Apr 25

‘Being a part of the Wood Awards exhibition guarantees exposure to audiences outside your usual contacts’

With one month left to enter the Wood Awards, last year’s Furniture and Object winners describe the positive outcomes of participating in the Wood Awards 2023.


Mentsen, a London-based design practice established in 2011 by Yasuyuki Sakurai and Risa Sano, is a two-time winner of the Production category.

In 2023, together with their client The Exchange Erith, Mentsen were recognized for their project The Exchange Tables and Chairs (above) – a community-led design initiative praised by the judges as an inspirational example of how working with wood can build community as well as products.

“Our reason to enter the Wood Awards in the Furniture category was partly to show appreciation to our clients for providing us with the opportunity to work on interesting projects, and also to gain recognition as a studio working with wood and delivering high quality output,” Mensten told the Wood Awards.

“It’s nice to know that our works were recognised by the respected industry colleagues on the judging panel, and a huge surprise both times to actually win the awards.”

“We really appreciated the opportunity to exhibit the projects for free during the London Design Fair, as showing anything during the design festival is usually a big commitment, and being a part of the Wood Awards exhibition guarantees exposure to audiences outside of your usual contacts.”

The beautifully executed Serenade by John Makepeace OBE is made from a single tree of English oak.

John Makepeace OBE was the 2023 Bespoke winner, awarded for his meticulously considered scorched oak chest Serenade. With over 65 years’ experience as a creator in wood, Makepeace has become one of the UK’s most renowned designers and furniture makers, and has a great knowledge of the timber-using design industries.

“I am keenly aware of the lack of communication between timber-growers, designers, architects and manufacturers in the UK, to the disadvantage of all parties,” Makepeace explained.

Serenade was made of oak, planted at Longleat in the 1740s, and the quality of the sylviculture is beautifully demonstrated by the timber. It is unusual for me to have something available for submission, as most of my work is commissioned.”

“The Wood Awards exhibition is an exciting way to show the shortlisted items to a wide audience.”

“Winning the Bespoke Wood Award has generated excellent press coverage. The piece is now part of a stunning private collection.”

The Student Designer award-winning Rocaille Morphosis in situ.

The Student Designer Award was won by Jo Grogan, from City & Guilds London Art School, for her hand-carved limewood mirror Rocaille Morphosis. Drawing on her prior experience in fashion, her work combines skilled wood carving with embroidery and embellishment.

“Taking part in the Wood Awards was important to me as I feel it is an organisation that truly celebrates the diversity and beauty of wood,” Grogan said. “It was a fantastic opportunity to exhibit alongside the other artists and makers at Gallery@Oxo, and to engage with the public and talk about my work.”

“I was honoured to have received the Student Designer Award and feel that it is important to give individuals entering the industry a platform to show their work professionally.”

Join the Wood Awards community and enter your projects today!

Learn about our new Furniture & Objects category for 2024 ‘Sculptured Objects’ here.

For more details on how to make your submission, take a look at our entry guidance. If you have any questions do get in touch with our friendly team at [email protected].

About the Wood Awards

Established in 1971, the Wood Awards recognises, encourages and promotes outstanding wood design, craftsmanship and installation.

The Awards are split into two main categories: Buildings and Furniture & Object.

The Wood Awards shortlist will be announced in September and all shortlisted projects will be on display at an exhibition as part of Material Matters design fair. Everyone involved in a shortlisted project will be invited to attend the Wood Awards ceremony held in London in November.