Thomas, 18, rewrites record books at big show

Talented wood worker Thomas Streeter wrote his name in the record books by winning a prestige South of England title for the second year running.

And then he vowed  to continue his cherished craft until he is 90.

The skilful 18-year-old won the admiration of tens of thousands of people at the South of England Show with his charming entry that captured the coveted Young Craftsman of the Year award.

It is the first time anyone has taken the title twice and for two years in a row.

The large crowds at the Ardingly Showgound were able to see what  organisers called a “stunning “ set  of decorated wood turned hollow forms at the large marquee showing off exhibits for the contest.

Thomas, from Pulborough, a former Weald Sixth Form College student, picked up a £1,000 prize on Saturday after winning his wood class section and then being judged overall winner.

After the presentation Thomas said: “I was completely overwhelmed and shocked when I received the call, I never expected to win for a second time and it was a very proud moment to receive the trophy again this year. 

“I have been wood turning since I was nine years old and it has evolved so much over during that time with the technology available today allowing for experimentation with a huge variety of finishes and techniques.  I hope to carry on wood turning until I am 90 years old.”

To win Thomas has to beat some of the finest young workers from the region, in a contest that  included metal, textiles, ceramics and design and technology.

To persuade the judges Thomas and other competitors had to show they had mastered the concept, design, proper use of materials, artistic merit, function, proportion technical skill and finish, with a final “wow” factor to win the top prizes.

Thomas entered as an independent competitor, having left his college last year, and he now works as an apprentice at Ricardo Engineering in Shoreham.

Other successes  in the competition  included Karris Stewart, of the Camelia Botnar Foundation near Cowfold  who took third place in the metal section with a forge-made king-sized bed.

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