Date: 4th – 6th April 2013
Time: 10am – 6pm
Location: Somerset House West Wing
Admission: Free for the public
London, England– In celebration of outstanding British craftsmanship, Walpole British Luxury and Vacheron Constantin will host the first ‘CRAFTED: MAKERS OF THE EXCEPTIONAL’ Showcase for the public at Somerset House West Wing. From the stitching on a calf-skin leather handbag to the intricate metalwork on a statement mirror, expert craftsmanship is at the heart of all luxury goods. The showcase offers a unique insight into the excellence of fine craft by elevating the time honored expertise, intimate knowledge and captivating interactions between art, design and skill of the hand. From Thursday 4th to Saturday 6th April, a collection of 20 of Britain’s most talented and pioneering artisans will demonstrate their passion, dedication and expertise, bringing to life the creative process, from exquisite and rare raw material to desirable and valuable finished work. Admission is free and there is no need to reserve tickets. For more information about the event please visit www.craftedshowcase.co.uk.
Since 1990, Walpole British Luxury has been dedicated to supporting the British Luxury industry. Founded by flagship British companies including Chewton Glen, DAKS, Financial Times and William Grant & Sons, Walpole furthers the interests of the British luxury industry. Named after great British statesman, patron of the arts and promoter of overseas trade, Sir Robert Walpole, the organisation provides a strong voice for the finest British brands in today’s competitive global luxury market.
‘At Walpole British Luxury we understand that luxury without exceptionally talented makers or outstanding materials is an empty promise, hence our commitment to the preservation and development to the craftsmanship skills’ said Julia Carrick, Chief Executive of Walpole British Luxury.
Walpole promotes, develops and represents the British luxury industry in partnership with its members – over 180 of Britain’s most prestigious companies drawn from the fashion, retail, jewelry, food, drink, leisure, automotive and media sectors, including Alfred Dunhill, Alexander McQueen, Boodles, Burberry, Clive Christian, Chivas Brothers, Ettinger, The Gleneagles Hotel, Glenmorangie, Goodwood, Jimmy Choo, James Cropper Specialty Papers, Somerset House, Purdey, Savoir Beds, Silver Cross, Bremont, Thomas Pink, Vertu, Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton – Walpole represents the A to Z of internationally renowned and respected names, each bringing its own area of expertise and style to this most British of associations.
Recognizing that many luxury brands rely heavily on the work and experience of artists and craft makers, Walpole developed the Mentorship Programme, Crafted, in 2007 with support from The Prince’s Trust, Arts & Business and American Express. The programme provides one-to-one mentorship and a series of educational workshops for a small number of carefully selected craft makers from a wide range of disciplines. Crafted fosters a sense of entrepreneurialism and provides opportunities to help establishing craft businesses to grow, yet at the same time preserve their talents and unique skills to pass onto future generations of craft makers.
For the first time, ‘CRAFTED: MAKERS OF THE EXCEPTIONAL’ will bring together those who have been supported by Walpole British Luxury through the Crafted Mentorship Programme to give a glimpse into the inner workings of Britain’s finest craft businesses. From knitwear and jewellery to lapidary and glass blowing, the exhibitors include: Angus Ross, Breanish Tweed, Bailey Tomlin, Carréducker, Cumbria Crystal, Shawstephens, Eloise Gray, Fair Isle Knitwear, Gaskell Quartz, Helen Amy Murray, Jacqueline Cullen, Jessica Poole, Mr Smith, Natasha Daintry, Ndidi Ekubia, Ptolemy Mann, Rothschild & Bickers, Sasha Wardell, Sophie Coryndon and Wayne Meeten.
Expressed in four simple themes – A Craft Perfected, A Tradition Preserved, A Life Devoted and A Business Nurtured – live demonstrations will give guests exclusive access to the essence of each craftsperson’s art. Vacheron Constantin’s Master Watchmaker will be present to demonstrate the rare skills that combine intricacy, prestige and elegance; along with enamellist Anita Porchet, the most renowned miniature enamel painter in the world.
Founded in Geneva in 1755, Vacheron Constantin is the world’s oldest watch manufacturer in continuous production for over 250 years. Founders of the spirit of technical, fine watchmaking; the people of Vacheron Constantin continue to design, develop and produce exceptional timepieces true to the brand’s three fundamental pillars: perfectly mastered techniques, inspired and harmonious aesthetics and an extremely high level of finishing.
Pursuing its longstanding ties with the world of art and culture, Vacheron Constantin is committed to fostering Artistic Crafts that play such a key role in contemporary creativity, while highlighting the excellence achieved by combining these talents with those of design.
