The Worshipful Company of Turners

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

Turners’ Company Cockpit Arts Award winner announced

Each year the Company awards studio space and business training at Cockpit Arts in South London to aspiring turners. The 2022/23 awardee is Zoe Worton who recently graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University as an artist, designer and maker.


About Zoe

Zoe specialises in bowl making, often blending ceramics with the wood. Working in clay and wood, she creates work that demonstrates an eclectic range of processes including hand carving, ceramics and advanced technologies with a key admiration for wood turning. Wood has become her prime material in all its forms, having a functional basis produced in short series as well as individual pieces that have a sculptural presence. Zoe says of her work:

Guided by my values as a maker, I attempt to use as much sustainably sourced material as possible from the felled tree to discarded waste. I turn seasoned wood but by preference I turn mainly wet wood, known as ‘green’ turning, where I am willing to accept the inherent vagaries such as warping and cracking, even perceived defects seen, as I allow the material to have its own voice as a part of the considered outcome.

I enjoy the physicality of wood turning, the immediate response it provokes and demands of a maker. I enjoy achieving my desired objectives whilst giving the material the respect it deserves. I am convinced my work will evolve creatively by the synergy of repetitive skills application and dedication. Importantly a contributing factor will be determined by the nature of the material I can appropriate for immediate and long term use.

My current work is exploratory- allowed to freely move through unrestricted laws, unbounded by previous narratives. I actively seek to develop my understanding of materials, theories and processes within the world of craft and more importantly in wood turning.

Having only had experience in woodturning from her final year at University, where she achieved a first class honours degree, her residency at Cockpit Arts starts in early September. Cockpit Arts is London’s leading studio for contemporary makers, which will allow Zoe to continue to develop her knowledge and understanding as well as benefit from the unique experience of being a part of an award-winning social enterprise and home to over 140 independent creative businesses.

At the Company reception in July 2022 former Cockpit awardees Darren Appiagyei, Arturo Soto, Jason Lock and Mike Groves exhibited their pieces and discussed with guests their individual stylistic expressions, and aspirations for their future careers.


About Cockpit Arts

Cockpit Arts is London’s leading studios for contemporary crafts and the UK’s only business incubator for makers and designers. We are home to over 140 independent creative businesses at our sites in Deptford and Holborn. Through public showcases and business incubation services, we provide exceptional makers and materials-based artists with the tools to succeed. Many of the artists and makers based at Cockpit are recognised internationally as leaders in their field.

Established in 1986, Cockpit is an award-winning social enterprise, recognised in 2019 on the NatWest SE100 index of top UK social enterprises and an accredited London Living Wage employer.

To find out more about Cockpit Arts, more bursary opportunities and events, please visit their website.


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