:

“A good contrast of timber.  Fine balanced design and well executed.”

Reminiscent of the stance and hide patterns of a young deer. The beautifully simple, paired back aesthetic of this console table is made possible by a number of interesting and complex design decisions to ensure that the final piece is durable and fit for purpose.  The top for example is designed to look like a solid lamination of silky oak but is actually a composite sandwich of silky oak veneer, mdf, carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb, for light weight and rigidity.

‘Watul’ Mirror by Jason Heap

The Judges said:

“Refreshing vibrant colour blend with a clever ‘endless’ weaving.”

This statement mirror draws inspiration from the maker’s surroundings on the Isle of Wight with clear references to the sea and sailing both through its colour, materials and woven construction that creates a wave aesthetic.  The judges recognised that the skill in creating an ‘endless weave’, that perfectly fits the diameters of the inner and outer frames, is belied by the finished mirror’s visual simplicity.

Carved Panel by Adrian McCurdy

The Judges said:

“Delightful movement, with a sensitive 3D use of wood grain.”

Adrian has recently started to create beautifully carved wall panels, most of which take inspiration from flowing water and ripples.  Each is carefully considered to utilise the natural grain of the timber for maximum aesthetic effect which is something that fascinates Adrian.  The relaxed wall hung pieces are carved and finished entirely by hand and this example is particularly beautiful and is fully deserving of its commendation.

2017 Award


'Clinker' Sideboard by Nick Kary

The judges said:

"A clever application of a boat building technique to create a beautiful piece of furniture.”

Inspired by the heritage of his location on the south Devon coast, Nick Kary’s free form sideboard is constructed from matched clinker chestnut boards, burr oak top, brown oak sides and it is held together using copper nails.

All of Nick’s timber is sourced locally and cut to his specification.  By marrying traditional hand tool and construction techniques such as cleaving, drawkniving and clinker with the more contemporary use of powered machinery, he hopes to create an enquiry into the appropriate use of materials and resources in a time when the wellbeing of ourselves and our planet has become of primary concern.

Highly Commended

'The Swallow' by Gabriel Furniture

"A visually arresting piece to conceive and make that’s beautifully executed.” (Judges Comment)

The Swallow coffee table has been designed and made by Ben Gabriel’s son Joshua who has now joined the business after graduating from Letterfrack College in 2011 and then gaining experience at several workshops in Ireland and Switzerland, including those of renowned Irish furniture designer Joseph Walsh.

The design sits comfortably into the studio design style which has developed through using geometry in an innovative way to give pieces a “playful” character.  The basic form is created from many sections of timber which are then shaped by hand to form the beautiful smooth curves that so impressed the judges.


Highly Commended

'Twisted' Chest by Adrian McCurdy

“A chest with an unpretentious honesty.” (Judges Comment)

Most British Oak grows with a spiral twist to the grain which can be released using the ancient technique of cleaving the log with wedges.  This results in individual boards that reflect the inner tree growth and Adrian uses these natural forms to bring subtle character to each piece.

A very deliberate quirk of this particular box is the wonderfully loud creak when the lid is lifted - it could easily be used as a BBC sound effect as a door in an old castle is opened!  Adrian creates this noise by using a misshapen peg to form the hinge and he can actually ‘tune’ the creak to achieve the perfect noise before finally hammering the peg home.  This audible element sits very comfortably with the natural, vernacular feel of the design, yet is just as painstakingly considered as every other board and joint.

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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