28 Mar 2014

The 2014 Rare Craft Fellowship Awards

As part of our ongoing commitment to craftsmanship, we recently held the second annual Rare Craft Fellowship Awards in New York City. In association with our friends at the American Craft Council, we celebrated craft in all its forms, from shoe making to boat building. It was certainly an afternoon to be remembered, with a diverse cast of characters from across the craft community… including our own David Stewart.

We’d like for you to join us in raising a glass to this year’s Rare Craft Fellow, boat builder Douglas Brooks. Douglas works tirelessly to keep the ancient traditions of boat making alive, and truly epitomizes what it means to master a rare craft. To help him in continue with his endeavours, we have awarded him a grant and a trip to our distillery in Scotland. Once there, he will have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with our team of craftspeople.

In the meantime, we encourage you to take a moment to learn more about each of the finalists. You may be surprised at how inspiring their stories are.

2014 Fellow: Douglas Brooks
Traditional Boat Builder

Douglas is working to keep the ancient traditions of boat making alive. The first step is absorbing the values of craftsmanship. “That perseverance, that attention to detail, that focused concentration… those are the values that are considered essential for learning and mastery.”



2014 Finalist: Scott Baxendale

Scott’s opinion on being a craftsman? “You don’t choose it… it chooses you.”



2014 Finalist: Stephen Bilenky
Bilenky Cycle Works

The difference between a handcrafted bike and one that is mass produced? The attention to detail. “The soul of the frame builder has been imparted into this bike. The care, the design, the actual sweat of making this all happen becomes part of the bike.”



2014 Finalist: Ina Grau
Shoe Makers

Handcrafted items are special, because they have meaning beyond their function. “Everything we create… we have a connection with, because everything is us.”



2014 Finalist: Ubaldo Vitali
Silversmith, Goldsmith and Alchemist

Ubaldo has a philosophical outlook on craftsmanship. “The arts, the crafts, are vehicles to understanding who we really are.”



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