Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

Progressive design, ancient crafting – and all in a good cause

The craft and design fair that fosters cultural links

Progressive design, ancient crafting – and all in a good cause

April 18 2010
Sibéal Pounder

Textile specialist and gallerist Joss Graham has curated the first Fine Crafts and Design Fair for Asia House – a non-profit, representing 38 Asian countries, that works to foster cultural links between Asia and Europe. “We wanted to showcase innovative organisations that are reviving threatened handcraft skills by reintroducing them as a relevant aesthetic,” says Graham.

One such exhibitor is Black Elephant, the Burma-based studio of Veronica Gritsenko, who works with local craftsmen to create designs using traditional lacquer methods (pictured: Bago Bowl). With high overheads and declining demand, this has become a rare skill.

Graham says: “By triggering new market interest, Gritsenko is creating a viable livelihood for the next generation of lacquerware producers. It’s a perfect mix – progressive design, ancient crafting.”