Celebrating Craftsmanship: Homo Faber Season Two

Lindsay Judge   |   13-05-2022

The second edition of Homo Faber celebrated creativity and craftsmanship in a unique showcase of arts and culture


The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship and its partners welcomed journalists, cultural commentators and key figures in the international arts and design world to Venice to celebrate the opening of the 2022 edition of Homo Faber. Now in its second edition, this unique showcase of contemporary craftsmanship celebrates the world’s arts and culture scenes and the importance of handmade objects and craftsmanship in the world today.


Tracing Venice
Homo Faber Event 2022


The ribbon was cut by Professor Giovanni Bazoli, Chairman of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, and Franco Cologni, Co-founder of the Michelangelo Foundation, accompanied by some of the event’s Young Ambassadors. Speakers at the opening ceremony included Simone Venturini, Deputy Mayor of Venice in charge of economic development; Judith Clark, fashion exhibition designer, Professor of Fashion and Museology at University of the Arts London, and a curator of Homo Faber Event; and Inès Mesmar, Director and Founder of La Fabrique Nomade, the French association which aids the professional integration of migrant and refugee craftspeople. They were joined by the curators of Homo Faber Event including general curator Alberto Cavalli, Executive Director of the Michelangelo Foundation.


Artisan: Hiroshi Matsuda
Umbrella installation

The artisans selected for this edition of the event represent the diversity of crafts, cultures, customs, human talents and life stories around the world and across the generations, from young talents taking over a family business to long-established masters sharing their knowledge with the next generation. Visitors had the opportunity to discover the work of a Franco-Beninese ceramicist striving to connect diverse cultures, a young British leatherworker giving new life to traditional saddlery techniques, and a pair of woodworkers from Afghanistan whose hand-carved tabletop games tell stories from their homeland. Together, the more than 400 artisans showcased in the event demonstrate the depth and breadth of craftsmanship in Europe, Japan and beyond, and its continuing relevance to all our lives.


Group photo Homo Faber 2022 Curators

The immersive event invited visitors to not only admire the objects on display but to get up close to the craftsmanship and witness artisanal skills in action. Visitors had the opportunity to meet master artisans and see how they are passing on their skills to young apprentices. The event urged visitors to reflect on the nature of craft and its place in our everyday lives: from our homes and our wardrobes to the wider worlds of theatre, music, cuisine and flower design. Not only does the event present unique decorative objects which would take pride of place on our mantelpieces, but it also shows how craft is essential to creating exquisite functional objects that enhance our daily lives better than any machine-made piece: tables made with Italian heritage stone, handcrafted porcelain dishes, glass vases made using traditional techniques from Murano, unique leather bags embossed by hand, and fountain pens carefully crafted using age-old French techniques.


Andrian Melka Artisan at work
Sculptor, UK, United Kingdom

This year, in keeping with its mission to show how craft can connect cultures and people around the world, Homo Faber explores the entwining cultural relationship between Europe and Japan. It honours the official recognition that Japan gives to its finest masters, the National Living Treasures, who are considered keepers of important intangible cultural properties. A fil rouge running through the whole event demonstrates Japan’s influence on European craftsmanship, from porcelain design to luxury goods, while visitors can get even closer to Japanese culture by participating in workshops demonstrating the art of ikebana and the Japanese tea ceremony.


Exhibition space: 12 Stone Garden
Curated by Naoto Fukasawa
Homo Faber Event 2022


Guided by a philosophy of sustainability, the event also highlighted the importance of making craft businesses viable and safeguarding them for the future, showcasing the transfer of knowledge between master and apprentice and placing a strong focus on the next generation. The event’s Young Ambassadors, carefully selected from Europe’s top arts and design schools, are on hand to guide visitors around the exhibition spaces, imparting the knowledge, passion and enthusiasm that make them the faces of craftsmanship’s bright future.


For the first time, Homo Faber Event went beyond the walls of Fondazione Giorgio Cini to allow visitors to experience the craftsmanship hidden between Venice’s canals. More than 100 artisanal workshops, businesses and museums across the lagoon city opened their doors as part of Homo Faber in Città. Visitors were invited to create bespoke self-guided craft tours according to their interests, allowing them to experience the city in a completely new way.