An ambitious furniture student has won an award from The Real Sheepskin Association for her creations using the natural material.
Adelaide Coombes, 23, used sheepskin to make eye-catching items including chairs, stools and screens. The talented student displayed the work at the end of year MA Furniture: Design & Technology show at Buckinghamshire New University in High Wycombe, where she has studied an MA in Furniture: Design for two years.
Adelaide’s final research project explored ‘The Potential of Using Sheepskin and Wool in Furniture’ and she said she had been looking to ‘challenge the common conception that the place of sheepskin was purely for upholstery’.
The Real Sheepskin Association, a voluntary group committed to providing quality sheepskin products and services, presented Adelaide with a £500 award and a certificate for the excellent standard of her work.
She said: “I hope I have achieved my aim and discovered new ways of using sheepskin in an innovative way. I would love to develop these products further because I see a place in the market for them as they are unusual and creative.”
Adelaide, who has worked for Oxfordshire-based furniture company Isis Concepts Ltd, had also previously completed a degree in furniture design at Loughborough University in Leicestershire.
Peter Robinson, secretary of The Real Sheepskin Association, said: “Adelaide’s work is among the most outstanding we have come across in 20 years of sponsoring students’ work.”
Adelaide, ably assisted by designer Ben Hinton, of Ryecotewood Furniture Centre at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College in Oxfordshire, looked at the use of wool and sheepskin in dozens of novel and practical interior applications. We were determined that her exceptional work had to be recognised and were delighted to have the chance to attend the Bucks New University MA end of year show in order to present Adelaide with her own special award.”
The Real Sheepskin Association is a member of the Prince of Wales’ Campaign for Wool, a plan to make wool fashionable again and to encourage people to choose British and Commonwealth wool over manmade alternatives.