Wood Awards Winners 2015

4 December 2015

Wood Awards 2015

Makers’ Eye would like to offer their congratulations to all Wood Awards 2015 finalists and winners!

The Wood Awards have become established as the nations most respected recognition of the finest and most creative work in the UK using timber as its primary material. The disciplines range from complete buildings, through interiors, to furniture and other products. Nine categories in all.

At Makers’ Eye, as winners of the Wood Awards 2014 Bespoke Furniture category, we know exactly how great this feels, and how important it can be for any business.

We won our award as a result of our being asked to design and make nearly 200 pieces of finely crafted solid oak furniture for St Hugh’s College Oxford’s new Dickson Poon building, designed by David Morley Architects.

The building was designed to create a residential centre for international students of Chinese culture, and as such carried within its contemporary form some subtle traditional influences. It was these we were able to successfully reflect to our work, complementing, whilst never competing with, the architect’s outstanding creation.

The learning process for us in working the St Hugh’s team, headed by Vicki Stott, their visionary bursar, was intense but extremely rewarding. It has created a much higher profile for us within the bespoke furniture industry, and given us the confidence and expertise to orchestrate our multi talented workshops for new projects , large and small.

For 2015 the beautiful work of recently established End Grain, with their innovative employment of colourfully stained, geometrically patterned furniture, and the respected designer Gareth Neal’s brilliantly conceived table pieces for Zaha Hadid carry the baton onward.

Major awards such as these can, though a wonderful recognition of past and current work, can perhaps even more importantly, be the start of something new.

We hope that the outstanding winning work and fully will do the same for their creators as ours did for us, and we will be watching their progress with great interest!

Wood Awards 2015. A wider view.

4 December 2015

We are of course designers and makers of furniture and interiors, but the relationship between our specialisms and those of the very best architects is a close one.

As a result we take a great interest in contemporary architecture created for projects great and small, and the Wood Awards is a wonderful medium for highlighting and rewarding those practices of exceptional talent who vigorously apply design and making of the highest standards.

All the finalists in this year’s Wood Awards are great examples of this, but we would like to highlight just a couple here.

Firstly we have Maggie’s Centre in Oxford designed by architects WilkinsonEyre.

Having previously been short-listed for the Building Awards and World Architecture Festival Award for this outstanding creation the architects have within its tripartite design provided free practical, emotional and social care for cancer patients and their families.

The use of engineered timber allows for a floating structure, tree house-like, which sits beautifully within the natural shade of the surrounding woodland.
The clever use of the most appropriate forms of timber and constructional techniques creates a strong, light structure with a sense of harmony for users within its energy efficient, low carbon footprint design.

Maggie’s Oxford is a model of great design that looks forward to the way we enjoy and increasingly respect our built environment.

On a very different scale we have the wonderful Observatory Study & Workshop by FieldenCleggBradleyStudios

This mobile and sculptural constructions provide studio and working space for artists, 12 in all over two years, with whom the public can directly engage in remote landscapes and coastal locations around the UK.

The light interior is constructed from virtually rot proof timbers, important in the environment within which they will sit, which contrast visually with the rainscreen larch exterior, scorched black to protect against rot and insect attack. The employment of a range of timbers will also provide valuable research into the value of the Shou Sugi Ban method of timber scorching.
The other alluring, and witty, element to the design is the ability of the structures to be easily turned allowing changing vista and optimisation of light, warmth, and shade!

Like the best furniture, everything is there for a reason and designed with economy and purity of line, qualities to which we aspire in
our work at Makers Eye.

From the large and complex, evidenced by Canary Wharf Crossrail by Foster + Partners, through to the elegant simplicity of the Fishing Hut from Niall McLaughlin Architects ( Overall Wood Award Winners) new inspiration is there to be found for all who design and make in wood, that unique, versatile and renewable resource!

Rolls -Royce 'Strive for Perfection' exhibition

Rolls -Royce 'Strive for Perfection' exhibition

3 July 2013

Rolls-Royce exhibition "Strive for Perfection' Munich 2013/14
Makers' Eye are honoured to be invited by the world's most prominent luxury brand to represent the very finest British furniture designers and makers at the iconic BMW museum in Munich.

Marking 150 years since the birth of Sir henry Royce, and the ten year asociation of the Rolls-Royce and BMW brands, Rolls-Royce have brought together a magnificent collection of their iconic models, from 1926 to the present day.

I order to emphasise the legacy of the ultimate in British craftsmanship contained within each car, Rolls-Royce invited famous brands, including Asprey of Bond Street, to seat their products alongside the cars.

Makers' Eye were selected to represented the finest British contemporary handmade furniture, with exquisite jewellery boxes, humidors, watch boxes, miniature chests of drawers, sculpture and even a maquette of a full size piece sitting within specially designed cabinets.

All these pieces can be seen in detail in the "'Rolls-Royce collection' elsewhere on the Makers' Eye site

What to look for in quality furniture

What to look for in quality furniture

31 October 2012

What to look for in quality furniture
Today’s top furniture makers have, “respect for the past with an eye to the future” - Robert Ingham, a member of Makers’ Eye who spent two decades as a principal of the Parnham College.
Robert Ingham offers us an insight into the world of high quality furniture designing and making.
Here are his top tips on what to look for when making your purchase;

A great seminar day at David Savage's Rowden workshops

A great seminar day at David Savage's Rowden workshops

31 October 2012

A great seminar day at David Savage's Rowden workshops, attended by designers, makers and students at David's famous workshop school. The main speaker was Barnaby Scott, founder of Waywood and leading light in the world of craft technology fusion.

The culture of British design and making

The culture of British design and making

30 October 2012

The culture of British design and making.
Fascinating discussion on R4's Start the Week, prompted by the celebration this year of the Royal College of Art's 175th anniversary
Andrew Marr's invited guests, Ron Arad, Anthony Gormley, Sir Christopher Frayling and Sarah Teasley discussed Art & Design, their conversation centring around the role of art colleges in producing the creative designers we will need in the near, and not so near, future.