This title seems like a warning for all the androids out there but instead this was the heading of the installation by Elizabeth Leriche at this year’s Maison & Objet.
‘Doing is thinking by hand. Today there’s a growing interest in a philosophy of manual production, an appreciation for the hand and a multitude of skills from yesterday.’
Leriche doesn’t mean nostalgia but a shared vision for a new alternative productive society that places on value on the process of acquiring talents, mastering skills, passing on crafts and customs in a new mood of inventiveness. Artisan luxury is no longer polished but has the imprint of the maker sometimes to the point of imperfection.
‘As the tool for a new luxury, the hand is touching and transforming things. From the alphabet of materials and grammar of crafts, neo-artisans’ expertise is putting together sensitive, rare items. Beyond their function, these works show a radical uniqueness. The art of making is frees the object from the norm so it can leave its mark in time.’
Neo-artisans, rare-items, radical uniqueness? It may be media speak but all could apply to the modern mastery of Cox London, a company founded by Christopher and Nicola Cox. Nicola is a sculptor working in bronze and glass, while Chris is a skilled metalwork restorer and lighting designer. Cox London is earning a reputation for artisan ingenuity, creating ambitious and award-winning objects and furniture in a private studio and workshop.
Ferro Vitro is a sculptural construction of iron and blown glass. Rooted in the tradition of modernist and constructivist art each piece is a unique freestyle drawing in space. The pockets of glass are hand blown into the cage like structures and when lit, project striking linear light and shadows. The framework is wrought in mild steel and traditionally patinated and lacquered to a deep black-bronze.
I don’t know how many human hands this took, but worth every pair.