At Shalini Misra Ltd we thrive on scouting for craftspeople, interesting arts and crafts techniques and traditional craftsmanship. Apart from being able to offer clients unusual pieces, we are helping to sustain craftsmanship and specific techniques that are at risk of being lost through mass-production that dominates products on the market. It is easy to buy mass-produced products which adhere to trends but they may not last quality-wise and aesthetically the looks will date. Using traditional craftsmanship guarantees top quality products from craftspeople who are specialists in their fields. You may pay more for this but you will be buying something that is made to a great standard, therefore will last, and buying into the artistic history of a culture. You could also be investing in an heirloom that will be treasured by future generations. Entering the world of craftsmanship creates a journey as you discover how the artisans make their work, telling a story with history, culture and techniques intertwining to produce something of beauty that will enliven any space.
There are many designers using traditional techniques for contemporary pieces, keeping them in tune with today’s design sensibilities. This continues the design and manufacture heritage of a country or region and pushes the manufacturing process into new developments and techniques. You can often find interesting pieces at vintage and antiques shops or markets.
Here, we highlight pieces by artisans we especially love from around the world.
This unusual marquetry “Totomoxtle” is made by Mexican designer, Fernando Laposse, using corn husks native to Mexico. As Fernando explains: “The project focuses on regenerating traditional agricultural practices in Mexico, and creating a new craft that generates income for impoverished farmers and promotes the preservation of biodiversity for future food security. The husks collected from the harvest are now transformed by a group of local women into the veneering material thus creating much needed local employment.” This project has several valuable aspects: preserving agriculture and biodiversity, providing employment, and promoting social cohesion. Fernando sells tables and objects such as vases and the veneer can be used for other applications such as cladding cupboard doors.
A good way to introduce crafts into an interior is through accessories. These vessels from Utility and Utopia combine function and fantasy. This studio uses glass blowers, carpenters, ceramicists, metal spinners, and cork experts in small, specialised European workshops creating beautiful combinations of materials and shapes.
Lee Yun Hee, a South Korean artist, uses traditional white porcelain and layers of gold finish on her serene and mysterious pieces such as this bust.
Richard Brendon designs tableware which is made in Stoke-on-Trent, UK, where bone china has been made for two centuries. Richard’s collections bring together contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship whilst helping to regenerate heritage craft industries.
Danny Lane is an American glass artist creating furniture and sculpture using reclaimed wood, glass and steel with beautiful sculptural qualities from his workshop in London.
The decorative marble inlay in this timber flooring in a dining room of a house in London is by I Vassalletti, an Italian company making flooring incorporating metal and marble inlays. These panels can be inserted into the timber flooring of a room adding a unique design element.
Casarialto is a line of hand-made glass products in Venice and Murano designed by Catherine Urban. The studio uses traditional techniques to make contemporary designs such as these cactus glasses, tea-light holder/ vase and tropical bird napkin rings.
This powder room is transformed by a mosaic that we designed bespoke covering one wall. Mosaic requires great skill to install and always generates a wow factor, especially this one with mirror tiles catching the light.
These mirror tiles used in a bathroom screening a WC and shower are a traditional Indian technique called Tikri or Thikri. It involves inlaying hand cut pieces of mirror arranged into frescoes or as a whole surface as shown in this example.
These pieces are by Rupert Bevan and his team who hand-make all their pieces in London and Shropshire. They design each piece and have an array of craftspeople specializing in beautiful finishes from antique mirror to patinated brass and crackled gesso.
These door handles by leather craftsman Bill Amberg are a strong design feature. By wrapping the handles in leather they are beautiful, sleek and tactile. The studio comprises master craftsmen specializing in leather with creations varying from bespoke furniture, leather wrapped handrails and printed leather.
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