Live crafting: Hermes Festival Des Metiers exhibition

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What’s all this talk about craft fatigue? What a load of nonsense, I’ve only just got started! Some might say that the thrill of seeing the skills at the heart of the world’s most luxurious handbags, scarves and watches is starting to tire but I hope that’s not the case. I love getting the inside secrets to age-old processes and that’s exactly what you’ll get when you visit the Hermes Festival Des Metiers exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery.

Here you’ll find the skilled workers transposed from the studio floor to a makeshift workshop space in front of a translator and inquisitive visitors. From the gem setter preparing a miniscule stone for one of those fabulous pyramid cuffs, to the porcelain painter, to the bag-makers, this is as close as you could wish to get.

What’s lovely is that as you quiz the artisans, other visitors chip in too, so you learn something from their questions and can engage in some friendly chit-chat with fellow craft geeks. Don’t miss the main attraction, the scarf printing table where you can see a whole scarf being born (read in detail here if you’re intrigued), the techniques explained with great flair by Hermes’ Kamel Hamadou. If ‘craft theatre’ is indeed on the wane, you’d better lap it up now, because it’s rare that you’ll get this close to seeing how these products are made…

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