Added Value? is a touring exhibition by the Crafts Council that questions the value of contemporary craft within the current landscape of branding and luxury. It showcases high-quality and bespoke work from makers Zoe Arnold, Bompas & Parr, carréducker, Simon Hasan, Tracy Kendall and Oliver Ruuger.
Our beautifully shot films capture the processes of each of these makers and focus on a different theme that links craft and value. Each film features a brief introduced by Bruce Montgomery, Professor of Design and Craftsmanship at Northumbria University.
Direction: Christopher Thomas Allen and Tim Cowie
Producer: Alice Ceresole
Assistant Producer: Annie Kwan
Production Assistant: Bea Wilson
Camera: Christopher Thomas Allen, Tim Cowie and Jai Rafferty
Editors: Christopher Thomas Allen, Tim Cowie and Helen Omand
Does bespoke offer greater value than off-the- peg? In recent decades mass production has created a gap between producer and consumer. Bespoke consumption, and the commissioning of products, is now associated with luxury environments.
In making the assumption that bespoke is more expensive, other value-adding factors are not accounted for: the experiential benefits of using something that fits and meets your needs; and the emotional attachment and satisfaction that can come from a relationship with the maker. Such products, due to the materials and production process, are repairable and in turn more sustainable. In the rush to have more, more readily, have the wider values of bespoke products been forgotten?
Bespoke shoemakers Deborah Carré and James Ducker met whilst completing shoemaking apprenticeships, and together launched carréducker in 2004. United by a desire to bring the traditional craft of shoemaking into the 21st century, their work combines highly skilled and traditional craftsmanship with creative and unique styles and cuts. Their shoes are hand-sewn using centuries-old techniques. Yet carréducker have a distinctly contemporary approach to design, playing with fabric and leather combinations and colours. They see interaction with the customer as the most important part of the design process. Only after a series of fittings and discussions about style, detailing and finish, are the shoes made. Does the bespoke approach add value?
carréducker are partners of Gieves & Hawkes gentlemen's emporium, located at 1 Savile Row, London. They also run a studio at Cockpit Arts, London.