Handmade 2017: the projects

Handmade 2017: the projects

For our annual salute to craft and creativity, we bring together the best designers, artists, and manufacturers to make one-off wonders. Here, browse all the fruits of Handmade 2017

‘Holy Handmade!’ signet-ring seal


Regarded as a potent symbol of divinity, the signet ring carries a talismanic charge, delivering its message by way of an emblematic seal. To make a suitably mighty mark on this year’s spiritually elevating Handmade, we worked with signet-ring maker Rebus to create our own. The seal itself was specially designed for us back in 2011 by illustrator Kam Tang and graphic designer Darren Wall, for that year’s Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition and special issue.

Having painstakingly engraved the seal from a wax imprint, Rebus took a symbolic approach to the 18ct-gold jewel’s ample form: ‘The two triangular cut-out sections echo the negative space in the Wallpaper* W,’ says Rebus’ director and master engraver Emmet Smith. ‘The ring’s inner curve is enamelled in white, which alludes to the interior of a modernist building.’

Established in 2005 as an offshoot of RH Wilkins engravers, Rebus operates a jewellery studio beneath its shop in Leather Lane, the heart of London’s jewellery quarter. Its skills are rooted in traditional gold-working techniques – die-stamping, hand-engraving and wax intaglio. Rebus’ reputation as a maker of note proves that the desire for jewelled symbols is as contemporary as it is traditional. rebussignetrings.co.uk

Photography: Paul Zak

Treasure box

RDAI and Lanserring

Inspired by the minaudière, a bag with dedicated compartments invented by Van Cleef & Arpels in the 1930s, this box displays a level of craftmanship as exceptional as its intended contents. ’We wanted this to be a piece you’d take to a desert island. Inside you would have everything you consider essential,’ says Julia Capp, director of design at RDAI. Sculpted from a single piece of sustainable ironwood, the box has been plated in 24ct gold to achieve a geometric pattern with metaphysical illusions – a circle circumscribed in a square. A circular clasp lifts to reveal a lining of pink goat suede, and an inlaid mirror with an elegantly bevelled edge. It comes with a removable concertina pocket, created in the same suede, for storage of smaller jewellery.

Parisian interior architecture studio RDAI was founded in 1972 by Rena Dumas, and is today led by her long-term collaborator Denis Montrel. Its prodigious output includes offices, workshops and stores for Hermes, flagship stores for Elie Saab, the public spaces of Les Bains hotel, Paris, and the interiors of Renze Piano’s Eighty Seven Park, Miami. rdai.fr

Founded in early 2017, Lanserring specialises in kitchen designs and lifestyle products that stretch the possibilities of material and form. It is led by a London-based collective that includes former design duo Andrew Hays and Kimm Kovac, and the founders of joinery specialists Interior-iD Bernd and Johann Radaschitz. Their workshop sits as the foot of Riegersburg Castle in Austria. lanserring.com

Still life: William Bunce. Interiors: Olly Mason

Worshipful wardrobe

Paul Helbers and Smallbone

A nod to the daily ritual of getting dressed, this transparent wardrobe is built on a pedestal, exhibiting and elevating the clothes held inside like pieces in a museum. Crafted in oxidised English oak, the timber is cut in different directions, its veins resembling a textured fabric. Taking inspiration from British brutalism and its creation of church mouldings using unconventional materials, the doors are made using Perspex. Aluminum angled lighting strips and bevel-cut Perspex boxes inside the wardrobe add further emphasis to the clothing within.

Paul Helbers
Paris-based designer Helbers launched his eponymous menswear label in 2016. The former head of menswear at Maison Margiela and ex-menswear at director at Louis Vuitton cites artists’ uniforms and the coast as inspiration for his hybrid designs. helbers.fr

Founded in England’s West Country in 1975, Smallbone is a leader in fitted furniture design, for kitchens, throughout the home and even the odd yacht. Its joiners craft all of its pieces by hand and personally inscribe their name on each piece they have created. smallbone.co.uk

Photography: Leandro Farina

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