The brand is also a privileged partner of a number of cultural institutions such as the Opéra National de Paris, the French Institut National des Métiers d’Art, the Barbier-Mueller Museum Cultural Foundation and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
Vacheron Constantin CEO Juan-Carlos Torres, commented ‘For Vacheron Constantin, promoting arts and crafts professions is more than a commitment, it is a duty’. Chair of the Walpole Crafted programme Guy Salter, added, ‘The aim is to help craftsmen and women develop businesses that are strong, growing and sustainable in order to support themselves properly, do commercial justice to their outstanding skills, and crucially allowing them to pass these on’
Somerset House is a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of London, sitting between the Strand and the River Thames. Since opening to the public in 2000, Somerset House has produced a distinctive public program that annually draws over 2.5 million visitors to the site, providing a stimulating environment for exploration and relaxation. The varied, year-round programme includes an open air film and concert season and ice rink, as well as temporary exhibitions focusing on contemporary fashion, design, art and architecture, family workshops and free guided tours. In September 2009, Somerset House became the new home of London Fashion Week. For more information on Walpole please visit www.thewalpole.co.uk. For more information on Vacheron Constantin www.vacheron-constantin.com
About the Exhibitors
ANGUS ROSS Angus Ross combines thoughtful design, exceptional craftsmanship and Scottish wood to create remarkable furniture and functional public art. www.angusross.co.uk
BREANISH TWEED Breanish Tweed is a family business supplying cloth to the best bespoke tailors and fashion houses in the world. www.breanishtweed.co.uk
BAILEY TOMLIN Bridget Bailey of Bailey Tomlin, is a conceptual milliner and designer with over 20 years’ experience. www.baileytomlin.com
CARRÉDUCKER Carréducker LLP is the creative partnership of Deborah Carré and James Ducker, making fully hand stitched, bespoke footwear for men and (occasionally) women. www.carreducker.com
CUMBRIA CRYSTAL Cumbria Crystal is one of the few remaining manufacturers of luxury hand-blown and hand-cut full lead crystal. www.cumbriacrystal.com
SHAWSTEPHENS Edmund Stephens established SHAWSTEPHENS in 2006, and is building on its current reputation for an uncompromising approach to quality, efficiency and customer service in creating well designed, functional furniture. www.shawstephens.com
ELOISE GREY Eloise Grey launched her clothing label in 2007 with a collection of finely tailored, perfectly sustainable, individually made garment intended to keep for years to come. www.eloisegrey.com
FAIR ISLE KNITWEAR Mati Ventrillon is one of the three remaining knitters making garments on Fair Isle, Scotland. www.fairisleknitwear.co.uk GASKELL QUARTZ Ben Gaskell’s interest in lapidary began in 1986 after he stumbled upon a wealth of unloved crystal boulders in Madagascar. www.gaskellquartz.com
HELEN AMY MURRAY Helen Amy Murray’s illustrious handsculpted leather and textiles are sought by interior designers, architects and collectors the world over, looking to commission arresting works of art for interiors, furniture and installations. www.helenamymurray.com
JACQUELINE CULLEN Jacqueline Cullen is a jewellery designer specialising in contemporary Whitby jet, a 180 million year old black fossil mainly associated with Victorian mourning jewellery but is now rare. www.jacquelinecullen.com
JESSICA POOLE Jessica Poole designs and creates contemporary precious jewellery executed in a considered manner. www.jessicapoole.co.uk
MR SMITH Kelvyn Laurence Smith runs the well-oiled ‘Mr Smith Letterpress Workshop’ where he creates exquisitely crafted contemporary typographic printed matter using traditional wood & metal type. www.smithsrules.com
NATASHA DAINTRY Natasha Daintry makes vessels from porcelain and focuses on colour and movement. Her work is exhibited in design, gallery and shop environments, echoing her belief that clay is inherently a flexible material and vessels fulfill both useful and abstract functions. www.natashadaintry.com
NDIDI EKUBIA Ndidi Ekubia is a contemporary silversmith who has been creating stunning silverware from London since 1998. www.ndidiekubia.com
PTOLEMY MANN Since 1997 Ptolemy Mann has been running her own textile art and design studio showcasing her unique approach to hand-dyeing and weaving, wall-based, architectural, art works. www.ptolemymann.com
ROTHSCHILD & BICKERS Rothschild & Bickers is one of a handful of glassworks still active in the UK where glass is handblown. www.rothschildbickers.com
SASHA WARDELL Sasha Wardell has adapted the industrial techniques normally associated with bone china production of mould making and slip casting to studio production. www.sashawardell.com
SOPHIE CORYNDON Trained in both fine art and decorative finishes, Sophie combines her love of elemental materials, techniques and design with an artist’s sensibility to create unique and exquisite pieces that reveal the mythic potential in everyday objects. www.sophiecoryndon.co.uk
WAYNE MEETEN Wayne Meeten is a rare craftsmen whose metalwork conveys sensations of serenity and movement: it combines fine art with craft. www.wvmstudio.com