Top UK designers and craftsmen. Annual Showcase at Royal Academy of Arts

Top UK designers and craftsmen. Annual Showcase at Royal Academy of Arts
Yareah Magazine

Inner Flame, Shakudo and 22 carat gold gilding. Hand raised and Japanese Hammer Chasing, 120mm W X 220mm H, by Wayne Meeten

Top British designers and craftsmen. Annual Showcase at Royal Academy of Arts: ‘Crafted: Makers of the Exceptional.’ From 3-5 April 2014. The vent is presented by Walpole British Luxury, in association with Vacheron Constantin.

Walpole British Luxury, in association with Vacheron Constantin, present the second ‘Crafted: Makers of the Exceptional’, a celebration of innovative British craftsmanship which brings together some of the UK’s best contemporary designer makers in an annual showcase, set to take place at the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Gardens, from 3-5 April 2014. The showcase is an integral part of the Crafted programme which takes talented craftspeople on a journey of mentorship to help develop their creative skills into viable businesses.

Walpole British Luxury represents 175 of the UK’s biggest luxury brands, including Alexander McQueen, Mulberry, Theo Fennell and Wedgwood. Through Crafted, the group aims to nurture new talent and discover the luxury brands of tomorrow, supported by Vacheron Constantin, who became patrons of the programme and annual showcase in 2013. Both are committed to preserving the increasingly rare artisanal skills so integral in today’s luxury market, making them natural patrons of the programme.

The free-to-enter event in April curated by Peter Ting gives the public the opportunity to meet up to 35 designer makers and see the pieces they create first hand. Past alumni, including Ptolemy Mann (hand dyed, textile, wall-based architectural artworks), Rothschild & Bickers (glassblowers), Jessica Poole (jewellery maker) and Ben Gaskell (quartz bowls), will be invited to exhibit their works alongside this year’s class of mentees, who will be handpicked by a selection panel, to be announced at a later date.

Crafted was initially established in 2007 by Walpole British Luxury in association with Arts & Business, with the goal of offering one-to-one mentorship for 10-12 individuals whose businesses rely heavily on craftsmanship. Founded by Programme Chairman Guy Salter, Crafted’s aim is to nurture a sense of entrepreneurship and boost business acumen among its artisans by pairing them with representatives from more established brands.

Michelle Emmerson, Managing Director of Walpole British Luxury, says, “Craftsmanship is fundamental to the luxury market and is a driving force in the rapidly growing British creative industries. Through partnering individual craftsmen with established luxury brands from the Walpole British Luxury stable, we aim to offer these talented designers an opportunity to take their passion to the next commercial level whilst promoting and developing the British luxury market.”

Juan-Carlos Torres, CEO of Vacheron Constantin says, “We are delighted with the positive response the Crafted programme and showcase has received so far. With the support from the Royal Academy this year, we can be sure that the showcase will continue to thrive. Vacheron Constantin’s dedication to the preservation of fine craft is not only a passion- it is a duty.”

Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy, says, “The RA is delighted to host the second annual, ‘Crafted: Makers of the Exceptional’ in Burlington Gardens. This year’s exhibition, in association with Vacheron Constantin, promises to be a remarkable showcase of modern British design from both established and new artists. This great initiative to support home-grown craftsmen is appropriate to the RA, which was founded to promote the arts of design. We are very proud to be part of it.”

Video: Walpole Crafted: Makers of the Exceptional showcase.

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