Woodworker of the Year Award now open

21st July 2023  |  ANNOUNCEMENTS

Jonathan HillHeritage Crafts and Axminster Tools have launched the second annual Woodworker of the Year award, with a £2,000 prize for the winning entry to be presented at a reception at Vicar’s Hall, Windsor Castle, in November.

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. Last year the inaugural award was won by luthier Jonathan Hill.

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. This year Heritage Crafts and Axminster Tools will also award a Young Woodworker of the Year Award chosen from nominees aged 25 years and under, with a prize of £1,000.

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 15 September 2023 at 5pm.

Judges for the award will be:

  • 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.
  • Jonathan Hill – Jonathan is a maker of historic and modern stringed instruments including the viola d’amore, lira da braccio, violin and viola families. Following training at West Dean College, he worked for a master violin maker in Yorkshire, and studied instrument making in Turkey with a master traditional oud maker. Many of Jonathan’s clients are from leading orchestras and ensembles worldwide, including the BBC Philharmonic.

Jonathan Hill Alan Styles Sarah Goss

To apply, complete the nomination form before the deadline of 5pm on Friday 15 September 2023.

Photo: Jonathan Hill, 2022 Woodworker of the Year Award winner.

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.