February 9, 2021

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Isabelle Moore wins both prizes with stunning Woven Oak Stool and sleek Folded Metal Chair.

The Scottish Furniture Makers Association (SFMA) is shining a spotlight on the most interesting, experimental and supremely well-crafted contemporary furniture being made in Scotland today. Two prizes have been awarded, based on the selection of furniture displayed at the Visual Arts Scotland - Society of Scottish Artists (VAS-SSA) Open exhibition at the Royal Sottish Academy (RSA), Princes Street, Edinburgh December 2019 - January 2020.

The inaugural SFMA annual prizes in Craft Excellence and Design Innovation categories were awarded to Edinburgh-based, Isabelle Moore, for her Woven Oak Stool and Folded Metal Chair respectively. These designs will surely become recognised as classics of contemporary Scottish furniture design. The expert selection panel were unanimous in their decision-making and were struck by the spare elegance and subtle sophistication of Moore’s exemplary, designs.

The perch-like, ebonised oak stool and deceptively simple metal stacking chair are exquisitely detailed and demonstrate a profound understanding of ergonomics, materials and mastery of artisanal craft technique. One is drawn to these quietly understated, but quite brilliant pieces of furniture - and it is easy to imagine either of them augmenting one’s own home.

“When viewed closely, touched or sat upon, the subtle sophistication of each work reveals itself. Each achieves its goal by very different means - and it is remarkable that such vastly different designs were produced by the same person.” Dr. Stacey Hunter, Local Heroes, Chair of Selection Panel

Moore’s Woven Oak Stool is utterly compelling, as each hand-crafted element is in a state of transformation along its length; for example, the four splayed legs that carry the Danish-cord woven seat are square in section at the top and imperceptibly taper to an ellipse / lens-shape at the floor. And the detailing of these surprisingly-shaped legs is echoed in the treatment of the T-shaped, hammer-head backrest; a rounded middle to accommodate the spine, which tapers to the diamond-shaped ends.

By contrast, the Folded Metal Chair utilises the potential of precision, mass production methods to engineer a thrillingly poised and delightfully functional sculpture from the thinnest gauge, steel sheet. Folding metal - as one might fold paper to create an Origami structure - to achieve the required stiffness and flexibility.

Craft Excellence 2nd Prize Winner: Daniel Lacey - Still Water Console Table

Design Innovation 2nd Prize Winner: Nicholas Denney - Polychromatic Concrete Coffee Table

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