Elliott Butterwick, a London-based designer-maker originally from Norfolk, has been awarded two Bespoke Guild Marks for his East Anglian inspired bespoke furniture designs, the Flooded Fens Console Table and the Marshlands Drinks Cabinet.
The Bespoke Guild Mark recognises excellence in design, materials, craftsmanship and function for exquisite pieces of furniture and fitted furniture made as single items or a limited run. It is awarded to beautifully crafted pieces of bespoke furniture and, since its launch in 1958, has been the apex of distinctions for UK designer-makers.
The Flooded Fens Console Table and the Marshlands Drinks Cabinet are the 491st and 492nd pieces to be awarded a Bespoke Guild Mark in the prize’s eminent history.
The Flooded Fens Console Table tells the story of the beautiful and ancient timber, bog oak, which is found in the East Anglian Fens. Buried underground for 5,000 years, these sub-fossilised trees turned from oak brown to a stunning black and is one of the UK’s most exquisite and highly cherished timbers.
For the top of the console table, Elliott created a flooded pattern from marshland grass, from which a silicone mould was taken. An outer layer of liquid bronze resin was then cast, along with a carbon fibre core to add rigidity. The bog oak legs were carved into gentle flute patterns, which were then sandblasted to give a rough, organic contrast to the smooth outside.
A development of the Flooded Fens Console Table, the Marshlands Drinks Cabinet explores the relationship between North Norfolk’s tidal swell and its salt marshes. The curved, wave-like doors incorporate a similar marshland grass texture, in stark contrast to the luxurious sycamore interior and polished bespoke brass handles.
Elliott designed both pieces in 2021 and submitted applications for the Bespoke Guild Mark in 2023.
Commenting on the awards, Elliott said:“I am truly honoured to receive not just one, but two Bespoke Guild Mark awards. This reflects the dedication that went into crafting each piece and I am grateful to The Furniture Makers’ Company for acknowledging this commitment to excellence. This achievement fuels my determination to continue pushing boundaries in bespoke design.”
Daniel Hopwood, Bespoke Guild Mark chairman, said:“As the chairman of the Bespoke Guild Mark, I had the delight to meet Elliott to inspect his Marshlands Cabinet. There was no doubt that his work is of the standard we expect, both in its elegantly modern design and its exquisite execution. Elliott’s Flooded Fens Console pushes the barriers of furniture design, using modern materials to achieve a playful, organic silhouette. I look forward to seeing what more this talented, young designer can produce.”