Do you love arts and crafts as much as we do? Did you know that the Loewe Foundation is responsible for organizing the Loewe Craft Prize, an amazing award which seeks to celebrate and support international artisans of any age (over 18) or gender who demonstrate an extraordinary talent and ability to create pieces of outstanding aesthetic value?
“Mandala bowl” by Giovanni Corvaja from Italy. Made of 18ct Gold. An ethereal and captivating piece that employs an extraordinary process developed by the artist, transforming gold into a substance as thin as hair. These gold threads are then merged together to create a bowl-shaped object. The work presents a marriage of science and craft that is small in scale and humble in form but monumental in achievement and expression of value. The work evokes a sense of mystery, putting ancient ideas of alchemy in dialogue with cutting-edge technology. Photo: ©Loewe Foundation – Loewe Craft Prize
“Mandala bowl” by Giovanni Corvaja from Italy. Detail. Photo: ©Loewe Foundation – Loewe Craft Prize
The works of those artisans must reinterpret traditional knowledge to make it relevant today while reflecting its maker’s personal way of expression and unique touch. The Foundation’s mission is to bring to the light the value of craftsmanship to the culture of our time.
“Rain box” by Tomonari Hashimoto from Japan. Made of stoneware, glaze and metal oxide. A monumental form in space, Tomonari Hashimoto’s work is an exploration of material unlike any other, employing clay heavily saturated in metal. Built from layers of material which accumulate to create an object of signi cant scale, the work is then glazed with oxide metals to create a fascinating surface that has an iridescent quality. Although the piece has an earthy, robust presence, established by the size and the weight of the work, the effect of the materials imbues it with an ambiguity that verges on the otherworldly. Photo: ©Loewe Foundation – Loewe Craft Prize
All the entries for this prize are in the field of applied arts, such as ceramics, bookbinding, enamelwork, jewellery, lacquer, metal, furniture, leather, textiles, glass, paper, wood, among others. The art pieces must be original, unique, handmade or partly handmade and must have been created in the last five years without winning any prize previously.
Art piece by Michal Fargo from Germany. Made of stoneware ceramics, fibres (flocking). Fargo starts her creative process via the unlikely method of carving foam, which is then dipped in porcelain and red. This unorthodox approach is carried through her entire creative process. In this piece it culminates in a ocked surface to the work, which is compelling in both colour and texture. As a whole the piece almost seems alive, as if formed from a plant or stone and gives no trace of its humble beginnings. Photo: ©Loewe Foundation – Loewe Craft Prize
From 20 June 2018 to 31 October 2018 submissions were open and on 6 February 2019 the finalists were announced. Which one of these 29 fascinating artworks will be the winner? We can’t wait to discover it on 25 June 2019 and to admire the exhibition of the finalists in Japan from 26 June 2019 to 22 July 2019!
“Propagation Project; Nigella Chrysanthemum” by Junko Mori from the United Kingdom. Made of wax-coated, forged mild steel. Demonstrating a tremendous commitment to detail through a painstaking process, Mori’s delicate use of steel creates a sculptural piece full of movement. Thousands of steel components are put together piece by piece in a repetitive act that allows for accident and creativity as the work grows almost like a mutation. Human in scale, her technical virtuosity creates an object that is unlike any other, alive with an energy that is both delicate and vibrant. Photo: ©Loewe Foundation
According to Loewe Foundation, Loewe Craft Prize’s finalists “were recognized for their fundamentally important contributions to the development of contemporary craft, with the submitted works presenting a diverse spectrum of techniques, media and modes of expression”.
“Surface Tactility #11” by Genta Ishizuka from Japan. Made of urushi, styrene foam balls, 2 way tricot, linen cloth. Using the simple motif of a bag of oranges as his point of departure, Ishizuka elevates this humble form through his expert use of lacquer. The allure of the gloss of his material creates an immediately sensual attraction that is contemporary in its appeal, belying the fact that the urushi lacquer technique originates from Japan between the 7th and 8th centuries. Photo: ©Loewe Foundation
In this year’s edition a panel of nine experts chose the finalists of Loewe Craft Prize from over 2.500 submissions by artisans from 100 different countries. The experts’ panel had an assembly in Madrid for two days where they judged and chose the most breathtaking masterpieces, technically hard to accomplish, innovative and creative.
“Collana” jewellery by Giampaolo Babetto from Italy. Made of Gold 750 and pigment. Using the geometric shape of the cube as his starting point, Babetto manipulates size and colour to create a necklace of harmonic form. A dynamic composition of equilibrium with underlying colour, the work demonstrates Babetto’s relationship to minimalism and attention to a quiet visual expression, removing any trace of narrative through his commitment to a purity of form. Photo: ©Loewe Foundation
The executive secretary of the experts panel confirmed: “The Loewe Foundation Craft Prize sets the level of skills, will and artistic ambition for which craft should strive”.
“Curved Block Seat” by Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley from the United Kingdom. Made of oak. Carved from solid blocks of oak, Partridge and Walmsley’s approach to making furniture is sculptural in its ambition yet always retains a functional purpose. Committed to revealing the inherent beauty of their materials their craftsmanship is in service to the materials with which they work. This honesty of approach is shown in this work’s compelling scale and simplicity of form. Photo: ©Loewe Foundation
The 29 finalists’ works will be showcased from 26 June to 22 July 2019 at Isamu Noguch‘s indoor stone garden “Heaven” at the Sogetsu Kaikan in Tokyo, where the winner will be revealed. We will all be waiting enthusiastically for the result of this year’s edition of Loewe Craft Prize.
“Vestige” by Sachi Fujikake from Japan. Made of glass. Consisting of blown glass Fujikake’s work relies on a masterful use of the kiln, being red almost to the point of collapse. Teetering on the brink of disintegration these works defy convention in their lightness of touch. The title of the work explicitly references this technique, with the work betraying ‘vestiges’ of its previous incarnation. New life is literally breathed into the material by Fujikake’s deftness of touch and technique. Photo: ©Loewe Foundation
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