Design by Hand
About Design by Hand
Design by Hand is a biannual program dedicated to the importance of craftmanship in contemporary design. Launched in partnership with Van Cleef & Arpels in 2013, past Design by Hand events have featured Maison Lesage, Estudio Campana, Pixar Animation Studio, Heath Ceramics, Ralph Rucci, and Marimekko.
Spring 2017: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Beginning May 15, the historic Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory will be the focus of Cooper Hewitt’s seventh Design by Hand program. Founded in 1740 at Vincennes under the patronage of Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour, the factory moved to Sèvres in 1756 where it has remained as the preeminent producer of French porcelain. Throughout its 250-year history, Sèvres has been celebrated for its constant technical innovation in form and materials, as well as for the ornate designs produced by leading artists and designers of the day for the factory’s luxury objects. Works produced by Sèvres are in major museum collections around the world, including Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, the V&A, and the State Hermitage Museum. Today, Sèvres continues its groundbreaking ceramics production with over 100 designers employed in 27 workshops. The Manufactory also partners with leading artists and designers from around the world, including most recently nendo, Philippe Apeloig, and Andrée et Michel Hirlet.
Sèvres in the permanent collection
There are 140 design objects involving the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory in Cooper Hewitt’s permament collection.
Past Design by Hand events
Schedule of Events
Design by Hand: Sèvres’ Christine Germain-Donnat
Monday, May 15, 2017
Price: $15 General Admission, $8 Members, Educators, Students, and Seniors.
Christine Germain-Donnat, Director of the Department of Heritage and Collections for the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, will be the featured speaker of the series. Ms. Germain-Donnat will discuss the history of the factory, its innovations in craft and materials, as well as the diversity of the exquisite designs and decorations.
Design by Hand: Sèvres Design Workshop for Adults
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Price: $30 General Admission, $20 Members, Educators, Students, and Seniors.
An artist from the celebrated Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory will introduce participants through a hands-on workshop to the traditions of French painted porcelain. Inspired by decorative motifs developed by Sèvres designers in the 18th century, participants will experiment with pigments and techniques to explore design, textures, and color and develop their own sensibility and style.
Design by Hand: Sèvres Design Workshop for College Students
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
An artist from the celebrated Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory will lead participants through a hands-on workshop introduction to the traditions of French painted porcelain. Inspired by decorative motifs developed by Sèvres designers in the 18th century, participants will experiment with pigments and techniques to explore design, textures, and color and develop their own sensibility and style. Open to college students with valid student ID only.
Design by Hand | Sèvres Workshop for Teens: Paint a Porcelain Treasure
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Discover the lavish and luxurious world of porcelain created by the world-celebrated Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, synonymous with important French design. Explore the exquisite designs created during its 250-year history and make your own mark using painting techniques taught by a Sèvres artist to create your own ceramic. Open to NYC high school students grades 9–12.
Design by Hand | Sèvres Workshop for Families
Saturday, May 20, 2017
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. & 1:30–3:00 p.m.
Workshops are geared toward kids ages 5 through 12. Students will design their own ceramic plates with motifs inspired by Sèvres porcelain.