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Inspiration is around the corner: Experience a selection of the best British craftsmanship through Homo Faber Guide

Homo Faber Guide is an online, searchable guide, which showcases artisans, ateliers, museums, galleries and experiences linked to the world of fine craftsmanship around Europe. The portal connects art enthusiasts, collectors, clients, galleries, curious travellers and designers with the continent’s crafting excellence

Artisan Lucy McGrath at work - ©Richard Cannon

• Looking to discover the United Kingdom through new eyes?
• Searching for a one-of-a-kind bespoke handcrafted object?
• Curious to learn of Judith Clark’s best kept addresses?
• Eager to see the rare skills of a scagliola maker?
• Would you like to try your hand at paper marbling or glassmaking?

Homo Faber Guide places the world of fine craftsmanship in Europe at your fingertips. Experience excellence with access to a selection of the best master artisans, rising talents, galleries, ateliers, manufacturers and museums from all over the continent. The guide is created in collaboration with the international network of the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship which provides local expertise, recommends, evaluates and endorses featured participants.

Rediscover the United Kingdom in a new light, revisiting your favourite places, enriched by new encounters and experiences. Follow the recommendations of our carefully selected British city ambassadors and prestigious partner institutions to find hidden gems as they share the craftsmanship found on their doorsteps. Wherever you are in the United Kingdom, find courses around the corner to express your own creativity.

First to London, follow in the footsteps of city ambassador Fashion curator Judith Clark and you will wind your way through the streets of the capital city to the workshop of the talented young metalworker Adi Toch. Discover the magic of moulding metal by watching Adi in action, as she balances the use of fire and hand tools to create colourful vessels. From here be led into the world of woodworker Wycliffe Stutchbury and marvel at his three-panelled screens made from oak. Just around the corner, stumble upon the workshop of gifted glass worker Anne Petters and admire the delicacy of her creations, upon the recommendation of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.

London seen through the eyes of gallerist Brian Kennedy will take you to in search of many galleries, such as MADEINBRITALY, Sarah Myerscough Gallery or Joanna Bird Contemporary Collections. Whilst in the capital, why not try your hand at paper marbling at the studio of Lucy McGrath who will guide you through her creative process, you will leave with your own collection of marbled paper. If you’re looking for a unique present, make a visit to Bellerby & Co globe makers, and be transported on a journey around the world by their handcrafted terrestrial and celestial globes.

Follow your heart west to Birmingham’s famous jewellery quarter to uncover the secrets of the horological historians, the husband and wife duo of watchmakers, Craig and Rebecca Struthers. See for yourself the incredible skill and detail required to make their watches and how they fuse traditional fine craftsmanship with 21st century technology. Head west to the countryside to a little sleepy village where you will find a rare scagliola maker, Thomas Kennedy and be immersed in the centuries-old craft. Not far away, near to Hereford, follow the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust’s recommendation to discover the blacksmith Jenny Pickford who creates floral sculptures with metal stems and glass blown petals from her blazing furnace.

Pack your bags for a trip north, stop on the way at the Peak District to go in search of the studio of willow sculptor Laura Ellen Bacon in Matlock, recommended by Crafts Council UK. Be bewitched by the way that she transforms the simple material of willow into larger than life sculptures and installations. Follow the road just beyond Leeds to the Yorkshire Dales, where you can meet a guitar maker Tom Sands and his acoustic instruments. Take a detour to Liverpool to seek out textile designer Kazuhuito Takadoi who creates intricate wall hangings from grasses he cultivates in his back garden.

Cross the border into Scotland and weave your way through the medieval streets of Edinburgh until you reach the studio of ceramicist Frances Priest, recommended by partner institution Craft Scotland. Watch how she makes her colourful puzzle-like ceramic vessels. Stay for the weekend and book an experience to learn the ancient art of chasing and repoussé with silversmith Bryony Knox. Venture further north still, to the foothills of the Cairngorms, in Aberfeldy, to seek out cabinetmaker Angus Ross, and his curious cabinets upon the recommendation of Crafts Council UK.

Set sail to the south to the Dorset coastline where boatbuilder Gail McGarva will show you her ‘tree to sea’ philosophy of making replica boats and boats by eye, without the use of designer drawings. Hop on a boat to the Isle of Wight and head to the glass studio of Timothy Harris, here under his masterful gaze you can get a taste of glassmaking in a master class. Meander back onto mainland towards Exeter in Devon and meet master silversmith Wayne Meeten who uses techniques that he learned from the late Japanese National Living Treasure, Hirotoshi Itoh to hand make ornamental vessels.

Vase Spiral handcrafted by Wayne Meeten - ©Gavin Cottrell Create your own unique craftsmanship itinerary
You are the master; the guide is your tool.
From 17 September 2020, visit or download the app available for free on both Apple Store and Google Play Store.

User guide:

Homo Faber Guide is structured into different sections: Discover, Visit, Experience and Ambassadors.

Discover: Find a selection of the best master artisans and rising talents, ateliers and manufacturers of excellence from all over Europe. Connect with them directly through the guide.

Visit: Find museums, galleries and shops linked to fine craftsmanship to visit in all corners of the continent.

Experience: Find a curated list of workshop visits, artisan master classes, guided tours, and temporary exhibitions and fairs across Europe.

Ambassadors: Renowned individuals and partner institutions within the craft, creativity and design world who recommend their favourite artisans, galleries and experiences in their home cities.

Subcategories: search by country, city, craft or material.

Notes for editors

The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is an international, non-profit institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, which celebrates and preserves master craftsmanship and strengthens its connection to the world of design. Rooted in a tradition of culture and excellence as well as in the realities and challenges of our current global economy, the foundation seeks to support men and women 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 fine craftsmanship has been a vital part of the economic and cultural fabric of the region for centuries. Homo Faber: Crafting a more human future is the foundation’s first major cultural exhibition dedicated to the very best in European craftsmanship, which welcomed 62,500 art enthusiasts to its inaugural edition in Venice in 2018.

Homo Faber Guide launched on 17 September 2020 is an online, searchable guide, which showcases artisans, museums, ateliers, manufacturers, galleries and experiences linked to the world of fine craftsmanship around Europe. It is the foundation’s signature digital project. The portal connects art enthusiasts, collectors, clients, galleries, curious travellers and designers with the continent’s crafting excellence. It features over 650 artisans across over 25 European countries. Newly selected artisans appear weekly, with the aim of presenting over 1,000 masters and rising talents by 2021.

Angus Ross Artisan©All rights reserved Anne Petters Artisan©All rights reserved Globe painting_Bellerby&Co Globemakers©Tom Bunning Lucy McGrath Artisan©Richard Cannon Vase Spiral_Wayne Meeten Artisan©Gavin Cottrell Judith Clark Curator & Homo Faber Guide Ambassador_Laila Pozzo©Michelangelo Foundation