Axminster Tools and Heritage Crafts are pleased to announce the launch of the first Woodworker of the Year Award as part of a new partnership formed earlier this year. There will be a gala reception this winter, where the winner will receive a prize of £2000.

About the award

This new award celebrates a heritage craftsperson who has made an outstanding contribution to woodworking over the past year. It recognises a maker who is far beyond the ordinary, with a proven dedication to a particular woodworking skill. The judges will be looking for the use of wood as the primary material as well as skilled hand techniques.

Meet the judges

Robin Wood MBE – Robin is an internationally respected green woodworker. In the 1990s he re-established the craft of pole-lathe bowl turning, which had been extinct in the UK since 1958. His extensive research into the history of the craft led to the publication of his definitive book on the history of the wooden bowl. He now manufactures axes and spoon knives for other green woodworkers, and organises Spoonfest – the international celebration of spoon carving.

Photo by Paul Felix

Robin Wood

Sarah Goss – Sarah is a traditional woodcarver who featured as the expert of the recent Prince’s Master Crafters: The Next Generation television 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. She specialises in bespoke hand-carved items ranging from lettering and relief decoration to architectural details such as corbel brackets and ceiling roses.

Sarah Goss

Alan Styles – Alan is Managing Director of Axminster Tools where we share our customers’ passion for great craftsmanship. Having spent the past 50 years working with makers and creators, we understand the importance of preserving traditional craft skills. Likewise, we’re committed to promoting and encouraging practical skills so that appreciation for woodworking continues through generations to come.

Alan Styles

"As we celebrate 50 years of trading we've found ourselves looking back at our own heritage. So much has changed and yet our roots remain firmly embedded in a passion for woodworking. We see part of our role in the woodworking community as helping to ensure practical skills and knowledge are not only sustainable and protected but shared with others. We believe the benefits of celebrating and encouraging craft skills are far-reaching. So, we're delighted to partner with Heritage Crafts on the Woodworker of the Year Award."

Alan Styles

How to enter

The award is open to makers of any craft that uses wood as its primary material. To be eligible, over 50 per cent of the solid volume of the objects you make must be wood. Anyone, including the maker themselves, can nominate for this award.

Nominations close on Friday 2 September 2022 at 5pm.