We announced the winners of our Young Furniture Makers Awards and Prizes at the 2023 Young Furniture Makers exhibition earlier this month.
The Young Furniture Makers exhibition took place on Wednesday 11 October at Furniture Makers’ Hall and the spectacular Dutch Church in Austin Friars, London. The event was principally sponsored by Tizo Limited and co-sponsored by Axminster Tools, Celtheath and NaughtOne.
Around 70 designs from 60 emerging designer-makers were exhibited at the inspirational one-day event, which was set up over 15 years ago for school children, students and graduates to showcase their work to the design community and connect with potential employers.
The exhibition opened at 1.00pm with excited visitors quickly filling the two venues to see the incredible designs on show. In addition to the stunning furniture and lighting on display, guests and exhibitors were treated to five short informative seminars that formed a Talks Programme.
The anticipation and excitement of the exhibition built throughout the day with the event culminating with a drinks reception, sponsored by HIX, and the announcement of the Young Furniture Makers Awards. Hundreds of people packed out the Dutch Church to hear which pieces had been named top of their category, with special guest Tomoko Azumi announcing this year’s winners.
The winners of the awards were:
National School Design Prize, sponsored by KI: Orbitron by Charlotte Woolard
The Bespoke Award, sponsored by Axminster Tools: Lines Puzzle Cabinet by Josey Garbutt
The Design Award, sponsored by NaughtOne: Baileigh Chair by Eden Bunce
The Textiles Award, prizes sponsored by Parker Knoll: Sculpt by Emily Cross
The Leather Prize, prizes sponsored by The Leathersellers’ Company: the Hide Armchair by Holly Preece
The Idea Prize, sponsored by Colebrook Bosson Saunders: 25 Degrees by Harvey McKellar
The Fast Track Prize, prize sponsored by Malcolm Walker: All Seeing Chair by Maria Gil
The Best Chair in Show Prize, sponsored by Sitting Firm by Gaze Burvill: Crescent Chair by Archie Goundrey
Best in Show Prize, prize sponsored by Blum: Lines Puzzle Cabinet by Josey Garbutt.
Amanda Waring, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “The Young Furniture Makers exhibition yet again proved to be a wonderful celebration of the exceptional and remarkable design talent we have in the UK. We are profoundly grateful to our exhibition and award sponsors, whose unwavering support ensures that this inspirational event goes ahead each year. In particular, I extend my thanks to our principal sponsor, Tizo Limited.”
Billy Quinn, non-executive director at Tizo Limited, principal sponsor of the Young Furniture Makers exhibition, said: “At Tizo Limited, we believe in the power of innovation and supporting the potential of emerging design talent, which is why we were delighted to be the principal sponsor of the 2023 Young Furniture Makers exhibition. The exhibition gives a very important platform for young designer-makers to showcase their talent to key members of the trade and build connections with industry and peers. We look forward to witnessing these young talents shape the future of the furniture and furnishing industry.”
Josey Garbutt, winner of the Bespoke Award and Best in Show Prize, said: “Looking at the standard of work, I was hugely honoured to win first prize for the Bespoke Award. To then discover that my Lines Puzzle Cabinet had won Best in Show was incredible and I am absolutely delighted. It was also very satisfying to see the experts and other visitors having fun, playing with my cabinet and watching their reactions to the surprise elements.”
Maria Gil, winner of the Fast Track Prize, said: “Hearing my name as the winner of the Fast Track Prize was very emotional for me. After how big of a challenge it’s been to complete the design and construction of my chair, it was so moving and rewarding to see it recognised. The prize itself involves some exciting activities and opportunities which I simply cannot wait to take part in and get the most out of.”