Making – whether it’s a Rolls-Royce, a sterling silver pen, or extruded plastic furniture pieces – is a multisensory experience. In appreciation of overt creativity and meticulous craftsmanship, KEF partners with London Craft Week to bring you Sound of Craftsmanship. This inspiring series of stories explore the sonic cues, inspirations and wares of expert makers.
We meet Ulrich Gerhartz to discuss a machine with more parts than a car, one that easily can live well beyond a hundred years and be as spectacularly precise as the day it was put together (with adequate repair, of course): none other than the piano. Gerhartz is a piano maker, and director of the concert department, for Steinway & Sons.
We meet Craig and Rebecca Struthers, husband and wife at the helm of Struthers Watchmakers. Creating new watches and repairing others that at times are centuries old, the duo is responsible for helping us manage one of our most precious resources: time. The tick of a watch, says Rebecca, is like a heartbeat.
We meet Alexander Roden, workshop manager at Yard-O-Led, makers of sterling silver pens and pencils for nearly 200 years. From their studio in Birmingham’s jewellery district, the writing instruments they create are second to none – and have no trouble finding loyal customers across the globe.
For designer Alexandra Llewellyn, working life is all fun and games. That’s because she’s found a niche for herself in making exquisite backgammon boards and poker sets. Inspired by the joy and clamour of street-side backgammon playing, the games she makes today explore materiality – using not just wood, but leather, metal, glass and stones – transforming the experience altogether.
Designer James Shaw not only creates objects and furniture, he creates the material they’re made from. His best-known works are made of extruded post-consumer plastics: ostensibly saved from a destiny of centuries in a landfill, the plastic is dyed with pigments, and shaped into playfully weird but hard-working, functional pieces.
We meet artist Yinka Ilori, whose playfully bright style has been applied to everything from chairs, to playgrounds, to public infrastructure. Drawing from his Nigerian heritage, his work is inspired from music by the likes of Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey.
We meet metalsmith Adi Toch, whose mainly silver and copper vessels sit somewhere between a domestic object and artwork, they often create or even interact with sounds in charming, playful ways.
Rolls-Royce has a signature brand sound: silence. But, a very particular silence. We meet Dave Monks, engineer, who uses some unexpected sounds to fine-tune the experience behind the wheel.