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Irish Design in Good Hands

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore home to the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy. © Fondazione Giorgio Cini

If you were reading the Home & Design section in the Irish Times this weekend you will have spotted an article written by Gemma Tipton about an event called "Homo Faber". This fascinating event, based in Venice,is organised by a non-profit organisation called The Michelangelo Foundation, to showcase makers and their craft. “Homo Faber is an expression that was first coined during the Renaissance and it captures and celebrates the infinite creativity of human beings,” says Johann Rupert, co-founder of the Michelangelo Foundation.. “The exhibit will provide a panoramic view of European fine craftsmanship but it will nevertheless have a singular undercurrent: what human beings can do better than machines.”

From 14 to 30 September 2018, The Michelangelo Foundation will "present an inspiring showcase of the finest European craftsmanship at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini on San Giorgio Maggiore Island in Venice, Italy and will showcase a vast array of materials and expertise, from rare traditional skills on the brink of being lost to the most cutting-edge contemporary techniques".

Journalist Gemma Tipton opens her article by asking "In our age of mass production and perfect manufactured replicas, does making things by hand matter any more?". It would appear that in Ireland it certainly does. She observes that at the show, Ireland is better represented (per capita) than any other European country, "In the Best of Europe section, there are more Irish makers per capita than any other country. See Joe Hogan’s extraordinary baskets, Cara Murphy’s glowing enamelled silver bowls, Jennifer Hickey’s delicate ceramics, extraordinary glassworks by Róisín de Buitléar and Alison Lowry, stone and sculptures by Helen O’Connell and Nuala O’Donovan, and resin work alive with bright flowers by Sasha Sykes". What a fantastic achievement by such a small country!

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