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The Michelangelo Foundation’s Summer School Programme invites young creatives to discover metal in Portugal, 11-23 July 2021

Concerned for the future of crafts, the foundation’s Summer School promotes the transmission of knowledge from one generation to the next. This year’s course Metal in Loulé enables students to try their hand at ancient metalworking techniques in Portugal, fostering a creative exchange between young design perspectives and traditional savoir-faire.

Chiseling - ©All rights reserved

· The metalworking courses are held at the Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva ateliers in Lisbon and at the Loulé Criativo workshops in the Algarve
· The ten-day programme invites ten students from nine European countries to experience a diverse array of ancient metal crafts under the guidance of master craftspeople
· Collaborative contemporary works of art will result from the fruitful dialogue between the young designers, design mentors such as designer Sam Baron and master artisans, as ancient techniques are revisited and reinterpreted
· The programme’s mission is to promote and enable creative exchange, innovation and sustainable design through reimagining traditional metal techniques

The Summer School Programme is one of the foundation’s educational initiatives, which aim to fund and engage a young generation of talented creatives by providing opportunities to study crafts often endangered that are not included in mainstream educational training. By identifying areas of need, the impact is far reaching: broadening the horizons of emerging designers and artisans, ensuring the vital transmission of craft skills, and bringing innovation to traditional crafts through collaborative encounters. This circular approach aims to accelerate change by breathing new life into ancient crafts and inspiring the next generation of contemporary makers and designers, realising their potential as future participants in the foundation’s projects and as pathfinders in their fields.

Tinware_Jenna Duffy - ©FRESS - Passa Ao Futuro This year’s course, entitled Metal in Loulé has been developed by the Michelangelo Foundation in partnership with Câmara Municipal de Loulé, Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva and Passa Ao Futuro with the support of Altermind and is hosted by Loulé Criativo.

The ten participating students were selected following an open call, which received a large number of applications. The final group are from nine European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. The first two days of the short course take place at the ateliers of Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva (FRESS) in Lisbon discovering the metal working techniques of casting and tin work. Students then travel south to Loulé Criativo, a residency project established by the Loulé Municipal Council to explore the techniques of filigree, hammered copper, chiseling and metalwork. For the final week, students will each specialise in a different technique and then work together to bring their designs to life.

Chiselling is taught by Beatriz Canha, metalwork by Luis Figueiredo, tin work by Ivo Ferreira, hammered copper by Analide Carmo and Jürgen Cramer, and filigree by Conceição Neves. The course provides an invaluable opportunity for a younger generation to discover and learn about the age-old techniques, whilst simultaneously providing a chance for the masters of the craft to encounter new contemporary design visions, perspectives and ideas. This collaborative creative exchange will occur through the creation of joint objects, designed by the students in tandem with the master craftspeople. Overseeing the process are design mentors Henrique Ralheta and Fatima Durkee with guest designer Sam Baron and an inspirational visit to Made in Situ gallery by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance. The contemporary objects will be handcrafted with the following themes in mind: time, value, resilience and material sustainability. The objective being that together the protagonists of the course think about the application of ancient metal craft techniques in the context of the 21st century and beyond, in order to create timeless and functional pieces to be appreciated for many generations to come.

"Pleat" - José Vieira (Artisan) & Christian Haas (Designer) - ©Laila Pozzo-MFCC FCMA Living Portuguese Product Design student, Hiago Teixeira expresses his thoughts on collaboration:

“The exchange between craftspeople, designers and architects is of fundamental importance for the evolution of the slow process of revaluing crafts and can certainly generate impactful results in society, in terms of consumption and production, on the economy and on the environment.

A recent example of a successful creative collaboration is Portuguese tin worker José Viera’s partnership with German designer Christian Haas for Doppia Firma 2019, an initiative supported by the Michelangelo Foundation. The foundation is constantly seeking new ways to innovate old crafts and bring young and old generations together to ensure the future viability of crafts in contemporary culture.

Notes for editors #FutureofCraftsmanship #MichelangeloFoundation @michelangelofoundation

The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship believes in a future which values master craftsmanship and places the human hand at the centre of production. Its mission is to celebrate and preserve craftsmanship and strengthen its connection to the world of design. At the heart of all the foundation’s activities are the artisans who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of excellence using long-held traditions, skills and knowledge. Contemporary craftspeople are the protagonists of the foundation’s signature project Homo Faber Guide, a digital platform which maps the most significant representatives in the field of craftsmanship across Europe. Many are also invited to exhibit at Homo Faber Event, the foundation’s biennial international exhibition in Venice. From its headquarters in Geneva, the non-profit institution works with an international network of organizations to promote a new cultural movement.

The Loulé Municipal Council (Câmara Municipal de Loulé), situated in the Algarve region of Portugal, works in the areas of arts and crafts, arts and other cultural issues since a long term. Since 2015, the Municipal Council runs the project Loulé Criativo. The aim of the project is to match traditional craft knowledge with innovation through production processes and product design with the aim of boosting the local economy and inspiring international exchanges. The project focuses on four principal initiatives: creative tourism, the transmission of knowledge and training, a workshop network, the Loulé Design Lab which is used for creative residencies.

The Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva (FRESS) created in 1953, protects and promotes Portuguese decorative arts and related crafts. The foundation's Museum of Portuguese Decorative Arts houses an extensive artistic collection from the 15th to 19th centuries, as well as 18 workshops where master craftsmen and women use traditional skills and pass on their expertise to future generations. FRESS also carries out its education mission through its FRESSFORMA training centre. Its conservation team restores works of art such as paintings, furniture and interiors of historic buildings, decorative tiles, and both ceilings and murals at historical sites across the country.

Passa Ao Futuro was founded in 2016 by Astrid Suzano and Fatima Durkee. A cultural initiative non-profit association that searches out the craftspeople in Portugal working with traditional techniques. It strives to support these communities and people through the documentation and preservation of their tacit knowledge, the development of case specific social, environmental and economic sustainability programing, with a focus on the celebration of and passing on of skills. The association activates this network through several initiatives including residencies, summer schools, exhibitions, social innovation and sustainability training. It supports the crafts as a catalyst for a regenerative future.

Altermind is a boutique strategy consultancy. They bring the worlds of business expertise and academia together to help companies prosper. Their global team of business consultants and academic experts provides corporate leaders with tailored, multi-faceted and actionable advice. Altermind’s unique methodology gives their clients the edge in today’s complex and fast-changing business environment. An agile approach leverages new insights from academics and new ways of thinking from business specialists to produce new solutions.

Chiseling©All rights reserved Conceição Neves Artisan©CINDOR Copperwork©All rights reserved Pleat José Vieira Artisan Christian Haas Designer©Laila Pozzo MFCC FCMA Living Tinware Jenna Duffy©FRESS Passa Ao Futuro