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Master presents Furniture Makers’ Design Award at Celebration of Craftsmanship

Master Dids Macdonald OBE attended Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design, the UK’s largest selling exhibition of contemporary bespoke furniture, last month to present The Furniture Makers’ Company 2019 Design Award to the winner.

The show, which took place from 17-26 August, featured 300 exhibits from over 70 exhibitors at Cheltenham College’s Thirlestaine Long Gallery.

The winner of the 2019 Design Award was Fernanda Nunez for her Guilloché Bedside Tables.

The drawer fronts were inspired by a Guilloché pattern from an Art Deco mirror. Guilloché is a decorative French technique in which a pattern is mechanically engraved via engine turning, commonly engraved in metal.  These bedside tables explore the possibilities of transferring this technique into the realms of woodworking.

Crafted entirely in maple with ebonised maple legs, the Guilloché tables are a fantastic creative journey. The timber employed has been carefully selected to create a dramatic light contrast. The iridescence of the Guilloché together with the colour of the timber reminds us of the rising sun, framed by the dark silhouetted shape of bamboo scaffolding.

Fernanda  is a recent graduate from Waters & Acland Furniture School, with this being her first Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design. Commenting on the Guilloché Bedside Tables, the judges said: “[The design showed] extremely accomplished cabinetmaking from a student of just two years.  All elements of the design are beautifully resolved, and the oriental feel are unified with several subtle references.”

Three designs were also ‘highly commended’ by the judges: Laurent Peacock’s Piper Sideboard, Dave Taylor’s Toro Hallway Chairs and Theo Cook’s Console Table.

Master Dids Macdonald OBE said: “For 25 years the Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design has exemplified the wealth of the UK’s new and existing talent and the best of the best in craftsmanship. It is one of the most significant UK platforms from which bespoke furniture makers can showcase their work to prospective collectors. Fernanda stole the show as a worthy winner of the Furniture Makers’ Design Award for her intricate Guilloché bedside tables. Her attention to detail was superb, matched only by the simple elegance of the pieces.”

Jason Heap, Celebration of Craftsmanship organiser, said: “Designed to reward the truly exceptional exhibits at Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design, this award is a significant accolade for the winner as their work is judged by an esteemed panel against the best of their contemporaries. We are delighted to be working with The Furniture Makers’ Company to recognise truly extraordinary design amongst hundreds of excellent pieces.”