“Thirty years ago,” began Sheila Loewe, President of the LOEWE Foundation, “my father [Enrique Loewe Lynch] created the LOEWE Foundation to support and help preserve different fields of creativity.”

Today, press and patrons alike were invited to celebrate the 2nd edition of the Foundation’s most prestigious contemporary award; masterminded by Jonathan Anderson, The LOEWE Craft Prize was established to celebrate and champion makers, creators and the fruits of their workmanship.

In its sophomore exhibition, 30 finalists were selected from nearly 2,000 submissions spanning 86 countries and five continents. Out of a roll-call that included painstakingly meticulous hand-cut paper sculptures (Ashley YK Yeo), 30-times-dyed alpaca wool canvases (Yeonsoon Chang) and jewellery hewn from gold-plated silver and freshwater pearls (Sam Tho Duong), two honorary mentions were given to Takuro Kuwata – a potter from Japan whose Tea Bowl mixes mediums of porcelain, platinum and steel – and French artist, Simone Pheulpin, for her Croissance XL sculpture crafted in densely packed cotton fabric and pins.

Scottish ceramicist and alum of both Edinburgh and Royal College of Art, Jennifer Lee was announced as the winner of the prize with her hand-coiled vessel that brings ancient techniques into a contemporary context, receiving her accolade from Jonathan Anderson and Dame Helen Mirren.

'Pale, Shadowed Speckled Traces, Fading Eclipse, Bronze Specks, Tilted Shelf' (2017) by Jennifer Lee in left foreground.

In an emotional speech, the latter paid tribute to craftspeople – and their work – throughout history, saying: “Of course, you’re looking at the grandeur of the rich people who could pay for these pieces, but really, you’re looking at the human hands who made it. I’ve always found that engagement with the human hand to be a very, very profound experience.”

We couldn't put it better ourselves. 

Submissions for the LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize 2019 can be presented from 20 June, 2018. The LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 Exhibition will run from 4 May – 17 June, 2018 at The Design Museum, London.