Michelangelo Foundation - Newsletter, July 2019 - View online

© Fluid coop and Marc Baudrillart

For the first time, the Michelangelo Foundation’s Summer School Programme, developed in partnership with our local network members, allows 50 young students to broaden their horizons by studying craftsmanship with masters across Europe. The cross-disciplinary approach allows for more than the discovery of a new range of skills: it interweaves savoir-faire and innovation in the summer breeze.

The launch in Lisbon in July begins with the meditative motion of Portuguese basketry. The following courses in London offer an introduction to gilding, etching, and carving into the warmth of wood and coolness of stone. Participants in August and September will head to France, to delve into a collective tapestry project in Aubusson, or to the shores of Brittany to join the sizzling Hot Glass Family.

The fresh approach is already creating waves of enthusiasm. One of selected candidates heading to London, Claire Luna, explains : “It can be incredibly enriching to work alongside people who work and think differently to you, as it provides you with new perspectives, ideas and techniques, stimulating your work in a new way.” Specialised in ceramics, she will discover the technique of verre eglomisé. We invite you to follow the stories of the student’s summer skills on our Instagram account.


Bracejo Isabel Martins ©Passa Ao Futuro

15 Jul-2 Aug

Intensive courses explore the endangered craft Portuguese Basket Technology at the Museu de Arte Popular, Lisbon, in partnership with the Portuguese Ministry of Culture and Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva and organised by the Museu de Arte Popular/Museu Nacional de Etnologia, Passa Ao Futuro, and The Home Project Design Studio. Led by four international and national design mentors, they will feature 5 Portuguese master artisans including the bunheiro Manuel Ferreira. With a crackling crescendo of snaps and twists, the teams will collaboratively create a series of pieces to be included in the exhibition Um Cento de Cestos - One hundred baskets, staged at the Museu de Arte Popular this September.

© City & Guilds of London Art School

22-26 Jul

Courses at the City & Guilds of London Art School introduce eight students to Stone Carving, Ornamental Woodcarving, Etching Fundamentals, Gilding and Verre Eglomisé. Cécile, a student the British institution is welcoming from Switzerland, is not just looking forward to gold-leafing glass : “Reuniting different arts and crafts professions can only make each other stronger. There are so many things to learn from all of those fields. By communicating and exchanging our knowledge, we can develop our creativity, generate new ideas and build a community to make tomorrow better.”

©Cité Internationale De La Tapisserie Aubusson

24 Aug-2 Sep

Held within the context of the summer exhibition Le Mur et l’Espace, courses at the illustrious Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie in Aubusson, France interweave tapestry and artistic interpretation. Amongst groundbreaking works by Le Corbusier and Abakanowicz, students from across Europe will debate both theory and practice of interpreting an artist’s design, and create a collective work together.

© Philippe Dannic

30 Sep-5 Oct

Glassblowing, Association French Hot Glass Family, Belle-île-en-Mer, France. Fluïd, a glassmaking collective based on an island off the coast of Brittany in northwestern France, hosts this hands-on workshop by the Association French Hot Glass Family. Invited international master glassmakers include Denmark’s Tobias Møhl (DK). Fabien Barbeau, co-founder of Fluïd, explains the concept of Fluïd: “living and working on a magical island, with people we love. It means having a job that is also a passion, creating objects that reflect who we are, craftspeople and glassblowers. It means taking the necessary time, being exacting in our workshop, and sharing our story... To these rare ingredients, we add colour - a lot of colour.”


© Passa Ao Futuro

Portugal’s bunheiros are basketcraftsmen who weave bunho, a bulrush reed whose rounded green stems can be found gently swaying in the breeze in bogs and shallow waterways. Harvested during the sweltering summer months, the reeds are cut with slim scythes and gathered in bundles. Spread into fans to dry in the open air, their colour mutes into shades of caramel and honey. Like wood, bunho is a living material. To be woven, the tips are sprinkled with water. Even the finished basketry, completed after hours of continuous work, welcomes an occasional mist of water in order to stay supple.


Get up close to craftsmanship this month
with these forthcoming events

7-14 Jul


Gdynia Design Days

The Polish seaside town hosts the Baltic region’s leading design festival, featuring exhibitions, lectures, workshops and talks.

7 Jul-12 Jan 2020


Hors Pistes

From Burkina Faso to Greenland, the intercultural design concept showcased at the MUDAC explores dialogues between artisans and designers, and the joy of experimentation.

15-25 Aug


International Summer School of Design

MAD summer courses bring together designers, craftsmen and scientists at two 19th century castles in Latvia to explore transhumanity and biopharmacy through traditional craft techniques and speculative design concepts.

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