Chris Wiseman with his remarkable piece called ‘Oak Within’ became the latest winner of ‘The Best Use of British Timber Award’ sponsored by Woodland Heritage at last month’s Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design exhibition in Cheltenham. Now in its 22nd year, Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design is recognised as the UK’s largest annual exhibition of contemporary designer-maker furniture.
The first prize of £500 was awarded to Wiseman for his demonstration of the best use of British timber, whilst Robert Scott and his ‘Aeolian’ console table received a Highly Commended prize and a cheque for £250; unusually a third award of £200 was also given to Paul Jaques for his most imaginative use of small offcuts to create a most stunning ‘Walnut Poem’ coffee table.
“Woodland Heritage is proud to recognise each year at the Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design, exhibits that in our view maximise the economic and environmental value of trees and promote wood as a renewable natural resource”, said Peter Goodwin, Chairman of trustees and co-founder of Woodland Heritage. “We are a unique environmental charity, which truly unites all tree people – a vehicle for wood users to ‘put something back’ and contribute to the proper management of British trees.”
“Using British timber encourages the sustainable and economic value of our woodlands, as well as supporting the wood chain. Well-managed, healthy woodlands can also provide an environment that supports wildlife, flora and fauna, whilst ensuring traditional woodland skills are not lost”, continued Mr Goodwin.
In determining who should be the recipients of this year’s awards, marks were given for design, species selection, use of timber, craftsmanship and provenance of the wood used; points were also given to entrants who provided proof that they had gone out of their way to source timber locally and/or find out where their timber came from.
Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design director, Jason Heap was delighted with this year’s winners: “Once again the Woodland Heritage judges were spoilt for choice and quality. With this in mind, it is a fantastic achievement for Chris Wiseman, a student who has just completed his training, to have produced such a wonderful winning piece from beautiful British sycamore and oak. Robert Scott, also a young maker, and Paul Jaques artistic works demonstrate the beautiful potential that lies hidden within our native timber, waiting for a craftsman or woman to maximise it.”
Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’. A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber. As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal. A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline.