The New Craftsmen
In its third iteration, the London based pop-up shop and e-commerce site, The New Craftsmen, is returning to the Garage on Adams Row in Mayfair, with its British Isles crafts and wares. “The idea of craftsmanship is central to the luxury consumer brand of today. There is a real zeitgeist around communicating the story of how and why things are made” shares Meeka Elborne, Marketing Manager of The New Craftsmen. “Our brand is built upon not only sourcing exceptional British makers and products, but also connecting customers to materials, process and provenance, to cultivate a greater understanding of the legacy of British craft.”
The year old company has grown an international following for its home goods and table top items purveyed from around the UK. Its network of over 60 makers produce limited editions, exclusive products and bespoke commissions for The New Craftsmen. Their pop-up shop, housed in a Victorian stable on Adams Row in Mayfair, will run until December 21st. Every Tuesday to Saturday, customers can come and shop the hand made textiles, glassware, ceramics, jewellery, wooden objects and furniture purveyed by eclectic and experienced team behind The New Craftsmen.
The roving retail concept and website debuted a year ago. Its first pop-up shop was housed in a 5-story townhouse in Carlos Place (also in Mayfair). From there, they moved around the corner to a more suitable and interesting location for their second (and now third) iteration; the original tile work and stable partition are still visible in the Garage.
INTERVIEW: Meeka Elborne, Marketing Manager,The New Craftsmen, London
01 Who is behind The New Craftsmen?
The New Craftsmen was founded by Mark Henderson, Chairman of Gieves and Hawkes, Natalie Melton, previous commercial director of Arts and Business, and Catherine Lock, who has had 15 years experience as a product, brand and trend consultant developing on the high street, including a spell at Habitat.
02 What are your five favourite tableware pieces?
- Mourne Textiles hand woven table mats are new, but a firm favourite. They are hand woven in Ireland by a family run business now in its third generation. The original design was conceived in the 50’s and have a stunning modernist edge. They feel as fresh and contemporary now as they did then.
- We love the Billy bowl for both its design and story. Deep and flat-bottomed, it’s a fantastic vessel for warming broths or hearty seasonal stews – Plus, it is the result of a commission of the rising star potter, Billy Lloyd, who designed and produced the collection in collaboration with the Potteries in Stoke – the heart of the British ceramics industry.
- These scorched wooden plates by Robin Wood are wonderfully tactile. The bowls have been hand carved, flame scorched, and then waxed and oiled to produce a lovely patina – They would beautifully frame a colourful autumnal salad.
- Another wood item that is simple, yet exquisitely crafted, is the olive ash food board by Eleanor Lakelin. It has a scorched and textured edge that highlights the beautiful patterns and colouring of the olive ash –It is perfect for Christmas (or holiday) charcuterie or cheeses.
- The steak knife by Stuart Mitchell is piercingly sharp and hand-ground from one piece of metal by Stuart himself from start to finish. It comes wrapped in a hand stitched leather roll crafted from a bull’s hide for extra durability; The ultimate eating companion.
Photo Source: The New Craftsmen
03 What do you look for when you seek out new items for your growing company?
The vast majority of our pieces are about the notion of functional luxury – they are understated, durable products of the finest quality, rooted to both place and purpose. An example is our contemporary Orkney Chair by Gareth Neal and Kevin Gauld – which features the traditional Orkney Chair’s woven straw back, originally designed that way due to the lack of trees on the island.
04 Do you ship internationally?
Yes, we’ve taken orders and shipped to the US, across Europe, and to the Far East.
05 What is next for The New Craftsmen?
New work, new makers, a new home and a new way to buy and commission craft. Its going to be an incredibly busy, and thrilling year for us.
06 How does the team entertain at home?
Natalie Melton: ‘I love entertaining, and my resolution for 2014 is to spend more time cooking and entertaining. I love nothing better than a houseful of people sitting down to enjoy something that I have spent time preparing. It doesn’t have to be fancy food and it tends to be something that can stretch and accommodate last minute guests.
I enjoy the build up -visiting the butchers or fishmongers and then planning a meal around whatever has caught my eye -particular favourites include a slow roasted shoulder of lamb with merguez spices or a hearty fish stew.
There is always plenty of wine and water on the table, good bread and olive oil for nibbling, and fresh flowers and candles. I’m hoping that the beautiful Mourne placemats will be gracing my table as well. Most important, though, are the people round the table, great conversationalists, lively and inquisitive children, friends and family alike.