Lessons learned from The Working Artisans’ Club 2014

Lessons learned from The Working Artisans’ Club 2014

Get your hands dirty, work hard and look at the ocean — As The Working Artisans’ Club exhibition heads to Munich, we look back on all we’ve learned this year.

The Working Artisans’ Club grew from a desire to celebrate the modern day makers and doers who are paddling against the flow to remind us of the value of craftsmanship. In 2014, the project expanded beyond the UK to include artisans from across Europe and this week arrives in Munich to bring designer-maker communities together from all over the continent. Come along to the free exhibition and workshops at Art:ig Galerie, 16-19 October, to share ideas, learn new skills and be inspired by creative people forging a new path with their bare hands.

The old way of doing things is dead. Resource depletion, environmental destruction and financial crises, are just a few of the factors that raise questions about relying on a system shaped by mass-production, designed obsolescence and death by focus group. We have to think about buying less, using things longer and making products with quality and care. Doing it for yourself has never been more important. The Working Artisans’ Club presents just a small cross-section of Europe’s craft community, who are rising to the challenge, rediscovering traditional skills and updating them for the needs of our generation.

These are some lessons learned from our artisans this year. To meet them and find out even more, RSVP here for the opening party, exhibition and workshops at Munich’s Art:ig Galerie, 16-19 October.

Lessons Learned

Arbo Surfboards

Photo by James Cannon

Photo by James Cannon

Paul Arbo trained as a boat-builder which gave him the skills to set up his handmade wooden surfboard company Arbo Surfboards near Holywell Bay, Cornwall.

“By putting sweat and sometimes even tears – often a bit of blood, too – into those boards, the value to the builder goes up and is priceless. You have the experience of touching the wood, smelling it, feeling the tension in a wooden strip when you bend it, using your eyes to check the fairness of a rail, and hearing the sharp blade of your block-plane slicing through wood fibres.”

Find out more about Arbo Surfboards.

Bamboo Bicycle Club

Photo by James Cannon

Photo by James Cannon

Ian McMillan and James Marr taught themselves how to build a bamboo bike and are now sharing their skills from a Hackney Wick workshop.

“Now, instead of building cars, we work in the call centres that sell them. There’s no gratification from producing like there was when we were manufacturing or even working in little shops that needed window dressing. I think that’s one thing that the economic crash has brought out in us – people want to get out from behind their desks and shape things with a knife.” – James Marr

Find out more about Bamboo Bicycle Club.

Rebel Brewing Co.

Photo by Adrian Morris

Photo by Adrian Morris

The Cornish coastline inspires Guillermo Alvarez to create award-winning beer at his Penryn brewery.

“Nothing forms you and your character like being pounded by waves. I couldn’t now picture a life without the sea next to me. It provides me with a lot of creativity that goes in to making beer.”

Find out more about Rebel Brewing Co.

Racing Atelier

leander angerer

Photo by Yorick Carroux

Leander Angerer is a former pro mountain biker who builds rugged backpacks at his Racing Atelier workshop in the Bavarian Alps.

“You don’t go into a race with thoughts like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m not going to win anyway.’ So even though I’m not racing, I still have that determination for other stuff that I do now. Everything comes down to work: being a mountain biker is hard work, starting your own studio is also hard work. So what’s worth keeping or developing is the commitment that you learn as an athlete.”

Find out more about Racing Atelier.

Drummond & Hammett

Photo by Adrian Morris

Photo by Adrian Morris

Pat Hammett and Tom Drummond are tapping into the Southern blues tradition from afar to create beautiful cigar-box guitars in Bristol.

“You get something at its most raw and then turn it into something quite refined. You’re there every step of the way, and then pass it on. It’s very satisfying and fulfilling. You almost put a bit of your identity into what you make and we wanted to share that with people.” – Tom Drummond

Find out more about Drummond & Hammett.

Daniela Garreton

Daniela Garreton-Adrian Morris-Huck2

Photo by Adrian Morris

From her studio in San Sebastian in the Basque country, Daniela Garreton crafts pencil, ink and acrylic into playful celebrations of the aquatic life.

“For me, being in the sea is like going back to your mother’s womb, floating there, feeling safe and leaving the mundane behind. The ocean just gives me so much that I have the need to do something in return and I try to do that with my art.”

Find out more about Daniela Garreton.

To meet all the artisans and learn more, head down The Working Artisans’ Club 2014 exhibition and workshops at Munich’s Art:ig Galerie, 16-19 October.