Madesmith appreciate good old-fashioned craftsmanship and offer an expertly curated collection of handmade objects. They believe in buying less and buying well and hope that by knowing where our things come from and who made them, we will cherish our belongings forever.
Their beautiful shop and website represent several makers and designers who create unique items. Textiles, jewellery, shoes, accessories and home goods are all featured and the maker’s stories are told through beautiful photographs and illuminating interviews. The products are available to buy from the Madesmith shop along with special collaborations and commissions. Their aim is that by connecting us with the artisans, we can support local communities and preserve the unique craftsmanship that is part of our culture.
All photography courtesy of Madesmith.
Herriott Grace sell beautiful handmade wooden objects, porcelain tableware, kitchen linens and accessories. They are a father and daughter team and I love the unlikely story of how they began working together.
Nikole and Lance both live in Canada 3400 kilometers apart: his workshop is in Victoria, British Columbia, while her studio is in Toronto, Ontario. When Nikole first made her home more than halfway across the country from her father, they started to send packages to each other. In some of the packages, Lance included his own hand carved spoons. Nikole loved them and knew they were special. One day she thought that others might appreciate her father’s work, so she asked if he would ever want to share his pieces. He took a while to think about it and after some convincing, agreed to her plan, “but only with people that understood and cared about the time and effort spent on each piece.” She told him, “Leave it to me, I know just the sort.” And with that, Herriott Grace was born.
The New Craftsmen is an agency dedicated to promoting the work of British artisans who create high-end products which tell an interesting story. This includes furniture by Gareth Neal, textiles by Ptolemy Mann and rare sheepskins from the Isle of Auskerry.
The sheepskins are from a tiny, remote island in Scotland’s Orkney archipelago, where the makers and their flock of North Ronaldsay sheep are the only residents. There are only three flocks of this rare breed left in Orkney and they are most notable for their unusual and unique caramel, silver, chocolate and slate colourings, as well as their diet of seaweed. The skins are softened with rainwater and washed in huge sinks which were originally used for lighthouse keepers’s laundry before being dried in a mangle and hung on driftwood frames. Only a limited number are produced each year and they are now available via The New Craftsmen.
For this week only, the agency has a pop up shop in Mayfair, London, and plans for the future include a possible permanent physical space as well as an online shop.
These delicate crocheted leaves are by German artist Susanna Bauer, whose work combines stones, leaves and wood with traditional craft techniques. Her work is painstakingly intricate and encourages the viewer to study the natural forms just as much as her embellishment.
Sometimes when an artist manipulates a natural object as the basis of their work, I can’t help but think it would have been better left in its original state. In this case though, the complementary forms of the leaves and the sinuous thread combine to make something which truly exceeds the sum of its parts.