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The judging has been based on hi resolution images of the entries.
Jeff Maker First Prize £1,000 voucher
Maker’s statement: ‘Luna’ takes inspiration from the long and varied histories of human relationships with the moon. Seeking to combine visual references to folk tales of the moon as an intangible but potent cultural object and the stories of the Apollo moon landings when human kind first brought the moon within the tangible sphere of the human universe.Using 14 stopped tapered mortice and tenons a variation on the traditional Windsor chair joint, a nod to the bodger/woodsman of tale of the man in the moon. The chair was constructed in 3 dimensions to allow for the differing rake of the front and back legs adding to the complexity of the build. jigs were made for each joint to allow drilling and tapering of each hole to achieve a perfect fit.The seat, back and arm rests were shaped by hand after initial machining. using, carving grinder discs, spokeshaves, and a travisher which I made specifically for this chair.
Judges comment: Chairs are immensely difficult to get right in structure form and comfort. This chair echoes the English Windsor tradition and involves some advanced geometry if a little busy visually. It demonstrates the importance of the jigs devised in chair making. The referencing of the moon landing adds an element of playfulness. Altogether a really well earned first prize and congratulations to Jeff. It will be interesting to see whether it is produced in batches.
Matthew Tyson 2nd prize £500 voucher
Maker’s statement: The aim of this piece was to create a functional and elegant desk, with storage for large A3-sized drawings amongst other items. Made primarily from Canadian maple, with a burr Poplar & maple veneered top with quarter-sawn sycamore string-lines. Piston-fit, traditional drawers made from quarter sawn maple, with English cherry bases and coved slips. These slips were inspired by, and developed from the ones drawn by Alan Peters in his book “Cabinetmaking - the Professional Approach”. The drawers have an applied-front, taken from the same stock as the front, which follow the curve on the front of the desk. The Legs are notched into the side aprons and fixed with three vertically positioned dowels.The design features subtle curves and shadow details that are repeated throughout.The finish is French-polish and wax.
Judges’ comment: A classic understated design with a lot of technical detail. This is an elegantly presented table with a well considered decorative surface and beautifully made drawers with neat dovetail joints. ‘Less is more’ echoes the Alan Peters philosophy. Surprising that French polish is still used in contemporary furniture as it is soft and prone to water staining.
Philip Gay 3rd prize £300 Judges cash prize
Maker’s statement: This piece rejects a big box carcass, instead choosing to strip things back. Exploring diminished forms and negative space. The birch plywood boxes have solid ash lippings and are double veneered, joined with biscuits on the mitres. The drawers themselves are solid ash joined with solid wood splines and a veneered ply base. These are mounted on Blum push to open undermount runners. The drawer fronts were hand shaped, scorched and dyed, then fitted with brass screws. The legs were roughly machine cut and then handplaned to their final shapes. The angled rear leg creates a potential weak point so I used a sliding dovetail to make this rock solid. The rear leg is attached with dominos and bolts which allowed good alignment and a reliable way to clamp it up. Csk bolts and screw inserts are also used to connect the 3 boxes,the front legs are attached with dominos.
Judges’ comment: We found this piece to be fascinating and something that needed to be fully digested. The subtle faceted drawer fronts are not immediately apparent but entice the user to push in order to spring the drawers out. There was some debate over the use of metal drawer fittings. A good contrast in colour and textures and it is no mean feat to achieve consistently invisible glue lines on the long mitre joints. But for the metal fittings this piece would have ranked higher. We did notice the wrong grain direction in the rear leg internal dovetail key but overall we felt this is a really excellent piece.
Tom Inman Highly Commended
This coffee table was inspired by a traditional Japanese technique called Kumiko and the crystallisation of a snowflake. Kumiko is traditionally used for screens and is purely decorative. The piece is an attempt to use Kumiko in a different way. the materials I have used are ply and flexi ply core with London Plane (Lace wood) veneer, African Padauk Lippings, Laminated Sycamore inlays. For the Kumiko Laminated Sycamore, Ebony and African Padauk.
Judges' comment: An unusual and striking piece reflecting Alan Peters' Japanese influence. It looks consistently articulately made with all those three-way cross-halving joints that appear to be tight. The open lattice work looks somewhat prone to small objects falling through, such as tea spoons, and raises the question what if a child sits on the table? The design is somewhat visually busy but overall this table is an extraordinary effort.
Robin Johnsom Commended
Maker’’s statement: lnspired by the form of the Chanterelle mushroom. With sustainability in mind I chose to use timber native to the UK with characteristics that would suit the outdoor environment the chair would be living in after the Chelsea Flower Show.I made a template for each of the 136 pieces to mark onto boards with least waste and best use of grain, each piece was roughcut by jigsaw, fine cut by bandsaw then finish cut using a router with guide bush. To achieve the taper to the centre, a number of jigs and angled beds were made up to pass each piece through the thicknesser – once tapered, the pieces were laminated together to form two halves of the chair, then the two halves joined together to give the rough form. Once together I shaped the chair using a range of hand and power tools, then sanded and finished by hand.
Judges’ comment: A real dilemma facing us over this visually striking and technically challenging piece is that although it clearly has a wow factor and could have earned first place, the craftsmanship with plugs, filler and some open joints falls short of the very high standard of workmanship that an award in Alan Peters’ name demands. However it does echo Alan’s tub chair design although this chair is for outdoor use. The laborious finishing is impressive. A dilemma also is that wood sculpture does not normally demand articulate craftsmanship that fine furniture does but it does raise the question of durability when laminating for outdoor work using a PVA glue. A difficult decision that we spent much time over as we have to be consistent in criteria to past award winners.