Craftsmanship is undeniably an art that deserves to be praised and preserved. In the UK you can find a couple of fine examples of the best of British arts and crafts featuring techniques that have been preserved throughout the ages. Today we’re taking a deeper look at some of the best craftsmen (and women) that have taken the best British craftsmanship and obtained some amazing results.
One of the best European master artisans dedicated to glass sculpture, Alison Lowry is a glass artist from Northern Ireland who specializes in the ancient glass casting technique of pâte de verre. Originally from a textile background, Alison started working with glass and fell in love with it as an expressive yet challenging material.
Amanda Simmons is one of the best European glasswork master artisans. She is based in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland. She undertook studies in glass and architecture at Central St Martins School of Art in London and set up her studio near Castle Douglas in 2006.
Currently, her work is influenced by research at Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness with scientists based at the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso.
Based in London, The Studio organized projects across five continents, including The Wolseley, The Connaught Bar and Harrods Shoe Heaven in London, Gleneagles in Scotland, The Ritz-Carlton Residences at MahaNakhon in Bangkok, and The Delaire Graff Estate in South Africa.
For example in her “Echoes of Amphora Series” (2018) she created vessels from horse chestnut burr, hand turned, sandblasted and bleached. In “Void Vessel” (2015) the piece was entirely made with Horse Chestnut Burr and in “Ferrous Shift” she used sequoia wood.
She loves wood, its history and origin and the fact that it is a living material. She has spent many years perfecting form and experimenting with how the properties of wood can be used to express the rhythm of time and our relationship with the earth.
Eleanor exhibits a lot of her precious art pieces internationally and her artworks won many awards and commendations. Her wood sculptures are present in numerous prestigious collections worldwide.
Max Lamb was born in 1980 and he combines traditional and ancient craftsmanship techniques with digital design. He is known for using highly uncommon approaches to natural materials, including pouring pewter onto sand, and volcanic rock. He is also known for his energetic and long-lasting methods of production.
A good example of the best of Max Lamb’s work is his “Cleft Chair” (2016). This is a branch, of his Urushi Stool (092) made with the same technique of cleaving a freshly cut log in its ‘green’ state using a traditional froe.
Lee Broom is one of the UK’s foremost product designers and a premium global design brand. With his highly innovative luxury furniture and lighting designs, his work is celebrated and retailed across the globe.
Since 2007, when his company was born, he created over 100 furniture, accessory and lighting pieces, all of which are designed, manufactured and retailed under the Lee Broom brand. He also collaborated with several other top global brands including Christian Louboutin, Mulberry, Bergdorf Goodman and Wedgwood.
Taking inspiration from his background in fashion design, Lee tries to embrace and explore new themes while keeping his predominant and unique style. Using the highest quality materials, combined with the latest technology, Lee Broom constantly evolves and innovates, resulting in his signature, a mix of classicism and modernity.
Lee Broom’s wonderful designs can be seen in hotels, restaurants and homes across the world as well as on magazine covers and in newspapers internationally. His masterpieces are both unique yet familiar as he uses classic styles and reinterprets them in original and contemporary ways with an unexpected edge.
Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley
Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley are internationally considered as two of the best British artists sculpting in wood. They use organic materials, such as oak wood, and give them a solid, dramatic aesthetic and an authentic beauty with woodworking techniques. They are two of the finalists in the 2019’s Loewe Craft Prize.
Suffolk’s glass artist Laura Hart, one of the best master artisans in Europe, brings to life fine glass sculptures and functional glass tableware from her studio in rural Cavendish. She specializes in fused and kiln formed glass orchids, glass wildflowers and meticulously detailed fused and cast glass butterflies. Laura’s work brings several traditional glass making techniques together with the addition of sterling silver for anatomical detail. She focuses on fused glass production uniting 21st-century 3D design applications with ancient glassmaking techniques.
In 2008, James opened his first studio in the Wiltshire countryside. He became a glass technician at the Royal College of Art in London in 2009, a position that he held until 2013. After leaving London in the same year, he started a studio with Katherine Huskie in the British countryside. James’s mastery of numerous skills and his high technical level contributed to the creation of unique and innovative works. His latest collection of Clovis works can be viewed at Vessel Gallery London.