Heritage Appeal: Craft In The Contemporary World

Heritage Appeal: Craft In The Contemporary World

Design is made up of reactions and counter-reactions. The more technological our society becomes, the greater the appeal of hand-crafted objects. For proof, one only has to look to the return of the Polaroid. Despite ever-increasing camera pixels, there’s something distinctly lovely about a photo that doesn’t zoom in.


Craft in the contemporary world embodies this paradox, combining time-honoured traditions with exciting new materials and breakthroughs. As the beating heart of our industry, we thought we’d take a closer look at some of the ways master craftspeople are shaping life today.

The Art of Remembering

For many, the return to craft is about inviting stories back into our living spaces. Every artisan lives on in the designs that they create and whether it’s the artfully bent metal of the Officina Table or the hand-blown Filigana light, the trace of the human hand is clear.


Modern craft can also be understood as an attempt to draw out the hidden beauty in everyday objects. In order to create the Backstitch Rug, Design Studio Raw Edges switched the focus from intricate embroidery patterns to the spontaneous stitches that often appear on the reverse of textiles. In turning tradition inside out, they struck upon an ancient form of decoration — an imperfect yet lovely addition for contemporary homes.

Backstitch Rug

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Cesca Stool

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“What seems chaotic has its own language and adds a new value, a new intention to traditional craftsmanship.” – Raw Edges

Rehumanising The Future

In this act of remembering, artisans also work to rehumanize the future, reminding us that it doesn’t have to be a place divorced from the past or the traditions that created it. Indeed, advances in technology are allowing us to recreate iconic designs as they were originally intended. The Eames Fibreglass Collection by Vitra is one such success story.


One of the very first materials used by design darlings, Charles & Ray Eames, Fibreglass is created by heating up molten glass to incredibly high temperatures, then allowing it to cool and solidify in the form of fine threads. Unfortunately, this process proved too costly and inefficient during the mid-century, and the finish was abandoned. Fast-forward 70 years and Vitra has found a way to make the process viable, allowing us the opportunity to fall in love all over again.

Favela Armchair

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Jar Pendant Light

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It’s a similar story at Lasvit, where ancient glass-blowing techniques are being infused by modern ideas. The Jar Pendant Light was the first luminaire to wed colourful glass blowing to the concept of RGB colour-mixing. Using opal glass for one of the hanging jars allows it to turn into a large generative light for the entire fixture. Design lovers are then invited to observe one jar through the others, creating a unique and lasting discovery of colour super-imposition.

Reinventing The Wheel

The idea of reinventing what has already been done is often frowned upon in non-creative industries. However, with sustainability at the forefront of everyone’s mind, it’s exactly the task that faces modern designers.


Such priorities have brought forth an industry-wide rethink of the way craft is undertaken. On B&B Italia’s Mirto Outdoor Dining Table this looks like a traditional Sicilian pattern applied using shards from recycled electronic screens. At Ligne Roset, the new Terre D’Ombres Planter, created from a Bio-Plastic composite of maize starch and recycled wood.

Terre D’Ombres Plant Pot Cover

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L.A Sunset Tables

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At Chaplins, we see craft as a chance to journey through time, using traditional techniques to help build the world of tomorrow. It’s for this reason that we scour the globe to bring you only the finest designs from the world’s craftsmen and women. With our Summer  Sale now on, you can discover them all with up to 20% off. Start your journey online or make an appointment to visit us in-store. 


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