The results of a nationwide campaign that celebrated British design and making are now in. The judges were extremely impressed by the quality and originality of the work. Prizes have been awarded to the following designer-makers:
Ceramics – Lisa Young, Dyfed, Wales
The judges loved the imaginative way Lisa combines contemporary graphic design with traditional wheel thrown ceramic techniques. Her creativity transforms something that could be quite conventional into something quirky and very contemporary.
Della Tinsley, Director of ELDS which organises the East London Design Show and Treasure and one of the judges commented “I genuinely feel that Lisa has created future classics and is a brilliant advocate for British ceramics.”
Glass – Cathryn Shilling, Ealing, West London
The judges were impressed by two pieces submitted by Cathryn Shilling. The iridescent colour of the red in her Chrysanthemum Large Open Orb really shone through but the judges loved her Glasswork Quilt which they felt gave traditional glass making techniques a new lease of life. Glass has often been used to create lights but this is a very contemporary take on the approach.
Stuart Akroyd, internationally renowned glass maker and one of the judges commented “Cathryn’s work shows that the best glasswork is not just functional but beautiful, and worthy of being described as art.”
Wood – Hendzel & Hunt, Peckham, South London
Hendzel & Hunt are furniture makers who use reclaimed and sustainable materials to create very original pieces. The judges were impressed by the creativity and freshness of the work – but also by the sense of fun as demonstrated by The Great Victorian Porky Pie and their Advent Calendar cupboard.
Sian Evans jewellery designer and maker, lecturer at Central St Martin’s and one of the judges commented “It is great to see designer-makers playing and having fun with their work.”
Metal – Gordon Robertson, Elephant & Castle, South London
Gordon started his creative life in fabric design and textiles and the judges loved the way this early influence was still clearly being applied in the way he took a traditional fabric design and applied it to a pewter platter to create a very contemporary piece.
Daniel Goode, Chief Seeker for Seek & Adore and one of the judges commented “I love how Gordon has combined his early influences in the world of fabric design and print making and applied them with unapologetic verve into pewter. His work is uncompromising and shows how this under rated material can be exquisite.”
Textiles – Woven Oak, Lewes, East Sussex
Husband and wife team Leo and Lizzie Hillier work under the brand name Woven Oak. The judges loved their use of a traditional form of block printing used to create a very modern and contemporary design for their soft furnishings range. The cushion cover had particular appeal.
Jewellery – Grainne Morton, Edinburgh, Scotland
Grainne is a self-confessed magpie and hoarder. She collects all thing miniature and then uses her finds in her jewellery. The judges were struck by how her work is steeped in nostalgia and traditional motifs (like the coat of arms in this work) and yet the finished item still feels very modern.
Sian Evans commented “Grainne is a skilled crafts woman and delivers with a aplomb.”
Freestyle – Wolfram Lohr, Brighton, East Sussex
This was a particularly creative category with entries from people combing many different materials (for example paint, stitch and figurative art). However, the judges felt that it was actually the simple, unfussy forms that worked best. They picked Wolfram Lohr (leather worker) because of his confident use of leather and well thought through design.
Angela Linforth, Editor of Homes & Antiques magazine and one of the judges commented “Wolfram’s work not only has substance but is well-designed and beautifully proportioned. Often it can be hard to really make simple forms work – but Wolfram has a knack of keeping things simple and they are all the more beautiful because of this.”
Sustainability – Jennifer McDowell, Wallington, Surrey
Jennifer produces a range of hand turned wooden bowls using materials reclaimed from the furniture making industry. The judges felt that by using pre-existing materials – and extending the life of things that might otherwise be destroyed or thrown away – Jennifer brought a sustainable approach to a very natural material.
Angela Linforth commented “By bringing together pieces of previously used wood, Jennifer gives the wood a new lease of life. In that they are both decorative and functional, Jennifer embodies the principals of the arts and crafts movement.”
Innovation – Jenny Llewellyn, Bethnal Green, East London
Jenny’s jewellery is made from translucent silicon and is inspired by under-water life. The judges were struck by the way she mixes modern materials (such as silicon) with more traditional materials (like silver), but felt that her sensitive approach to scale, proportion and use of colour transformed the work from something that could have been all about the materials used into something that exuded beauty. They also liked the added twist that all of Jenny’s jewellery glows in the dark!
Summing up what was an exciting and varied selection of work, Sian Evans said “The British are an eccentric bunch of innovators because we believe rules are made to be broken. As creatives, we experiment, test and break the rules until something interesting happens”
Daniel Goode added “The Great British Makers campaign has reinforced for me the power of human imagination and creativity. Each category in the awards was very specific and yet the variety and quality of the work exhibited in each category was astounding.”
Angela Linforth felt that the work was very accessible even in tight economic times “In times like these, we are all spending less – but you can still buy wisely. The Great British Makers campaign has shown that British craft and design is alive and well – and still offers great value because the work is well made and timeless. It has longevity.”
Some of the short-listed work displayed in readiness for the judges to make their final decision