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The craft&design Selected Awards 2015 - Specialist Judges

craft&design Selected Awards

John Makepeace
John Makepeace
Wood & Metal Category

John Makepeace
Furniture designer and maker

John Makepeace has been passionate about woodworking since he was a child. Over the seventy years since that, he has come to realise the vital role of design in giving objects the ability to communicate, and therefore the opportunity to command an audience. Instead of going to university, he travelled extensively to study design, and soon found himself appointed as a consultant to Government bodies in UK, India, Japan and Australia.

In 1976, John bought Parnham House in Dorset to provide larger workshops for his team of furniture-makers, and accommodation for residential students learning to design and make furniture together with the entrepreneurial skills to develop their businesses, all in a historic house with exhibitions of contemporary art and design for the visiting public.
This involvement with timber led to his developing a new woodland campus where research into the properties of those trees in a forest removed to promote the growth of the better specimens revealed the extraordinary potential for a sustainable, but largely wasted, natural resource in construction. The collaborative research involving foresters, structural engineers, material scientists, chemists and architects led to innovative building systems and technologies that use these small diameter trees in the round that would otherwise be burned adding to atmospheric pollution. In 2001 the campus was amalgamated with the Architectural Association so that students from around the world can learn the principles of energy efficient construction. That enabled John Makepeace to return to his original love of designing and making furniture for clients in Britain, the United States and more recently in China.

“I shall be looking for three things when judging the craft&design Selected Maker Awards:
1. Design is about devising better solutions that address the functional and aesthetic requirements through the application
of science, technology and the imagination.
2. The intelligent use of tools and materials, and the quality of making.
3. A brief list of bullet points showing how the design and making meet these criteria.”

Judge’s Statement

Graham Anderton Gold Award Wood & Metal
"Very different is the work of Graham Anderton. Clearly an experienced engineer, he now applies his vigour and imagination to creating a wildly diverse range of sculpture in response to individual commissions, opportunities and whatever discarded materials that come to hand. For me he personifies the strength that emerges from broad experience combined with a witty and energetic mind that thrives on new challenges.  Here craft is at the service of ideas.  Of course craftsmanship is important but traditions only remain relevant when they evolve to retain relevance to our changing culture."

Siān Elizabeth Evans  Silver Award Wood & Metal
"Siān is an accomplished metalsmith and her coppersmithing demonstrates the extraordinary potential of the material. Her commissioned pieces reflect her thoughtful concern to make objects of deep relevance to her client or the intended recipient. Working in a manner evocative of the early Arts and Crafts Movement, the style is inevitably at odds with contemporary aesthetics but the quality of craftsmanship and range of expression are hugely impressive."

Geoff King Silver Award Wood & Metal
"Geoff has evolved a personal language in this wooden jewellery. I particularly like the clarity of the purely wooden items; these suggest a search for simple and beautiful forms that express the nature of the material.  Immaculately wrought, some with a useful function, they become jewel-like without the almost alien introduction of stones."

Jane Cummins, Lee Sinclair & Tim Hawkins, Finalists Wood & Metal
John Makepeace, Judge: "The craft component was evident in the work of all six of those on the short list. This includes sculpture, jewellery, turnery, furniture and metalsmithing. Judging such a diverse range of media and scales is an unenviable task, so it has been necessary to set some criteria to set them apart.

All these entries show substantial enthusiasm and traditional skills. What I am looking for is an ability to bring imagination both to the concept and to the making process. This creativity combined with a strong aesthetic was especially evident in these entries."

2015 Judges »
Craft in Focus - Contemporary Craft & Design Fairs

craft&design Best Newcomer Award at BCTF

Congratulations to Charlotte Wilkinson! We'll tell you more about Charlotte and her spectacular glass in our May issue of craft&design Online!

craft&design Highly Commended Newcomer Award at BCTF


We were delighted to present our Highly Commended Newcomer Award to Rouaida Boullier ROUAIDA.COM for her highly original range of jewellery. Find out more in our May issue of craft&design Online!

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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 64 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.