The Worshipful Company of Turners

Supporting the Craft, City and Charity for over four hundred years

Eleanor Lakelin receives 2023 QEST Award for Excellence


The QEST Award for Excellence is awarded annually to a QEST Scholar who has made an outstanding contribution to their craft and sector, whilst demonstrating their commitment to training and passing on skills to the next generation. The winner is presented with an engraved medal and £ 1,000 prize. This year, it is awarded to:

2018 QEST Turners’ Company Scholar

Woodturning & Sculpture

Eleanor creates sculptural objects in British timbers using a traditional lathe, chisels and modern techniques. As she works only with trees felled due to decay, her pieces are of low environmental impact, and using her deep knowledge of the natural properties of wood she creates forms that encourage us to look at the complexities of nature with a new perspective.

QEST funding supported Eleanor’s ambition to develop larger scale forms. She travelled to the US to explore the creative and technical challenges of her ideas with seminal artist Ursula Von Rydingsvard and sculptor Mark Lindquist. She also completed a course at the
Art Academy in London to experiment with methods for figurative and abstract sculpture at scale.

Eleanor’s work is exhibited internationally and included in prestigious collections including the V&A, the Museum of London and Reading Museum in England, and The Mint Museum, USA. In 2022, she was selected as Finalist for the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize and her column vessel 1/22 was acquired by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York as part of their extraordinary permanent collection. In 2021 Eleanor held her first London solo exhibition at Sarah Myerscough Gallery, by whom she is represented.

Eleanor was a QEST Scholar Ambassador in 2021, and in 2020 she showcased ‘Echoes of Amphora Column Vessel 1/20‘ with QEST at Collect– which was acquired by the V&A. Her work also featured in the QEST exhibition at Fortnum & Mason in April 2022.

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‘Soon to be’ Master’s Steward, Joey Richardson also won this award in 2015, so woodturners are well represented in the eleven years QEST has been making the award.

Before becoming a QEST Scholar, Eleanor was awarded a one-year Cockpit Turners’ Company residency, where she still has her studio and is very supportive to other members of the turning community / Cockpit Turners’ Company award winners who are working there.

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