Yesterday we went to listen to several eminent craftspeople in conversation, organised for @londoncraftweek by @cockpitarts. It was interesting to hear the artists and gallery owners talk about their experiences of networking, collaborating, sharing of knowledge and putting a value on their work and services.
All great food for thought for us too, in the business of producing high-end, handmade textiles, with artisans in India and Nepal. We slip between the realms of craft and brand makers, since we don't actually physically make our products ourselves, but everything we produce is handmade. And as we are committed to working only with the most skilled textile craftspeople, our costs are quite high, and this can sometimes be a source of anxiety for us - particularly if we wish to work with retailers, who also have very high running costs to add.
It was all very enlightening, and sometimes it helps just to hear that others have the same anxieties and problems in their own businesses, and to see how they tackle these issues.
This beautiful ceramic detail is from a vase by Leah Jensen, produced for Manchester Art Gallery in response to a Ford Maddox Brown painting in their collection. Jensen applies images of paintings to the surface of her unfired pots, and then pins a map of the painting onto the clay. When the pins are removed, the pinholes indicate where she carves into the surface creating amazingly intricate patterns, rich with meaning. This particular piece took 103 hours to carve!
So, three cheers for all who choose to take the less easy route of creating something of value and authenticity. And thank you to yesterday's speakers for sharing your journeys: @@leah.jensen @carreducker @billambergstudio @thenewcraftsmen @sarah_myerscough @eleanorlakelin @studiodavidmarques curator Brian Kennedy and writer Corinne Julius.y