Competence is defined as the capacity to orient oneself in any given situation to carry out a specific activity. In the realm of fine craftsmanship, competence requires practical and theoretical knowledge of materials, techniques, accepted norms and rules of the trade and of their application. It also implies preparation, a deep understanding of the craft and ease when doing it.

T. Bertelsen ©Michelangelo Foundation 2016

Competence is when we respond in the right way to the task that we’re facing. I don’t think competence is equal to excellence: I think it’s the basis of excellence. Also, competence in relationships with clients, suppliers, and the media is very important for the metiers d’art.

Gérard Desquand
Metal Engraver

Gérard Desquand is one of France’s few remaining heraldic engravers. He was named Maître d’art in 2006. He studied and later taught at the École Estienne in Paris, and now works with major jewelers, fashion houses and and private clients to develop bespoke, historical and deeply personal engravings.

S. Pozzoli © Michelangelo Foundation 2016
S. Pozzoli © Michelangelo Foundation 2016

The bottom line is that we are constantly facing new challenges and must never become complacent. The wonderful thing about our work is that you can never feel that you have nothing left to learn.

Carlo Andreacchio
Master Tailor

Master cutter Carlo Andreacchio (pictured right with his son) runs the A. Caraceni bespoke tailors, together with his wife Rita Maria whose father founded the celebrated Milan establishment. A member of the Academy of Tailors since 1997, he was awarded the gold medal by the Milan Tailors’ Union in 2002.

© Emanuele Zamponi