There were celebrations in the Rowden workshops when it was announced that recent graduate, Matt Duckworth had been awarded first prize at the 5th Annual Furniture Prize competition, sponsored by the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen and Axminster Tools.
The event was held at the Courthouse Gallery in Wells and attracted entries from students from Bridgwater College, Williams and Cleal Furniture School and the City of Bristol College, although it was the first time that Rowden had submitted an application, with two students, Matt Duckworth and Rose Stout having pieces accepted.
Matt Duckworth’s ‘Mallard’ desk
Chris Tipple, the event organiser, said “The quality of the work that went into the exhibits this year was exceptional. Good enough to give Tom Kealy and Martin Lane, as judges, a real headache in trying to pick best out of so many good exhibits, I really did not envy that task!
Whether a prize winner or not, by producing a piece of furniture to the standard needed to enter the exhibition you have demonstrated that you have the skills to design and make ‘fine furniture’ and you should all be very proud of your achievement”
Second place was awarded to Damian Robinson (Pictured above) and Ali Buchan (Below). Both students from Williams and Cleal
Matt’s entry, the Mallard table, was made in the workshops at Rowden as one of his final student pieces and clearly demonstrated the designing and making skills that Matt has developed during his time here.
An extra element to the competition was the “Peoples Choice”, which was open to all who attended the exhibition. This is a “secret ballot” with the results not disclosed to the judges until after they had made their decision. Matt scooped this one too, making it a double whammy!
The Mallard table and some of Matts other works are now on their way to the Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design exhibition in Cheltenham, which takes place from the 20th to the 29th August. David will be taking a party of students there to give Matt their support and good wishes.