We're chuffed to say that Ben's Hat Tree has won the 2014 Wood Award for Production Made Furniture. The awards, held at Carpenters Hall in the City of London, recognise outstanding design and craftsmanship in contemporary timber furniture and architecture. It is an honour to receive this accolade, especially in a year of record entries, and we are particularly proud to be noted alongside our near neighbours, the 2014 winner-of-winners, Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft.
Ben, whose Hat Tree was also awarded a Design Guild Mark earlier this year, says: "There is an old joke about our industry which goes: how do you make a small fortune? Sink a large one into a furniture company.
"At the Wood Awards last week, held in the magnificent, richly carved, polished and paneled Carpenters Hall in the City of London, I was involved in something fantastic. The event, ostensibly a competition, was infinitely more than that. In essence, it was a coalition. In that lovely, over-the-top banqueting hall surrounded by London’s financial district, a coalition of wood workers, architects' engineers, museum curators, teachers and judges were gathered together. What was being judged was not simple. It was about quality, obviously, but it was also about design, beauty and functionality. Over all, the most important thing was that everyone in that big splendid room was interested in making and not merely consuming.
"The Carpenters Company and The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers have traditions dating back to the fifteenth century. They champion the simple wonder of making things. The fine buildings they have do not represent monetary wealth because, as the joke shows, carpentry has never made anyone rich. We do it for more substantial reasons. So, thanks for the Wood Award, and the Guild Mark. I will continue in the long tradition of making things through which I hope to fulfill William Morris’ adage of being 'either useful or beautiful' - preferably both."
Ben's Hat Tree is available to buy through Design Masters at the Futon Company.