The Art of Making: Its Intangible Cultural Heritage and Plans for the Future
Watch a panel discussion exploring the ascent of ‘craft’ to what is now valued as a handing down of skills and dedication to execution. Additionally, enjoy multiple screenings of two films that follow the journeys of extraordinary makers Castro Smith and Esna Su.
Craft is everywhere in Sarabande, from the photographer who assisted for years to learn his skills; to the engraver who takes three months learning how to correctly hold tools, working under masters in Hatton Garden and Japan; to the artist who uses traditional Syrian carpet-weaving techniques passed down from her mother and grandmother to make wearable sculptures that explore the journey of a refugee.
Sarabande Foundation was established to support the creatively fearless minds of the future: artists and designers with a unique vision and dedication to their craft. Sarabande offers full and part scholarships, houses some of the most affordable artist studios in London and runs a pioneering public programme of events, as well as mentoring its alumni to help build a successful and sustainable business that is unique to their vision.
A Moment of… follows the journey of Esna Su, a jewellery artist who was in residence at Sarabande Studios for two years, during which time she produced two performative installations as part of Refugee Week 2017 & 2018. Su also exhibited in Sarabande's jewellery showcase and workshop in 2017 and was flown to China to exhibit her pieces and performance as part of Shanghai Fashion Weekend. She is a Hospital Club 100 winner.
In her work, Esna aims to expose the burden of displacement, creating items shaped around belongings of her family, leaving a ghost of something that had to be left behind. Craft, family and tradition are key to her practice: she uses traditional Turkish techniques of weaving, twining and crochet that were handed down by her mother and grandmother. The pieces she makes are often wearable, and exist in performance, as art and as sculptures that can be worn on the body.
In small things we follow engraver Castro Smith, who started his training as a painter and printmaker, a style that comes through in the design of his rings. Upon seeing an advert for an engraving apprenticeship in Hatton Garden, the historic jewellery district in London, he applied thinking it would be a good way for him to continue his passion for illustration. He began training with a traditional apprenticeship with the Goldsmiths Company and studied in one of the largest engraving firms, RH Wilkins, where he learned to keep the tools sharp, clean the workshop, polish, file and engrave, spending three months learning how to hold the tools.
In 2017 he was awarded the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust scholarship and travelled to
Japan to study with Japanese masters under the guidance of Hiroshi Suzuki. Castro has been in-residence at Sarabande since 2017 and uses his knowledge of engraving to create contemporary pieces, experimenting with European and Japanese engraving techniques, producing a cross-fertilisation of styles and processes. Castro has a huge client list and works mainly on bespoke commissions, as well as selling through Dover Street Market, and has won multiple awards including Apprentice of the Year 2017 at St James’s Palace, the Craft and Design Gold Award, the Goldsmiths Special Council Award, the Podolsky Award and the Theo Fennell Award.