I am passionate about getting people to buy hand carved pieces produced by experienced craftsmen rather than those mass produced, machine made, items as sold by the industry leaders.
The business model the majority use seems to me to be out of date and from a time when less interest was taken in environmental issues and the cultural importance of real craftsmanship to society was not recognised. It is definitely not what my clients expect from me these days.
Through displays and talks etc. I am working to dispel the myth that we do not have world class craftsmen in the UK. Though our sales in the US, Europe & Asia and the feed back we receive we know of the high esteem with which British craftsmanship in general is held, it seems the only people we need to convince are the British themselves.
Reasons to buy craftsman made hand carved ornament.
Higher quality at no extra cost:
Why would you buy a piece that is exactly the same as everyone else has when you can commission a custom made item, hand carved by craftsmen who are also producing work for palaces, stately homes and high end design projects across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world? There is actually little or no extra cost. People assume hand carved is considerably more expensive than machine made. For individual bespoke pieces this is not the case, there is no need for machine set up for hand carved items and you are not paying for the item to be shipped half way around the world.
Highest quality materials:
As our reputation is based on the quality of our work we use only the best materials available. We use limestones and sandstones from the UK and France, some having been used since the time of the Roman Empire. We also use Welsh and Cumbrian slate and marble from the UK, France, Italy and Greece. Often the same materials used by the ancient and renaissance masters.
Give a face to the craftsman:
We offer a service where the client, at an arranged time can talk directly to the craftsman with their piece on the bench in front of them via web cam. Yes the actual craftsman, not an extra brought in from the office or warehouse for the occasion. This takes advantage of the years of expertise and knowledge gained by the craftsmen regarding material, proportion, and visual tricks such as ocular rectification. We also supply a short 3 minute film for all our projects of the piece being worked free of charge upon delivery.
Quicker turn around for bespoke pieces:
We are approached regularly by clients who have been quoted 12 weeks for the most minor of adjustments from the industry leaders. For all but the most intricate piece we aim for a turn around of 28 days or less for their bespoke item.
Lower carbon foot print:
We hear a lot about peoples concerns regarding carbon foot print and the distance products travel but the large majority of off the shelf fire surround in the UK are travelling over 10, 000 kilometres or 6,000 miles to get to you, if you have paid more and get the real material you can double those distances as the stone has to get from Europe to their workshops in the first place. By using the acknowledged best quality limestones and sandstones, we source from quarries lest than 250km or 150 miles away and for the best marbles in the world the furthest they should come is 1,500 km or 900 miles.
Support for UK jobs and training.
By purchasing quality bespoke items produced by trained craftsmen in the UK you are supporting a traditional industry and quality skilled jobs, also allowing us to train more people thus building a healthy human crafts resource for now and the future.
And last but not least
We know from conversations with our existing clients how being able to provide such a bespoke service for their customers gives them a priceless advantage over many of their competitors and is complimentary to the quality services they already offer.