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In the last few years craft has become somewhat of a buzzword in the world of design. Craftsmanship, artistry and items of a bespoke quality have become less associated with the makings of a small child at nursery and more so with skilled artisans, old production methods and timely processes – the high end design of the creative world. The official definition of craft is “an activity involving skill in making things by hand.” But what makes something known as luxury? In this week’s article, we’re exploring the meaning of luxury craft and how it relates to high-end design.
What is luxury craft?
In 2015 the V&A Museum held a five month exhibition titled ‘What is Luxury?’, directly looking at how luxury is made and understood. “Who is the dictator of luxury?” and “what makes something luxurious?” were amongst the questions this exhibition aimed to answer. The exhibition really resonated with us here at AUTHOR. It showed an appreciation of creativity and craft and didn’t simply pluck objects from the museum archive where the function of the object was for a luxurious purpose.
There is more to luxury craft than creating things for the wealthy – it’s an appreciation of material, of process, and of time. The selection handpicked by the renowned museum mixed glamour with cutting edge design; heritage with contemporary processes and forward-thinkers with cultural techniques.
How do you create luxury design?
Ultimately luxury craft is an investment in time and process. This applies not only to the time spent making an object but also to the process of perfecting skills; for example, someone who can turn wood has spent years mastering the process and refining their own style. Luxury craftsmen are notably inspired by materials and how they can be manipulated, and this curious nature drives them to spend hours, if not days and weeks, on mastering a piece of luxury design work.
Material is also important to a piece of luxury craft. Selecting something long lasting, unique and innovative is key to creating something with a difference. The majority of designs that you will see on the pages of our own shop are hard to come by elsewhere. Making luxury is not concerned with practical solutions but with the extraordinary, non-essential and exclusive. That means something that is going to last forever in your home.
What does luxury craft mean to AUTHOR?
Here at AUTHOR we believe every design involves an element of luxury when time and skill have come into play. The question of luxury is ultimately a personal one and every individual will have a different take on the meaning. For some this may mean a pure gold object, and for others it may mean the tiniest of hand-carved wooden spoons that took days to make. Everyone decides for themselves what their own take on luxury could be.
We source high-quality furniture and accessories, designed and made in Britain by talented designers and craftspeople to add to our themed collections. In our opinion, when handpicking these items, there needs to be a harmonic symphony of creation, passion and skill in every object whether it be a sculpture, jewellery box, floor lamp or dining table.
Further to this, we also design and commission our own exclusive range of high quality pieces, for the AUTHOR’s Own range. As with everything in the AUTHOR collections, these beautifully hand-crafted pieces are items made with stylish spaces and contemporary lifestyles in mind.
What should I look out for when purchasing high-end design?
Like we’ve explained above, look out for what you think makes something special. Enjoying or affording luxury is not only a question of budget but also of your own individual circumstances and preferences.
If you’re stuck for where to start, London Craft Week is a great place to explore. The annual event, coming up on 8-12 May 2019, showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands.
Shop our latest new-in products that embrace the unique creations of individualistic makers and luxury craft at the core.
RESIN AND ROSEWOOD COFFEE TABLE | £6,750
This stunning resin and rosewood coffee table was handcrafted in London by Iluka Lighting. Made from smokey black semi-transparent resin with a stunning slice of Bolivian rosewood, it also features three solid brass legs which are mechanically joined in the centre using a hidden bracket. The gorgeous butterfly inlay on the surface of the coffee table provides the final decorative touch and makes this a show stopping addition to any living room.
AVA ROUND DINING TABLE | From £4,710
The Ava Dining Table, made in Tom Faulkner’s Swindon workshop, features a strong, sculptural, and very distinctive design. The top floats above two intriguingly linked tetrahedrons, a shape Tom creatively uses and reworks in his ever-evolving designs. Its circular shape is a welcoming and open shape for friends and family to gather round and features a luxury Arabescato Marble top that is sure to create a lasting impression.
ROCK CRYSTAL FLUTE CHANDELIER | £16,080
If you’re looking to go all out with your luxury design elements, this beautifully crafted chandelier, created by the talented craftsmen and women at Cocovara in London, is certainly the piece for you. Illuminating the contrast between the 8 piercing rock lights and the strong bronze fixture, the chandelier beckons an angelic hue from all 8 points featured. It is held together with a minimalist bronze construct perfect for a distinct first impression. This beautiful, dramatic piece displays the magnificent craftsmanship that has gone into making it and is the epitome of luxury craft.
HARDY ROCKER | £1,250
The Hardy Rocker is designed by Northern Irish designer, David Irwin, and proudly made in Britain by the talented craftspeople at the Another Country workshop. A combination of both the Captain’s Chair and Smokers Bow designs dating back to the 19th century, the chair is an ode to Dorset-born poet Thomas Hardy’s sensational poem Old Furniture. It’s the story behind this beautiful chair combined with the steam bent back and hard-wearing materials that make it a luxury craft addition.
TEN WATCH BOX | £1,200
Exquisitely handcrafted by the talented team at Dovedale Design Studio in London, the Ten Watch Box is elegant and smart in design. The piece comprises of solid bog-oak frame with a hardened glass lid on top. Brass joints are fitted within the frame to affirm a strong construct and secure the ten watches held inside on plump cotton pillows.
If you’d like to know more about incorporating luxury craft or high end design into your home, the AUTHOR team is here to advise on any aspects of design and furnishing. If you would like any further advice or interior design tips on how to make the most of your interior space, please do get in touch.