Today we had a lecture from Genevieve Sioka who is an Artisan Buyer for the National Trust charity. She gave us a very informative talk about her job role as a artisan buyer for the National Trust shops instore and online. Her job is to find Artists/Designers/Craftsmen to produce handmade products to then go on and sell to their clientele. This money from the products sold goes on to help fund for renovations on the trusts houses and areas.
Her job is to find work that it unique and limited in quality. It must respond to the material which in turn requires engagement and technique. She goes by these four words when finding work and the four works are – Relevant – Provence – Distinctive – Authentic-. They must be 100% British made and eco friendly.
Her advice was if you were interested in becoming a maker through the trust was:-
- Make it obvious that the product you plan to sell is handmade.
- Storytelling is key.
- Its good to document your process from the beginning to the end (It shows how the product to grow and develop)
- The product should show the love of a place.
- Start local- explore local national trust shops and places of interest.
This talk was very interesting because it sounded relatable, in my project this year I am focusing on a set location which I do have feelings about. It would be interesting to see how my work would sit possibly in the trusts shops. I think to move on from this I should visit the online or instore shop and see how my product would fair in that environment. If I feel it could belong I could then speak to the manager possibly show them my work and email Genevieve and explore my options with the charity. Overall I felt the talk was very informative and looked promising for my work.