A little bit of insight to London; art, bars, cafes, clubs, restaurants, and other things to do in this wonderful multicultural city.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Hermes at the Saatchi Gallery

In May 2013 there was a craft fair at the Saatchi Gallery. The craft people showing their work were people from the Hermes workshops in France. There were many different different mini studios set up showing the craftsmen at work. There was a leather worker, a tie maker, a print maker, a bag maker and a watch maker. It was incredible to see all the work behind one item which we then get to hold. 
There was a live show showing the silk printing of the silk Hermes scarfs. The presentation had a man explaining the process and the actual person doing the printing. The man explained that yes Hermes do use machines but "Hermes has found the perfect balance between man and the machine" for all of their products. The work surface in the Gallery only had enough space to print two scarfs at a time being a table of about 4 meters in length. In their workshop (they do not like you calling it a "factory"), the table is 100 meters long, so that they can print more scarfs at once. 
The technique has very many steps, each colour has to be printed on in different layers, starting with the darkest and then going to the lightest. However if the darkest colour takes up a lot of space on the silk then it must be printed last because it will remain wet longer than the lighter colours. In their workshop their tables have heaters underneath so that the ink dries faster. Also everything in their workshop is monitored, the temperature of the silk is measured so that it can be the perfect humidity and the ink stays on the silk the longest possible. 

Every year they come out with 10 prints for the fall and 10 prints for the spring. Out of these prints the colourists must come up with 20 different colour combinations on the same pattern where then only 10 get selected. All the heads of the international branched of Hermes then come together in Paris and select the coloured prints that will sell the most in their countries and make their order for the factories. Occasionally certain prints are brought back in new colours to update the old designs.

Each of the Hermes designs are meant to show a story, every image they print they collected from around the world. Culture is a very important thing in the Hermes family. After seeing into the way Hermes works at this work shop, I was inspired to try to work with them. Companies who have a story mean a lot to me, and I think its important to cherish tradition as well as bringing in modern things and they are able to do this with their scarfs. 
Here's the Saatchi Gallery website: http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/
and here's the Hermes site: http://uk.hermes.com/

No comments:

Post a Comment