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In the hands of master artisans, a singular vision yields a multiplicity of expression and form

In Pattern of Crafts at Homo Faber, German designer Sebastian Herkner showcases the important role of fine craftsmanship to the world of interior decoration

Laila Pozzo©Michelangelo Foundation

• Master artisans from Japan and Europe interpret the striking geometric pattern of the tiled square in front of the church on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore

• Artisans individual interpretations using an exquisite array of techniques and materials such as marble, wood marquetry, textiles and more are accompanied by stories of the artisans creative processes and glimpse of them at work

• In an increasingly digital world, the exhibition honours the tactile and very human nature of fine craftsmanship and their enduring contribution to interior decoration


Sebastian Herkner, named 2019 Designer of the year by MAISON&OBJET, explores the crucial contribution master artisans make to the world of interior design and decoration in the exhibition Pattern of Crafts at Homo Faber. Herkner invites selected artisans from Europe and Japan to interpret the lace-like octagonal pattern of the tiled terrace in front of the Basilica of San Giorgio on San Giorgio Maggiore Island.

The artisans interpret the pattern in a range of techniques and materials – marble, glass, mosaic, wood marquetry, metal, and textiles – resulting in exquisitely crafted panels. Together, the works demonstrate how the savoir-faire of master artisans can serve the imagination of a designer, using time-honoured techniques to create decorative patterns for contemporary interiors. The exhibition also includes stories and behind-the-scenes glimpses at the creation of the pieces.

Herkner, who traces his appreciation for artisanship to time spent in his father’s workshop and the forests of Bavaria where he grew up, values the crafts as a unique expression of culture and place and as essential to our humanity.


Marie de la Roussière Artisan - ©Virginie Pérocheau “What is special for humans is that we have all the senses… and this is very connected to design and craftsmanship. If you enter a workshop you can smell the wood or feel the heat in a glass workshop. It’s very important to think about tactility, the surface and the reality. I design for humans.” – Sebastian Herkner




Artisans whose work is presented:

1. Anne Le Corno, France : Marquetry
2. Atelier Mestdagh, Belgium: Stained glass
3. Daniel Heath, United Kingdom: Wallpaper
4. Edition Van Treeck, Germany: Fusing glass
5. Fornace Orsoni, Italy: Mosaic
6. Henar Iglesias, Spain: Feathers
7. José Vieira, Portugal: Tin
8. Julian Feller, Belgium: Woodcarving
9. Marie de la Roussière, France: Lacquering
10. Naturtex, Spain: Weaving
11. Palmalisa Zantedeschi, Italy: Stonework
12. Paquili, Francisco Carrera Iglesias, Spain: Embroidery
13. Rubelli, Italy: Tapestry
14. Severina Lartigue, France: Silk flowers
15. Signe Emdal, Denmark: Jacquard knitting
16. Tabea Vietzke, Germany: Straw marquetry
17. Violaine Buet,France: Seaweed textiles
18. Zanat, Bosnia Herzegovina: Woodcarving


Artisan from the atelier of Pino Grasso - Tomas Bertelsen©Michelangelo Foundation Pattern of Crafts is set in the Barbantini Hall area at Fondazione Giorgio Cini. It is one of 17 exhibitions that comprise Homo Faber, organised by the Michelangelo Foundation.


Notes for editors
Homo Faber
Crafting a more human future
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
Register for tickets at homofaberevent.com


Homo Faber is the main event organised by the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship, an international non-profit organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland, which was set up to celebrate and preserve master craftsmanship around the world and strengthen its connection to design. Rooted in a tradition of culture and excellence and in the realities and challenges of today’s global economy, the foundation aims to support those who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of master craftsmanship and to foster a new cultural movement built around the values that are essential for their work. The Foundation focuses on Europe as a starting point for its activities, in recognition that craftsmanship has been a vital part of the economic and cultural fabric of the region for centuries, providing both a rich heritage and a competitive advantage in a global world. michelangelofoundation.org

Sebastian Herkner

German designer Sebastian Herkner has made an indelible mark on the world of interior design since launching his own studio in 2006. Combining his unconditional love for traditional craftsmanship with a flair for colour, a curiosity for different cultures and a feel for new technologies, Herkner has designed furniture for some of the world’s most respected manufacturers, including ClassiCon, Rosenthal, Ames and Cappellini, as well as architectural projects and museum and exhibition designs. His work has garnered numerous awards, and he was named Designer of the Year 2019 by MAISON&OBJET.



Collaborating on Homo Faber with the Michelangelo Foundation are partner organisations that share its vision including: the Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, and The Japan Foundation.

Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte
The Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte is a private, non-profit institution founded in 1995. Based in Milan, it promotes cultural, scientific and educational initiatives for the protection and diffusion of artistic crafts. The Fondazione Cologni’s mission is to inspire a “new Renaissance” of the artistic crafts and rescue them from the threat of extinction. Many of its initiatives focus on young people and training future generations of artisans. fondazionecologni.it

Fondazione Giorgio Cini
The Fondazione Giorgio Cini is a non-profit cultural institution based in Venice, Italy. Established by Vittorio Cini in 1951 with the aim of creating an international cultural centre re-integrating the San Giorgio Maggiore Island into the life of Venice and the region, today it is an important centre of humanistic studies and encourages the creation and development of educational, social, cultural and artistic institutions in the surrounding territory. cini.it

The Japan Foundation
The Japan Foundation, established in 1972, in Tokyo develops international cultural exchange programmes globally. The foundation’s aim is to promote Japanese culture to the world through programmes and activities in the following categories: art, cultural exchange, Japanese-language education and Japanese studies. The foundation has a global network, with 25 overseas branches in 24 countries. As part of their cultural programme, the foundation offers successful applicants support in the form of grants, research scholarships and training opportunities. jpf.go.jp

Interview Sebastian Herkner Curator Emanuele Zamponi©Michelangelo Foundation Artisan from Paquili©Alicia Nieto Velázquez Artisan from the atelier of Pino Grasso_Tomas Bertelsen©Michelangelo Foundation Daniel Heath Artisan_Nicolò Zanatta©Michelangelo Foundation Henar Iglesias Artisan©Adrián Cristóbal Marie de la Roussiere Artisan©Virginie Pérocheau Severina Lartigue Artisan_Ginevra Formentini©Michelangelo Foundation Signe Emdal Artisan©Theis Mortensen Tabea Vietzke Artisan©All rights reserved Sebastian Herkner Curator_Laila Pozzo©Michelangelo Foundation