‘Flowing and beautifully functional’ – Makepeace chest wins bespoke Wood Award

'Serenade' chest of drawers in English oak and cedar of Lebanon, by John Makepeace OBE

A meticulously considered, scorched oak chest, entitled 'Serenade', by John Makepeace OBE, has taken the top prize in the Bespoke category of the 2023 Wood Awards.

Inspired by the ancient hollowed-out tree trunks that were used to carry the possessions of those on the move, this chest of drawers accommodates the personal items of a less nomadic lifestyle.

Beautifully executed, the chest has been made from a single tree of English oak – lovingly nurtured by generations of foresters since its planting in 1740, up to its felling in 1980.


Lined in scented cedar of Lebanon, the scorched oak drawers have central runners to minimise friction during use

With precise detailing, the grain runs continuously around the form, matching at each junction and allowing the drawers and carcass to move in harmony with changes in humidity. Lined in scented cedar of Lebanon, the scorched oak drawers have central runners to minimise friction during use.

Having started his workshop in 1961, John Makepeace OBE has more than 65 years’ experience as a creator in wood. Evolving from modest local commissions, he's gone on to become one of the UK’s most renowned furniture designer-makers.


Student Designer winner - Rocaille Morphosis

This collector’s piece is represented by Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London. Corinne Julius, lead furniture and product design judge, said: “This intelligently designed object shows a passion for material and a deep knowledge of how to use it. Sculptural, flowing and beautifully functional, it has a timeless appeal, able to complement both a historical and contemporary context.”

The Wood Awards furniture and product panel is led by design critic, curator and journalist Corinne Julius. The panel includes Oliver Stratford, editor of Disegno magazine; Sculptor in Wood, https://eleanorlakelin.comhttps://eleanorlakelin.com; Sebastian Cox RDI; and Yael Mer, founder of Raw Edges – a London-based design and research practice.


Gold winner - New Temple Complex

Other winning entries included The Exchange Table and Chairs, from Mentsen, together with The Exchange Erith, both of which were awarded in the Production Category. Similarly, 'Rocaille Morphosis', by from Joanne Grogan of City & Guilds of London Art School, won the student prize.


Production Made Furniture & Product winner – The Exchange tables and chairs

During the 2023 Wood Awards, this year’s best new timber building was also announced as New Temple Complex, which was designed by James Gorst Architects.

For further information on the 2023 Wood Awards winners, see www.woodawards.com.

Wood Awards
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