Woodland Heritage’s Best Use of British Timber Awards at the Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design exhibition aims to promote the use of local resources to produce pieces that have added meaning beyond their basic function.
Held annually in Cheltenham and heralded as ‘the UK’s largest exhibition of contemporary, bespoke designer-maker furniture’, Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design (like Woodland Heritage) is looking forward to its 25th anniversary next summer.
The award is open to all exhibitors (over 70 this year) and judged by a panel during the show, with the criteria including design, species selection, use of timber, craftsmanship and provenance of the wood used; points are awarded to entrants who go out of their way to source timber locally and/or find out where their timber comes from.
This year’s winner of The Woodland Heritage ‘Best Use of British Timber Award’ went to 'Grace' Circular Table by Daniel Harrison Furniture of West Glamorgan and about which the Judges said:
“This beautiful circular table stood out immediately. The figure on the top is just stunning to look at and also to feel – very tactile. The unusual fluted underframe demonstrates great Craftsmanship & Design. It seems fitting to have ‘Ash’ standing out at this point in time when we are losing so many of our native Ash trees to Chalara.”
Ash is Daniel’s favourite timber and as such he wanted to show as many varieties within this piece as possible - Olive ash for the top, ripple ash for the base and the use of laminated native Welsh ash for the spokes of the base structure. Daniel commented that: “With the onset of Chalara (ash dieback) I thought it important to raise awareness and celebrate one of our finest native tree species."
The Ash used for this project was sourced from Andrew Williams (A W Hardwoods LTD) within a ten-mile radius of his sawmill in Swansea, South Wales, just down the road from Daniel’s workshop.
Highly commended in the Award was ‘Corvus’ by Beneath the Bark, about which the Judges said:
“A curvy version of a classic chest of drawers. The use of Burr Elm (Scottish) on the draw fronts is very dramatic. Elm is a beautiful timber and its natural beauty has been exhibited by this piece – even the back has a dramatic grain.”
Tom Jones, of Beneath the Bark, combines making furniture with working for a commercial timber yard in rural Suffolk.
The two winning entries both used timber that due to disease is either currently hard to source in the UK (elm), or is likely to become increasingly so (ash), highlighting the value of Woodland Heritage’s continuing drive to nurture the UK timber stocks of tomorrow for the furniture making industry.
More details about next year’s exhibition will be announced shortly by the Celebration of Craftmenship