JFS in partnership with REVEAL is proud to be part of the YFM awards 2021, sponsored by Axminster Tools

The Young Furniture Makers exhibition, an unmissable showcase of fresh thinking from the future of design, returns in October 2021 as a special month-long virtual event, hosted by January Furniture Show in partnership with REVEAL.

Organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the Young Furniture Makers exhibition is an annual celebration of new, awe-inspiring designs of furniture and furnishings from talented GCSE, A Level and university students, as well as recent graduates from around the UK.

The entrants in each category will be judged by a panel of experts with an overall winner from each group.

Winners will be announced on Friday 29th October at 12.30pm

Bespoke Award
Design Award
School Award
Alan Styles, Axminster Tools 

Alan first joined the industry when he started with Axminster Tools in the early 1990s. He began by working in the store and at exhibitions during the school holidays. This early experience cemented his interest in making and kick started a career long passion for woodworking crafts.

Alan joined the company full time in 1996 and followed a similar route to the one Axminster Tools apprentices still take today. He worked in several different areas of the company; Customer Services, Technical Sales, Marketing, PR and Procurement. This gave him a well rounded understanding of the business and its key stakeholders including customers and the supply chain. 

In 2011 Alan took on the role of Sales Director and became more actively involved in the woodworking communities. Alan long recognised the invaluable work undertaken by The Furniture Makers’ Company and immediately signed Axminster Tools up as a Corporate Member. In 2013 he became a Corporate Liveryman, before becoming a full Liveryman in 2018. He’s now the Deputy Chairman of the South West region of The Furniture Makers’ Company and attends regular court meetings and regional meetings.

In July 2016 Alan became Managing Director at Axminster Tools. Alan’s many years of experience and natural ability to build relationships with colleagues, customers and communities make him the ideal driving force behind what is probably one of the best tool shops in the world; one which prides itself on the experience it offers to the many communities it serves. Alan is passionate about building a sustainable future for woodworking industries including the furniture industry, with a great emphasis on creative education and inspiring future makers. 
Charles Vernon, Past Master 

Born in 1953, Charles was educated at Kingham Hill School in Oxfordshire and briefly at London University.

However preferring the world of business to continuing in education he became a computer programmer and then a systems analyst working in logistics.

Charles entered the furniture industry in 1977 when he joined Parker Knoll in their computer department. He moved from computing through production and sales responsibilities before being appointed Managing Director of Nathan Furniture in 1985 and joining the Main Board of Parker Knoll at the same time.

In 1993 he moved on to join a friend who had acquired Gloster Furniture, and, with his colleagues, took Gloster Furniture from being a small UK manufacturer of teak park benches into a leading global brand of high quality outdoor furniture. Gloster manufactures in Asia and markets its products in over 50 countries with its own companies on 3 continents. 

Charles joined the Worshipful Company in 1988 and has served on the Court since 1996.

Charles is married to Louise and they have 3 children and 5 grandchildren who live in Ghana and New Zealand. Charles and Louise travel extensively and when in the UK they live in High Wycombe and, occasionally, Yorkshire. Charles is also Chairman of the Right to Dream Foundation, a West African football-based organisation founded by his son.
Chris Hyde, Cabinet Maker and Restorer 

A trained cabinetmaker and antique restorer whose interest in the furniture and furnishings industry came from his upbringing in the family retail furnishing company G.B. Hyde and Son, trading for 127 years in Cambridgeshire. Chris has a passion to share his broad skills and knowledge along with a belief that creativity, crafts, community, and education firmly go hand in hand with the industry. His experience of furniture includes retail, industry contract furniture prototyping and as a furniture restorer for the TVADA and LAPADA antique trade. 

All these experiences have supported his 27 years role as an educational leader of an outstanding specialist professional furniture education and training centre that is Rycotewood Furniture. As a trained craftsman, he develops individuals to have a thinking eye that analyses, reflects and presents accurate craft work, through stepped practical exercises to build attributes of reflection, critical thinking, and creativity. His teaching practice provides the ability to communicate clearly with others and develop their passion for learning.

In his current educational role as, ‘Director of Creative Industries at Activate Learning’ he designs the creative curriculum across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Surrey. He has developed his design thinking skills from a starting point of 3D product design into insight training using a human centred design approach. He is a design-maker who can help others along their creative journey. 
Pete Sharratt, BLUM UK

As a judge for the competition, I have been asked to give a short introduction to myself, so here goes.

I am fifty six years of age, I have worked for the past seven years for BLUM UK in their technical department, dealing with the day-to-day challenges, installers and cabinet makers have to deal with. However, my main task is the teaching of the installation process’ to get the best from BLUM products and how to incorporate them in their furniture.

Prior to this I worked for IKEA UK as an in-store carpenter and built the shop displays and room sets in the showrooms, working closely with an interior design team. 

Previous to this I was a self employed carpenter/ cabinet maker, for some 20 years, having started somewhat late on my chosen path I decided on carpentry as something that seemed to make me happy, so decided to go to college and try and get some qualifications in the form of City & Guilds, however I never really liked working for anyone and soon discovered I was happiest working for myself and choosing the commissions that I wanted or preferred to do, in between this I was installing kitchens and living rooms, mostly doing any bespoke work or built ins, often making complimentary furniture to match, in reality taking anything and everything.

I would say that as a carpenter I have been very lucky, I have worked on building sites in the middle of winter, but it was nearly always second fix work so on the whole I have managed to stay dry and warm. It really has been a journey and I am proud to call myself a woodworker, it is in my opinion the best job (dust aside). I would consider myself totally self-taught, which means I have a very open mind, and allows me to explore different materials and ways of working. 

I still have my own workshop and still take on any interesting projects, however I do now notice I am slowing down, which is funny as I also am starting to appreciate that the skills we have are to be enjoyed rather than rushed. 
Zoe Bonser, Clarion Events (Retail) 
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