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Young Furniture Makers

Tell us about the Young Furniture Makers’ exhibition

The Young Furniture Makers exhibition was set up by The Furniture Makers’ Company more than 10 years ago for school children, students and university graduates to showcase their work and meet potential employers and members of industry.  Each year we invite around 150 of the freshest designer-makers to exhibit cutting edge furniture and lighting for one day only in the spectacular setting of Furniture Makers’ Hall and the Dutch Church in the heart of the City of London. The Young Furniture Makers exhibition brings together all elements of The Furniture Makers’ Company’s wide education output. The culmination being a tremendous celebration of incredibly creative and talented designers looking to make an impact on our sector.

Seat in black background

Is there a theme of this year’s entries?

The Young Furniture Makers Awards are the student equivalent of The Furniture Makers’ Company’s Guild Marks, recognising excellence in the fields of Bespoke and Design. Every year the Company receives a huge number of entries from students for the awards. The designs that impress the judges on paper are traditionally invited to show at the Young Furniture Makers exhibition so they can scrutinise them in person and pick winners.
For the past two years we’ve been unable to hold a live event because of the pandemic. In 2021 we held a virtual event with the help of January Furniture Show in partnership with Reveal.
It featured 55 shortlisted designs with all the judging was done using the information and images provided in the application.
The judges for the 2021 Young Furniture Maker Awards were Zoe Bonser, portfolio director at Clarion Events; Chris Hyde, director of curriculum at Activate Learning; Peter Sharratt, technical support advisor at Blum; Alan Styles, managing director at Axminster Tools & Machinery; and Charles Vernon, Past Master and industry expert.
The winners were invited to a ceremony at Furniture Makers’ Hall in October where they were presented with their awards by David Woodward, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, and Zoë Bonser.
Around 12 of the exhibited pieces are going to be featured at the January Furniture Show.

Previous Winners

How does being at the January Furniture Show help these makers?

The designer-makers are either still at university or have just graduated, so they are just at the beginning of their careers. Some of them may have never had a piece shown at a commercial exhibition. This will be a tremendous opportunity for them to have their designs seen and appreciated by people from the trade. The connections they make will be invaluable and who knows, there may be a company in attendance that will want to put their piece into production.

Please describe the body of work created for this year’s JFS? What can the buyers expect?

Expect to see some fresh thinking from a group of incredibly talented designers.
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