Whether it is a handmade leather bag, lovingly crafted by artisans, or hand-blown wine glasses made the same way for hundreds of years, there is something special about owning a product that shows true craftsmanship.
It is something that has become even more appreciated in these times of fast fashion and consumerism. We are curious to know where our most beloved products come from, how was our furniture made? How did the winemaker choose where to grow the vines of our favourite wine? And, of course, we all know the importance of origin in food.
Craftsmanship is still thriving in the 21st Century, here is how some experts around the world are ensuring we continue to appreciate what goes into producing our favourite products.
Steeped in history
For more than 1,500 years, skilled and patient glassblowers have been creating swirling and interconnected glass forms and driving the arts and crafts movement. Due to the danger of glass-factories setting the city on fire, the industry was based on the island of Murano, away from central Venice. It hasn’t moved since then, and the glass was and is made from crushed quartz crystal found in the rivers of northern Italy, making these products unique to the area.
The practice has been continued to the present day, and makers Barovier & Toso are one of the finest makers of traditional Venetian glass, with chandeliers, lamps and decorative pieces of extraordinary colour, texture and complexity. Their designs and the glassblowing tradition is still strongly connected to the beautiful canal city of Venice and its people.
The past of a product
Craftsmanship doesn’t always involve creating an item from scratch. British reclaimed-furniture brand EatSleepLive takes aged and worn wood and gives it a new lease of life through careful crafting and design while preserving its past. They source wood (such as 15th-century beams) from historical projects and bring the story of where and when the wood was placed to influence the next part of its existence. In the arts and crafts movement, appreciation for the story of an antique item can be just as important as the look.
In a world of heavily processed materials, EatSleepLive takes once-loved items and crafts them into new memories.
Terrunyo wine and its earthy foundation
Where does the wine you drink come from? At first that sounds like an easy question – it says so on the bottle. A Terrunyo Carmenere 2018 is grown in the Peumo vineyard in the Cachapoal Valley region of Chile. But if you want to delve a little deeper, you must look beyond the winemaking process, and consider the winegrowing from its earthy foundations. As part of the core of the Terrunyo wine brand, there’s an appreciation for the value that the land imparts to every individual vine.
A wine that stands out for its quality and craftsmanship, Terrunyo was born of the idea that a super premium wine could be crafted from grapes grown in very specific vineyards carefully chosen by expert winemakers. Marcio Ramirez and Germán di Cesare have committed their lives to the understanding of winegrowing and winemaking and bring their passion to life at four of Concha y Toro’s most prestigious terroirs in Chile and Argentina.
The dedication to crafting something exceptional is seen at every stage of the process, from the winemakers carefully managing every aspect of the growing process to the small-batch production which allows them to focus on quality.
By understanding and carefully working with every element that can affect each vintage, Terrunyo wine has become a reference in ultra premium New World wine.
Do it yourself
The search for greater exploration, creative control and autonomy can lead to a chef deciding to simply create what they can’t find. Celebrated chef Dan Barber constructed the Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York state. It is designed to help develop his own range of goose foie gras to explore the importance of origin in food. These geese live a happy life, exploring their forest surroundings and wild foraging their lunch.
On Barber’s four-season farm, which comes with its own restaurant and educational centre, there is one mission – to create consciousness about the effect of everyday food choices that we make. There are no menus, and visitors taste simple seasonal products available on that day, raised to magnificence by Barber’s unique skills and experience.
Detail and precision
The sleepy village of Fleurier in Switzerland had known a golden age of fine watchmaking in the 19th Century, but in recent times the industry had slumped. In the 1990s, Jean-Patrice Hofner brought some of the most talented watchmakers to the area and restarted the mechanically precise practice.
Their hand-painted dials and intricate construction speak to the care and attention taken with each individual watch. By using independent suppliers and reviving the once-admired industry, high-quality timepiece lovers and the local people have much to be thankful for.