A few months after announcing their 2019 winners, French fashion house Loewe has opened submissions for the 2020 edition of their Craft Prize. Though a relatively new award program—it was launched in 2016—it received over 2,500 submissions from around the world this year and that number is only expected to increase.
The 50,000 euro prize that each year's winner receives may have something to do with its appeal, and this year all shortlisted applicants will also get to participate in a group exhibition at Paris's Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
View of the 2019 semifinalist exhibition at Isamu Noguchi's indoor stone garden at the Sogetsu Kaikan in Tokyo
Japanese sculptor Genta Ishizuka took home the top prize this year. An expert in the ancient urushi lacquer technique, Ishizuka was inspired by oranges in a mesh bag when he created his winning work, Surface Tactility #11. Ishizuka used the kanshitsu technique, naturally-sourced urushi sap, and many coats of lacquer to create the lustrous finish.
Deloss Webber's Geisha Handbag Series (2016) is made of granite, Susutake bamboo, rattan, and is an homage to Japanese weaving techniques.
Giovanni Corvaja, Italy, Mandala bowl, 18ct gold, 2017
Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley, United Kingdom, Curved Block Seat, oak, 2018
The prize was created to "acknowledge the importance of craft in today's culture and recognize working artisans whose talent, vision and will to innovate set a standard for the future." Creative director Jonathan Anderson started the tradition as a nod to Loewe's beginnings as a collective craft workshop in 1846.
To select a winner from thousands of applicants, Loewe first brings together a panel of experts—made up of former finalists and a variety of interdisciplinary professionals—to whittle all the applicants down to 30 semifinalists. That group of 30 will travel to Paris and exhibit their work at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. A separate jury will convene in Paris and choose a winner from the exhibition. This year's jury includes Naoto Fukasawa, Patricia Urquiola, Deyan Sudjic, and Benedetta Tagliabue, alongside other leading figures.
The jury will be looking at the following factors: originality, clear artistic vision and merit, precise execution, material excellence, innovative value, and a distinct authorial mark.
Applications are open through October 30. Find out more details or apply here.