Around the table with The New Craftsmen

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Mayfair and Belgravia is renowned for being a tight-knit community of craftsmen and artisans. This is particularly true of The New Craftsmen, in North Row, which curates, commissions and finds a home for unique contemporary objects that are rooted in craftsmanship and narrative.


Over the past few weeks they have focussed their lens on various aspects of craftsmanship, showcasing what can be created by those who truly know their craft. Their latest iteration looks at the art of setting a table - from the tableware we choose for a feast with family and friends to the chair we sit in for the first cup of tea in the morning.

The New Craftsmen caught up with Paul Andrew, Creative Director of Salvatore Ferragamo to give his take on what craft can bring to a tabletop.

The New Craftsmen: What advice would you give to someone commissioning a craft maker for the first time?

Paul Andrew: Put as few limits upon the artist as you can. It’s like that with any art. As Creative Director of Salvatore Ferragamo, I have a team of designers and makers who bring our collections together. Were I to micromanage and scrutinize their offerings without giving credence to their individual creativity, I would miss out on the most significant and impactful ideas that make our pieces and looks successful. When I limit myself as an artist – even setting too rigid a parameter for something – the creation process tends to be difficult and it feels forced. Artists receive great ideas, rather than generate them out of nothing, like channelling them from the beyond. So, when commissioning a piece from an artisan you admire, provide them with jumping-off points but then trust their gifts. They will pretty much always delight you.

For those inspired to update their tabletop, if you commission a maker from The New Craftsmen you will receive a limited edition print by renowned illustrator John Broadley who has created a unique artwork released with each commissioning theme throughout the four week campaign.

The New Craftsmen 
34 North Row,
Mayfair,
London
W1K 6DG