Wonderful Glass

August 30, 2019

Glass artist Shelley James explored the birth of clear glass nearly 800 years ago in Murano in the BBC Revolutions series.

It’s a fascinating look at this wonderful material, samphire…. who knew?

Craft Council Directory

February 5, 2018

Did you know the Crafts Council has a Directory of makers?

With Love Project

March 16, 2016

Last year we were visited by Chris & Rob of the With Love Project

“With Love is a site dedicated to finding people who produce things with a passion and purpose. It is brought to you by Chris Roberts and Rob Evans and documents their search to find individuals who truly care about what they do and what they produce.

Asking one single question along the way… “Why do you do what you do?”

We are really pleased to have been included in the Film & Book. Thank you.

Soon to be screened at “The Independents Club” london follow @withloveproject for details

The Crystal Makers – Stourbridge

May 31, 2014

Stephen made a pilgrimage to Stourbridge yesterday to see the glass cutter Richard Lamming and visit Broadfield House Glass Museum. The museum is a real gem.

Good to see our two pieces in the museum including a bowl specifically purchased for the cameo collection.

Fantastic black and white film below on view at the museum. There are some gems in this film which are as pertinent now for glassmakers as when the movie was made.

The film resonates particularly well with us as the first glass makers of Rosedale were Huguenots and we both studied glass making in Stourbridge, “glass making is a way of life,  It gets in your blood”.

Design Nation

May 7, 2014

Many thanks to Sue Pryke for the interview for the Design Nation Blog and of course the marvellous Andrew Tanner.

Mission Statement:
Design Nation successfully connects the excellence in Craft, Design and Product by providing collaboration between entrepreneur, industry and a wider creative economy. Design Nation addresses the present whilst challenging the future for British design through a framework of support across the UK and internationally.

Design Nation; future thinking for design and craft.

Peta Levi MBE, founder of Design Nation had her obituary written by journalist and photographer Barbara Chandler in the Independent,
click here to read about this champion of British design and her lifelong passion for promoting craft design and product.

The Design Trust

May 7, 2014

Guy Salter

March 20, 2014

Good words, well written by Guy Salter, Chair & founder of the Crafted programme.

“Craftsmanship has long been part of the luxury mantra – and never more so than now. There is something of a symbolic, almost talisman-like aspect to it. It has become de rigueur for brands to extol their craft virtues; telling that story with beautifully shot print ads depicting craftsman at work, or for those that are able to, organising special open days or travelling exhibitions featuring their most talented makers.

This is clever and necessary marketing.  Responding to the customer’s desire for reassurance about the price they are paying and so asking searching questions about quality, provenance and the like.  The issue is how much substance is there backing up the marketing? Only a relatively small number of mainstream luxury companies still have outstanding craft credentials and have built their business models, pricing, employment policies and marketing around the ‘making’ philosophy. Indeed, some of the best practice in terms of product quality is now seen by new smaller luxury brands that eschew expansion and ubiquity in order to be niche and specialised.  In doing so they have cleverly bought themselves a place at the top table, even if that is about reputation not size.

In a similar way, just as Luxury has had ‘a good crisis’, so have the best independent makers.  Top end shopping streets are increasingly looking the same the world over, so the hunt for something truly unique, genuinely bespoke, is gathering pace.  Commissioning something from an independent craftsman requires sophistication and confidence but is a natural evolution for the discerning consumer.  In that sense it is a ‘Back to the Future moment’, as this is where luxury started hundreds of years ago.

In my view this is based on a truth; that despite advances in technology and precision engineering by intelligent machines, nothing can replicate something that has been made by the human hand.   Another truth – this matters to consumers.

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.  One of the biggest challenges being the commercial know-how and business acumen to turn talent and skill into products that sell, generate a profit and pay the mortgage.

This was why I founded the Crafted mentoring programme in 2007.  Since then we have supported some fifty makers and, thanks to the time and generosity of our mentors, made an appreciable difference to their sustainability and commercial viability.  Thanks to the incredible support from Vacheron Constantin, we now have another opportunity to celebrate both our makers and the role of craftsmanship in contemporary luxury by staging the Crafted: Makers of the Exceptional showcase for the second year running. Vacheron Constantin’s vision to promote traditional skills is nothing short of inspiring and I am indebted to their patience and understanding that true luxury, just as exceptional making, is a long game and as much about investment as marketing.”

read the fulll piece on line and see details of the exhibition at the RA here

Walpole Crafted – British Luxury

October 15, 2013

Good to hear ‘Walpole Crafted’ mentioned ‘as a way Walpole supports emerging luxury craftsmen’. Guy Slater of Walpole British Luxury on Radio 4  yesterday taking about
“Why do British luxury brands outperform other sectors in the international market? Why are earnings from UK luxury good set to double to £12 billion by 2017? Laurence Llewelyn Bowen reports on the appeal of British goods from Rolls Royce cars to high fashion handbags, from fine cloth and cashmere…”

Listen here available for the next 7 days.

The Value of Skills…

April 26, 2013

Just sent some words to the CGS. Been asked to talk about the ‘value’ of skill and as ever I am in danger of becoming just a bit of a bore on the subject of it’s value to us as glass makers and its imperative role in the making of our work.

Good to reflect on the issue and remember the fact that the Arts Council, has to date, supported two studio events in support of skill… entitled ” Steal With your eyes”.

In 1998 Tobias Mohl and 2003 Janusz Pozniak came to Rosedale to demonstrate their skills (from the Venetian tradition) to an audience of British studio glass makers and students. Steal with your eyes, refers to the ‘old way’ of learning how to blow glass… when secrets and skills were protected… then the only way to learn was to watch and then practice.

Nowadays there are many opportunities to learn skills directly from makers from different making traditions, in one of the many centres of excellence in the USA and in the UK at Northlands Creative Glass.

Steal with your eyes… in this case by invitation !