The Craftsman: Issue n.005 — October 2017

Gianfranco Chicco
Oct 25, 2017 · 5 min read

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A collection of products and experiences celebrating craftsmanship, paying homage to those who take the expression of our humanity to a higher level.

“Arts & Crafts Movement: Respond to sterility of industrialization with great handcraft.
Arts & Crafts 2.0: Respond to AI with humanization”.

Tom Peters

Photo: Gianfranco Chicco

Oak Aged Vodka by Bimber Distillery, London

Bimber means moonshine in Polish but there’s nothing amateur about this distillery. They’re aiming to produce and sell one of the first London-made Single Malt Whiskies in over a century, which is expected for 2019. I tasted some of their work-in-progress batches of whisky and the results are promising. Bimber does all in house, using organic English barley for all their distillates (gin, vodka, whisky) which go through Doris, their main still. In my opinion Bimber’s current battle horse is their oak aged vodka. Flavoured with spices and aged for at least 3 months in American Bourbon barrels, it has a silky warm taste unlike any other vodkas I have ever tried. And it does not feel gimmicky either, as most of the artificially flavoured ones. Adam from Bimber recommends serving this vodka either straight with or without ice, as part of an espresso Martini, or in their signature cocktail with crushed ice, skinny tonic, stirring it with a stalk of lemongrass.

I discovered Bimber thanks to Andrew from Sipping Liquor, a craft spirits subscription club (UK only for now), who kindly invited me to join him in a visit to the distillery.

Photo: Gianfranco Chicco

Paper Jewellery by Paperoowl, Venice

I was introduced to Stefania Giannici (pictured), the craftswoman behind Paperoowl, by Italian image consultant Anna Turcato, and was immediately fascinated by her ability to turn a myriad of different kinds of paper into elegant and colourful jewellery and accessories. Giannici’s creations have distinct Western and Asian inspirations and wouldn’t feel out of place either at home or at an evening gala.

Santa Croce 2155/A, 30135 Venezia, Italy

Photo: Gianfranco Chicco

Minimalistic Natural Leather Products by Laperruque, Malmö

There’s a sort of domino effect that leads me to come across craftsmen wherever I travel. This time thanks to Magnus Thure Nilsson, I met Robin Hurrau (pictured), a 29 y.o. who, together with his business partner, has recently opened Laperruque, a handmade natural leather workshop in Malmö, Sweden. Robin had previously worked in sales for fashion brands and at the age of 27 decided to do an apprenticeship in making leather goods. He was kind enough to show me around while in the process of moving the workshop to a new location. His current dream is to grow production and sales to a size big enough to support 2 extra employees in order to dedicate more time to travel for collaborations with other craftsmen. Laperruque’s products are being sold by several shops in Paris, where they recently did their first fashion show, and Malmö.

Photo: Gianfranco Chicco, L to R: Svante, Johann, Johanna

Men’s Clothing Shop Sage, Malmö

Robin Hurrau pointed me to Sage, a local shop that carries Laperruque’s products and a highly curated selection of menswear from around the world, with a keen eye for crafted goods. It was opened in February 2017 by the super friendly duo Johann and Johanna, because they couldn’t find many places that offered good products that went beyond the traditional Scandinavian look. At the shop I met Svante Nybyggars, a.k.a. The Urban Hippie, who after retiring at 65 from working as a copywriter, decided to give away all his formal suits — reminder of a lifestyle that made him feel empty — and embrace denim and workwear in the path to rediscover some of the feelings he had in his 20s.

Read more on Svante’s transformation.

Davidshallstorg 6, 211 45 Malmö Sweden


Is Arts and Crafts the Answer to AI and Automation?

Designer, writer and activist William Morris is often quoted as saying “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”. Morris was one of the major influences in the The Arts & Crafts Movement and in this article, author — and friend — Tim Leberecht, argues that it’s maybe time for a new Arts & Crafts Movement to emerge to bring balance to a world obsessed with artificial intelligence and productivity.

Read the article here.

Illustrator Lee John Phillips, Wales

I have been following Lee John Phillips’ Shed Project on Instagram for quite a while, transfixed by the beautiful details of his illustrations but most strongly by his mission to draw every single item in his grandfather’s now abandoned shed. That’s somewhat North of 100,000 objects that have been hoarded over a long life of making stuff and then left untouched since his grandfather death more than 20 years ago. The project feels both as a spiritual exploraiton and a heartfelt, ludicrous celebration of the small but important things in life. Phillips work can also be admired in Jan Chipchase’s latest book, The Field Study Handbook, which is sitting on my desk waiting for a proper immersion.

Read more on The Shed Project here.

Follow me on Instagram or Twitter for feedback and updates.

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The Craftman Newsletter

A celebration of craftsmanship, paying homage to those who take the expression of our humanity to a higher level.

Gianfranco Chicco

Written by

Curator of The Craftsman Newsletter. Conference director for hire, digital-physical experiences, marketing & storytelling. Japanophile. ✌

The Craftman Newsletter

A celebration of craftsmanship, paying homage to those who take the expression of our humanity to a higher level.

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