Fortnum & Mason launches the QEST Crafting Excellence Exhibition.

HM Queen Elizabeth II by Rupert Alexander, a figurative painter specialising in portraiture. Born in London in 1975, he studied at the Chelsea College of Art. He was awarded a QEST scholarship at the age of 21 and used it to further his study at the Florence Academy of Art and Charles Cecil Studios.
To celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Fortnum & Mason is launching the QEST Crafting Excellence Selling exhibition until July 29th 2012.

James Hamill is a fourth-generation beekeeper and the director and head beekeeper for The Hive Honey Shop in London, Britain’s only shop devoted entirely to bees and honey.In 2012, Fortnum & Mason invites The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust to showcase the work of 32 carefully selected scholars. Based on the 1st floor, it will include skills ranging from millinery, glass blowing, sculpture, leather design and many more. The exhibition will filter throughout the store, outreaching to all departments, highlighting and celebrating Fortnum & Mason’s on-going commitment to supporting artisans and inspirational craftsmanship.

All scholars are exceptional within their chosen field, instantly evident from the range of beautifully created pieces that will be available to purchase within store. From the enchanting stained glass pictures depicting scenes from Alice in Wonderland to the striking headpieces fashioned from silk and tulle including Fortnum & Mason’s trademark Eau De Nil chocolate box, these pieces are truly inspiring works of art. For those that are looking to make a statement in the home, however large or small, there is something for all, from the life-size boar expertly crafted from wicker, to tea caddies embossed using traditional gun engraving technique, the spectrum of choice is wonderfully diverse.

In addition to the selling exhibition, Fortnum’s calendar will present a range of engaging demonstrations and events and will include a Valentine’s special, where calligrapher Davina Chapman will create your personalised handwritten messages for loved ones, afternoon tea featuring James Hamill’s gourmet honey during Honey Week and a talk by the scholar on his passion of beekeeping since the age of 5, and plans to relieve symptoms for of hay fever with his honey based food products. Come summertime, and an evening entitled ‘A Quest for a Hat’ the milliner scholars will leave you inspired just in time for summer weddings and Royal Ascot season.

Deirdre Hawken’s early training as a designer of costumes and sets for the theatre and her later training as a hat designer with Rose Cory, milliner to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother provided her with the skills to produce couture headpieces using a limited range of fabrics, which she dyes and manipulates to produce her one-off creations.Fortnum & Mason also plans to host a very special commission evening on June 14th, where customers will have the incredible opportunity to meet with the scholars, and order one off bespoke pieces, crafted specifically to tailored personal requests. With so many different style crafts to choose from, it will be a one of its kind event, where customers can purchase a completely unique gift, or investment piece for their home.

With Fortnum & Mason’s established reputation for supporting and nurturing producers who respect time, tradition and create with care and incredible attention to detail, it is honoured to collaborate with QEST in its aims to further British craftsmanship. In this very Royal year, Fortnum & Mason will be supporting QEST’s Diamond Jubilee Fundraising Appeal – which hopes to raise sufficient funds to double the rate of scholarships they award each year, through donations from ticket sales to the various Fortnum & Mason QEST breakfast and evening events throughout the exhibition period.

Clive Christian Perfume is proud to sponsor the Crafting Excellence in British Craftsmanship exhibition at Fortnum & Mason, in association with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.

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