Last night [14 October] The Wood Awards were presented at The Carpenters’ Hall in London in front of over 200 key figures in the timber industry. This year the UK’s premier furniture and architecture competition which recognises innovation and design in wood, awarded Gloster Furniture Limited’s Elan Outdoor Furniture first prize. Tom Kealy’s Grace-Longcase Clock was Highly Commended by the judges who were impressed by the exceptional craftsmanship and detailing of the bespoke piece.
This year saw the expansion of the Awards’ Furniture category with the introduction of four sub categories allowing greater recognition of craftsmanship and design in wood in a variety of furniture types, from single-piece bespoke furniture, to small batch and mass produced pieces for the commercial market.Elan Outdoor Furniture also triumphed in the new Exterior Furniture sub category fighting off stiff competition from Philip Koomen’s experimental Wave & Splash Bench. The beautiful outdoor chairs and tables, made from plantation grown Indonesian teak, were especially praised for their “intriguing designs and exceptional quality of construction”
The Single Piece Domestic Furniture award was given to the Mirror Frame described by the judges as “an example of the very best in craftsmanship”. The piece was also said to display “an incredibly high level of skill and a passion for woodworking”. Designer and Maker Georgy Mkrtichian said he “chose to create a flowing pattern reminiscent of flames to reflect the warmth of the colour of the wood”.
The prize for a Single Piece for a Public Space was awarded to Seating at Graves Gallery by Christian O’Reilly. Dubbed “a real achievement in furniture design” the three freestanding oak seats were particularly praised by the judges for answering the client’s demanding brief whilst perfectly fitting into their surroundings.
Production furniture, the final sub category award, went to the wonderfully crafted L’Arche Cabinet, part of the Litton Collection. The piece, which used lace-wood veneers and stood out for its memorable vanishing geometric effect, was a very popular choice with the judges for aesthetic reasons alone, but was also said to have “commendable attention to detail, both on the inside and out”.
The Wood Awards is supported by various generic sponsors, led by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the Carpenters’ Company and the Forestry Commission.
With the introduction of the new furniture subcategories and the already established popularity of the Awards in the architectural world, interest is already gathering for next years Awards with the entry period opening in March 2010. For further information, visit www.woodawards.com.