Announcing the winner of the inaugural Cræftiga prize
Photographs Andy Donohoe
We are thrilled to announce that Mac Collins has been named the winner of the first Cræftiga award, for Iklwa, his Afrofuturist throne design…
Pictured above: the Cræftiga Finalists, left to right – Luke Fuller, Charlotte Kidger, Alice Walton, Mac Collins and Ami Pepper.
Launched by Hole & Corner to support and reward emerging UK-based designer-maker talent, the inaugural Cræftiga awards more than surpassed our expectations. We were hugely impressed and excited by the high standard of work submitted – and while we were expecting there to be some outstanding applications, the level of quality across so many entries has been enormously encouraging and positive. The applicants demonstrated a tremendous breadth of styles, ideas, approaches and techniques, with many of them are using craftsmanship to create unique pieces that break down the boundaries between craft and art.
The judges – gallerist Sarah Myerscough, furniture maker and Benchmark co-founder Sean Sutcliffe, product and fashion designer Faye Toogood and The Conran Shop’s creative director Stephen Briars – were equally impressed by the quality of the entrants. ‘The standard is exceptional,’ said Briars. ‘All of these pieces have longevity to them, something you can pass down from generation to generation. You can still imagine all of these in use in 100 – 200 years time.’
After much deliberation, the five finalists selected by the panel were:
Luke Fuller, for his Unearthing Port Talbot project, exploring the town’s industrial history and how the cultural impact of the region’s local clay.
Ami Pepper, for Ocean Treasure, a collection of sculptural jewellery featuring hand- carved shell clusters cast in precious metals and encrusted with gemstones.
Alice Walton, for Our City, a series of abstract sculptural stoneware pieces inspired by the everyday urban landscape.
Charlotte Kidger, for Industrial Craft – a family of objects crafted from reengineered polyurethane foam dust.
Mac Collins, for Iklwa, a high-backed ash-wood chair stained in vibrant ultramarine that draws on the ideas of movements such as Afrofuturism to convey a sense of empowerment.
But in the end it was Collins who was finally named as the overall winner. ‘The Iklwa chair comes together in all the right ways,’ says Briars. ‘It’s the right scale, the right proportion, the right material, the right colour and, once you sit in it, it’s one of those chairs that does give you a real feeling of power.’
Huge congratulations to Collins, his fellow finalists and all those whose entered for the quality of their submitted pieces.
All the finalists’ work – plus a selection of shortlisted entries – will be on display at the British Craft Pavilion as part of London Design Fair during London Design Festival, from 20-23 September 2018.