Crafted: Makers of the Exceptional

by The Art of Bespoke in News & Noteworthy

A diverse line-up of designer makers will be exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Gardens from 3rd– 5th April, in central London as it hosts ‘Crafted: Makers of the Exceptional’.

The open to all, free event, organised by Walpole British Luxury, ‘Crafted: Makers of the Exceptional’, will showcase almost 30 contemporary designer makers from a wide range of expertise. The show also features past alumni from the Walpole British Luxury mentorship schemes as well as this year’s new line-up.

The mentorship scheme was initiated in 2007 and has since discovered and encouraged some of the best British artisans by teaming them with various members of the Walpole group.

“Despite the long term trend at the top end of the market favouring talented makers, being a craftsman is a difficult, demanding and often lonely road to travel”

 

Beautifully hand crafted products will be on show, including a royal highchair for the young Prince George, designed and made by Katie Walker from a felled ash tree off the Longleat Estate. A series of one-off trinket boxes by jeweller Ruth Tomlinson will also be on display, as well as a selection of her other complex and intricate pieces.

The variety of disciplines on offer ranges from knitwear to hand-blown glass lighting, covering an extensive selection of contemporary craft. The event highlights the handmade artistry associated with luxury goods.

Nine talented individuals have also been selected for the 2014 mentorship scheme. They include Naomi Paul, best known for her hand crocheted lights. Naomi pushes the boundaries in constructed textiles and material exploration to form the exquisitely made shades.

Geoffrey Preston is also among those selected, an architectural sculptor who creates impressive hand-modelled stucco’s and decorative plasterwork – transforming scenes and images into three-dimensional masterpieces.

Each designer maker is an expert in their field, with years of experience and detailed knowledge of their processes and materials through exploration and refinement.

The event offers the public the chance to meet the designer makers and watch live demonstrations of the processes and techniques behind the finished objects. The Royal Academy will be transformed into a series of workshops, recreated to give the public an inside view of the artisans workspaces.

“Despite the long term trend at the top end of the market favouring talented makers, being a craftsman is a difficult, demanding and often lonely road to travel” says Salter. This is a rare opportunity to watch these makers in action and view some exceptional British talent.

Vacheron Constantin, patrons of the showcase, are simultaneously holding events across France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain over the same weekend, known as Metiers dArt. Through these exhibitions they hope to encourage and support the culture of over 200 skills. “Vacheron Constantin’s dedication to the preservation of fine craft is not only a passion – it is a duty”, says its CEO, Juan-Carlos Torres.

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Gardens from 3rd– 5th April 2014.


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