Walpole Crafted Somerset House

I was walking across the courtyard at Somerset House this morning at 815am, on the way to a panel I was sitting on as part of the Crafted: Makers of the Exceptional Showcase which Walpole British Luxury has curated with the support of patron Vacheron Constantin.

Walpole Crafted Somerset House

The exhibition features the work of 20 craftmakers who have been mentored and supported by the Walpole mentorship programme, Crafted. (It’s only on for three days, finishing this Saturday. Do visit if you get the chance: it’s small but perfectly formed.)

My fellow panellists Gillian de Bono, Editor in Chief of FT How to Spend It, Tony Chambers, Editor of Wallpaper*, Deyan Sudjic, Director of The Design Museum and I discussed the significance of craftsmanship to luxury brands, businesses and industry, and the role that craftsmanship plays in the luxury story, along with the perception of luxury brands and their products.

The discussion led also to an analysis of international customer attitudes to craftsmanship, why we are seeing such a interest in the skills and artisans behind luxury brands’ products and how craftsmen can distinguish themselves and their small businesses in the marketplace.

Walpole Crafted Somerset House

Cumbria Crystal

The exhibition explores British luxury craftsmanship in four themes – A Craft Perfected; A Tradition Preserved; A Life Devoted and A Business Nurtured. This collection of works by talented and pioneering artisans aims to demonstrate their passion, dedication and expertise, and bring to life the entire creative process – from rare raw material to valuable finished work.

The 20 craftmakers are: 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.

Walpole Crafted Somerset House

Whitby jet jewellery by Jacqueline Cullen

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. This showcase offers a unique insight into craft excellence by recreating the artisans’ workshops in Somerset House’s West Wing, and elevating the time-honoured expertise and interactions between art, design and skill of hand.

Walpole Crafted Somerset House

Typography by Mr Smith

Walpole Crafted Somerset House

Walpole Crafted Somerset House

Walpole Crafted Somerset House

4–6 April 2013
10.00-18.00
West Wing Galleries, West Wing, Somerset House
Free admission
www.craftedshowcase.co.uk

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6 comments

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This makes me miss living in London. I bet this would have been a fascinating talk and I would loved to have seen the designs. I have a much greater appreciation of craftsmanship after attending Hermes’ Festival des Metiers and seeing the multiple artisans and detailed steps that go into something as simple as a scarf!

xoxo,
Chic ‘n Cheap Living

Reply

I admire what the Walpole Crafted initiative has been doing and would love to have been at the panel talk. I wrote an article that explored some of the very interesting issues concerning contemporary markets for luxury and craft, and highlighted the work of the wonderful Carreducker- one of the craftmakers exhibiting at Somerset House and their collaboration with Gieves and Hawkes. If of interest link is here:

http://www.mydigitalfc.com/fashion-and-style/luxe-goes-crafty-193

Agree it’s vitally important to support small luxury businesses and the continuity of craft-making traditions they sustain and breathe fresh life into.
Some of the Cumbrian crystal pictured is now firmly on my wish-list!

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Love this post, nice work 🙂

http://primeministeroffun.blogspot.co.uk

xoxo

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Looks lovely 🙂

http://cargocollective.com/haideedefraine

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That Whitby jet jewelry is luscious!

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