Main image: Huw Evans and his Concertina Collection

The Young Furniture Makers exhibition returned to the City of London for one day only on Wednesday 9th October 2019. Consequently, the event gave industry the opportunity to connect with today's young, creative talent. These young people will be the designer-makers of the future, looking to make an impact on the sector. What's more, around 1,000 visitors came to the exhibition making it the most successful to date. In line with tradition, The Furniture Makers’ Company organised the exhibition. And this year Axminster Tools & Machinery was the main sponsor with a number of supporting sponsors.

Similar to previous years, the event featured the very best furniture and furnishing design talent from around the UK. Entries came from GCSE and A level students, BA and MA graduates, and young professionals. As a result, some 150 of the UK’s freshest designers exhibited furniture and lighting at Furniture Makers’ Hall and the Dutch Church in Austin Friars, London.

Award winners

This year’s award winners were as follows:

Blum Best in Show – Huw Evans of Plymouth University for Concertina Collection
Bespoke Award First Place – Matthew Hensby of Building Crafts College for Kent Stick Chair
Design Award First Place – Nina Naveršnik of Birmingham City University for Lucy Light
Innovation Award First Place – Huw Evans of Plymouth University for Concertina Collection
School Design First Place – Millie Harper of Ipswich High School for Egg Cot

Huw Evans, as winner of the Blum Best in Show prize, receives an all-expenses paid trip to the state-of-the-art Blum factory in Austria. This prize goes to a student in higher or further education who has produced the most outstanding piece of work. Huw said: "I want to say a huge thank you to The Furniture Makers’ Company for granting me the opportunity to exhibit alongside such a pool of talent. I’m honoured to have received such a positive response from both my peers and the visitors at the exhibition."

Paul von der Heyde, new chairman of Axminster Tools and Machinery, made the following comment: "The show presented a wonderful picture of the creativity and talent of the next generation of furniture makers. In addition, the enormous attendance and energy at the awards session was inspirational. To sum up, it was a thrill to be associated with such a vibrant and inspiring event."

Finally, ten outstanding pieces from the exhibition will be on display at the 2020 Furniture Show (19-22 January, NEC Birmingham). This will give the winners the opportunity to expose their work to 22,000+ visitors and build high level contacts.