Tuesday 24 June 2014
Makita UK, Britain's number one professional powertool manufacturer and official sponsor of the National School of Furniture, helped to mark the celebrations at the annual End of Year Show 2014. The NSF is a partnership between Buckinghamshire New University and City of Oxford College based at the historic home of furniture in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
Third year undergraduates of the BA - Hons - Furniture: Design and Craft degree course displayed a magnificent showcase of work produced during their workshop-based coursework, where the making processes are intertwined with the creative and experimental approaches to furniture craft. The Makita Award for Excellence of Design combined with Excellence of Craft 2014 was based on judging criteria that involved intelligent application of creative thinking; appropriate use of materials and processes, and skills in the execution and manufacture of the product.
"This year's students have once again pushed the boundaries and proved that the level of design, skills and craftsmanship achieved on this course is exceptional," says Tony Coleman, technical and training manager, Makita UK. "And we feel privileged to play just a small part in the journey of 22 very gifted young people this year."
Judged by Ray Wilby, Makita's senior trainer, awards were made to:
Joshua Hall, 21, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, who took first place for his exquisitely crafted traditional honesty cabinet made from Yew (Taxus baccata) and Maple (Acer saccharum), and his contemporary-style shelf unit made of a glue-less construction method. Josh was presented with a gift voucher for Â£600 worth of Makita powertools.
The runner up prize was presented to Tom Devey, 22 years of age, from Luton, Bedfordshire, for his beautiful jewellery box made from brown Oak (Quercus robur) and Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus). His glue-less piece adopted a skilfully researched Japanese-inspired table base configuration, which can be adapted to any size of table top, packs flat and is held together with a single wooden peg. Tom received a gift voucher for Â£300 worth of tools.
Highly commended awards were given to Charlotte Jennings, 21, of Coulsden, Surrey who designed and made a stunning full length, floor based mirror; Greg Stone, 22, of Stamford, Lincolnshire for his innovative boiled leather creations, and Will Phillips, 29, of Sway, New Forest for his exceptional contemporary furniture entitled Burn & Blast.
"It has been an exceptional year with exceptional students; the individuality of the work pays credence to this fact. Many students in the group have jobs already lined up, a small group have the opportunity to have a retail space and small workshop in Camden, others have internships and teaching opportunities in America," says Andrew Shenton, course leader of the BA - Hons - Furniture: Design and Craft Course. "For the winners of the Makita award, this year and last, their winnings will enable them to continue their careers making even more beautiful things."
Makita's sponsorship package to the NSF has included equipping the workshops with Makita power tools, which are available to all degree course students; the provision of correct and safe use training, as well as hosting training sessions for the tutors and technicians at Makita's Milton Keynes headquarters.
Kevin Brannigan, marketing manager, Makita UK, said: "This is an extremely worthy partnership and we are delighted to help talented young people as they complete their education and enter the workforce. They are highly gifted and we feel sure they will be running their own workshops in time. We wish this year's students tremendous luck in their careers and look forward to working with the next group of third year students in their final year."
The NSF will also exhibit at the New Designers Show, The Business Design Centre, Islington, 25-28 June and 2-5 July.
(PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF DAVE MARRIOTT)
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