Richard PlattHeritage Crafts and Axminster Tools are today launching the inaugural Woodworker of the Year award as part of their new partnership, with a £2,000 prize for the winning entry to be presented at a gala reception this winter.

This award celebrates a heritage craftsperson who has made an outstanding contribution to woodworking over the past year. It recognises a contribution that is far beyond the ordinary, based on a proven dedication to a particular woodworking skill.

The award is open to practitioners of any craft that uses wood at its primary material. As well as carpentry, furniture making and wood carving, other examples might include wheelwrighting, boatbuilding, timber framing, marquetry, guitar making, and so on.

Axminster ToolsTo be eligible, the objects that the nominee makes must be made primarily of wood that has been worked using skilled hand techniques. Makers of composite objects are eligible as long as over half the material used is worked wood. Anyone, including the maker themselves, can nominate for this award. Nominations close on Friday 2 September 2022 at 5pm.

Judges for the new award will be:

  • Robin Wood MBE – Robin is an internationally respected green woodworker. In the 1990s he re-established the craft of pole-lathe bowl turning, which had been extinct in the UK since George Lailey retired in 1958. Robin’s extensive research into the history of the craft led to the publication of his definitive book on the history of the wooden bowl. He now manufactures axes and spoon knives for other green woodworkers, and organises Spoonfest – the international celebration of spoon carving.
  • Alan Styles – Alan is Managing Director of Axminster Tools, global suppliers of woodworking tools and machinery. The company has spent 50 years building its family business into the renowned organisation it is today. They work with makers and creators at all levels, from trade professionals through to craft enthusiasts, to support woodworking skills.
  • Sarah Goss – Sarah is a traditional woodcarver who featured as one of the experts in the recent Prince’s Master Crafters: The Next Generation programme on Sky Arts. Sarah studied Restoration and Decorative Studies at Portsmouth University, where she graduated with a first class honours degree before going on to become a full-time carver, specialising in bespoke hand-carved items ranging from lettering and relief decoration to architectural details such as corbel brackets and ceiling roses.

Robin Wood Alan Styles Sarah Goss

To apply, visit https://awards.heritagecrafts.org.uk and complete the nomination form before the deadline of 5pm on Friday 2 September 2022.

Photo: Richard Platt, chair maker and winner (with Sam Cooper) of the 2020 Heritage Crafts Trainee of the Year Award.


About Axminster Tools

Axminster Tools has established itself globally as a trusted retailer in the mail order tools and machinery industry. They offer a friendly and personal service to many thousands of customers ranging from trade professionals and businesses to home users and craft enthusiasts.

Axminster Tools is a family business run by industry professionals and passionate craftspeople. Their knowledge is accessible to all, via regular tutorial videos, live streams, project plans and woodworking tips that are completely free to access.

As a British retailer, Axminster Tools supports British design and quality. They work with a number of UK suppliers in celebration of the nation’s skills and craftsmanship. They also design and manufacture an increasing number of own branded products in their Devon-based engineering facility, including bringing manufacturing back from overseas in many cases.

www.axminstertools.com