In front of a packed private view audience, awards were presented to the students who demonstrated exceptional achievements during the course of the year.
Richard Illingworth was awarded the Michaelis Cup, presented for excellence in Modern Craftmanship, donated by Cecis Michaelis, the founder of Rycotewood in 1938. Richard’s work features recycled wood which he reclaims from various sources. Having previously studied on a Foundation Degree in Furniture at Rycotewood, Richard consolidated his skills during a year or two in industry before returning to the college last year to top up his qualifications to BA level. The next step for Richard is a much sought after funded place at the Sylva Foundation Workshop.
The Furniture Makers Company Award was presented to Tim Burns by Hayden Davies, Master of the Furniture Makers Company, marking the pinnacle of his three years of degree level study at Rycotewood.
The Sir Roger Bannister cup for woodcarving went to Bob Clements. The award was presented by Lady Bannister who praised the high standard of work on display this year and spoke fondly of her late husband’s happy days as a Rycotewood student.
“Our founder Cecil Michaelis wrote about how the craftsman and the furniture factory are not separate but work hand in hand. That is what we are still achieving with the support of the industry.“ Activate Learning Director of Creative Arts Chris Hyde commented on the increased diversity and challenging ideas and designs amongst students’ work. He acknowledged the vital role played by industry partners, and in particular thanked sponsors: Ercol, Benchmark, The American Hardwood Export Council, William Hands and Graze Burvill.
Rycotewood sits within the Creative Arts Faculty of Activate Learning group, which has been located at the group’s City of Oxford College campus in Oxpens Road since 2004. Students study at all levels from Level 1 through to degree level on full-time, part-time and apprenticeship provision.
The Furniture show is running alongside the Visual Arts show where amazing concepts and designs are on display. The exhibition is on until Saturday 23 June at City of Oxford College, Oxpens Road, Oxford OX1 1SA.