Homo Faber Guide is an online, searchable guide, which showcases artisans, ateliers, museums, galleries and experiences linked to the world of fine craftsmanship around Europe
Words by FX Magazine
Main Image: Tessa Eastman Artisan ©Layton Thompson
Tapping into the rich heritage of fine craftsmanship to be found across Europe, the Homo Faber Guide has launched to provide an online directory for artisans, rising talents, galleries, manufacturers and museums all across Europe.
The guide is the signature digital project for the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship – a non-profit institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, which celebrates and preserves master craftsmanship and strengthens its connection to the world of design. While it can be hard to find the best craftspeople when visiting or working in a city for the first time, this online guide makes use of the Michelangelo Foundation's wide ranging network, now easily searchable by country, city, craft or material. Currently featuring more than 650 artisans, spread over 25 European countries (its focus is currently European), the guide continues to grow, aiming for 1000 artisans by 2021.
Tropical Fossil, Gianluca Pacchioni Artisan, © Lorenzo Pennati
William Amor Artisan © William Amor
The Guide is structured into different sections: Discover, Visit, Experience and Ambassadors, explained as the following:
Discover: Find a selection of the best master artisans and rising talents, ateliers and manufacturers of excellence from all over Europe. Connect with them directly through the guide.
Visit: Find museums, galleries and shops linked to fine craftsmanship to visit in all corners of the continent.
Experience: Find a curated list of workshop visits, artisan master classes, guided tours, and temporary exhibitions and fairs across Europe.
Ambassadors: Renowned individuals and partner institutions within the craft, creativity and design world who recommend their favourite artisans, galleries and experiences in their home cities.
Vase Spiral, Wayne Meeten Artisan © Gavin Cottrell
Vanessa Hogge Artisan © Polly Rusyn
The ambassador section can lead to exciting discoveries; using the insight and network of the institutions and ambassadors to quickly get to the creative heart of a city. In the UK for example, partner institutions include the Queen Elizabeth Trust, Crafts Council UK and Craft Scotland, while London ambassadors include renowned fashion curator Judith Clark, responsible for exhibitions such as 'Vulgar: Fashion Redefined' at the Barbican. Clark's recommendations include metalworker Adi Toch and woodworker Wycliffe Stutchbury; another London guide is gallerist Brian Kennedy, whose recommendations include galleries MADEINBRITALY, Sarah Myerscough Gallery and Joann Bird Contemporary Collections.
Cabinet maker Angus Ross Credit: Angus Ross Artisan ©All rights reserved
Moving outside the capital, Birmingham's jewellery quarter is home to a husband and wife duo of watchmakers, Craig and Rebecca Struthers; in the foothills of the Cairngorms, is Aberfeldy-based cabinetmaker Angus Ross, as recommended by Crafts Council UK; in Exeter find silversmith Wayne Meeten, who makes ornamental vessels, working with techniques learned from the late Japanese artisan Hirotoshi Itoh.