LONDON, April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Date: 4th- 6th April 2013
Time: 10am - 6pm
Location: Somerset House West Wing
Admission: Free for the public
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 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.
At a time when the manufacturing sector continues to dip in the UK, and with concerns about the retention of skills and apprenticeships within the workforce, Walpole and Vacheron Constantin believe it is crucial that the skill and talents of the country's craft makers are celebrated, preserved and nurtured. With their design acumen and insight, they embody the creativity and excellence that makes British fashion, design and luxury so compelling to the global consumer.
At present there are 23,000 contemporary craftsmen in the UK generating a total income of £500 million(1) on a par with West End theatre revenues(2) and outstripping money spent on music downloads in the UK £316m (3). Their skills and work plays a crucial part in the wider success of Europe's cultural and creative industries which contribute approximately 2.6% of EU GDP (with high growth potential) and provide in the region of 5million jobs across the EU.(4). These Craftsmen also pass on their skills and knowledge to a new work force, with over 87% formally teaching their craft to others. Surprisingly 69% of those involved in the Crafts Industry are female.
Fine artistic craft is an integral part of the Vacheron Constantin brand, company 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'.
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 honoured expertise, intimate knowledge and captivating interactions between art, design and skill of the hand. 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
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.
Since 1990, Walpole has been dedicated to supporting the British Luxury industry, '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.
Admission is free and there is no need to reserve tickets. For more information please visit craftedshowcase.com.
1. Crafts Council Report: Craft in an Age of Change 2012
2. Figures from the Society of London Theatres October 2011
3. Figures from BPI Annual Yearbook 2011
4. Walpole Research 2010
SOURCE Walpole British Luxury and Vacheron Constantin