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Main image shows Alan Peters’ chest with silver inlay.

The Alan Peters Furniture Award is organised by Jeremy Broun in collaboration with The Woodworker magazine. Axminster is sponsoring this new award which celebrates the legacy of Alan Peters OBE, one of Britain’s most prominent furniture designer-makers of the late 20th century. At the same time, the award aims to encourage talent in the craft of furniture design and making.

The man behind the award and its history

Alan Peters OBE (1933-2009) was apprenticed to Edward Barnsley and directly linked to the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Therefore, he was hugely influential internationally in his practice, teaching and publications. His understanding of how wood behaves and the value of hand skill resulted in the creation of many timeless pieces. However, he also had a respect for moving tradition forward. Alan created affordable, durable, functional furniture, making an art of his craft in some of his subtle innovations.

Originally called ‘The Alan Peters Award for Excellence’, Jason Heap initiated it in 2010 and the award ran for eight years. Each year there were three winners, all of whom received free exhibition space at the annual furniture exhibition in Cheltenham. James Long’s winning piece in 2011 appears in this article.


The competition

The competition is open to any woodworker who is resident in the UK and over the age of 18. Naturally, applicants should have a passion and talent for designing and making contemporary furniture. Applicants may submit up to two items of furniture that echo the philosophy of Alan Peters. Judging will be based on the appropriate use of wood, quality of workmanship, functionality and originality of design. Furthermore, applicants should be familiar with the work of Alan Peters prior to applying.

The 2020 award was postponed and the deadline for entry is now 14th March 2021. Therefore, applicants can submit their entries at any time up to this date. A fee of £20 per entry (with a maximum of two entries) applies.

The judging of furniture pieces will be in March with the online Award Ceremony broadcast in the second week of March. Subsequently, the winning pieces will be exhibited at The Wilson Gallery which is part of Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum; the organisers will confirm these dates shortly.


How to enter

To download an application form please click here. The form is on the right hand side of the page. Applicants can make a payment securely via the website.

The judges

Jeremy Broun (organiser) – designer-maker and co-exhibitor with Alan Peters 1978-2002.
Andrew Lawton – designer-maker who worked with Alan Peters and on his last commission.
David Barron – maker of fine contemporary furniture and tool maker.

The prizes

First prize: £1,000 Axminster Tools & Machinery gift card
Second prize: £500 Triton Tools voucher
Third prize: £300 judges’ prize

For further information, please contact either the Editor of The Woodworker magazine Tegan Foley or organiser Jeremy Broun


Instagram: @alan_peters_furniture_award

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