Introduction to the Next Generation of Craftspeople
My family has a history of craftsmen and women. It is no wonder that in my generation, there are a variety of craftspeople continuing this way of life.
Two of my cousins, are dedicated craftsmen in their own field. One is a master cheesemaker, the other a sculpture.
To recap my previous blog post, which some of you may have read from 2019. Talking about my predecessors. Their vocation as craftspeople. Retracing my roots as a craftswoman. Delving into my past. Discovering that I was destined to work with precious metals.
In this post, I will be talking about my generation of craftspeople. Craftsmen and women did not stop with my grandparents. Although, it did skip a generation. Luckily, my cousins also picked up the thread as craftsmen.
We each successfully run our own businesses in various parts of Belgium. Although we may have the aid of modern technology, we are trained traditionally and use skills passed down through the ages.
Mom's side of the family of craftspeople
My Belgian cousins and I seem to have inherited the artisanal gene. Three of us are walking in the footsteps of our ancestors and have created a living from our craft.
Craftsman Peter De Cock: Master Cheesemaker
My cousin, Peter De Cock, is the grandson of the tailor. I wrote about him in my previous blog. Peter is a Master Cheesemaker.
With a degree in agricultural sciences and a Swiss diploma in Master Cheese Making, Peter settled in Acremont in 1999. Then, with twenty Belgian dairy sheep. Today the flock numbers 250 ewes. They are fed on local top-quality feed; GMM-free, soya, and maize-free, or silage-free.
It is here on his organic sheep farm, that he practices the art of cheese making. Peter produces a variety of cheeses, from hard raw milk cheeses to soft cheeses from thermalised milk, and fresh cheeses from pasteurised milk.
You can even organise group visits to his farm. Eat cheeps cheese raclette. Even “adopt” a sheep or stay in their “gîte” for the week.
You can follow the Bergerie d4acremont on FB
Sculpute Wilfried De Cock: Sculpture
Peter’s younger brother, Wilfried De Cock is a sculpture. He graduated, as a sculpture in 1999 and also taught sculpture and drawing at the academy in Hasselt for five years. After which he established himself as an independent sculpture and gained a wide reputation through participating in exhibitions and selling his work through galleries.
If you would like a private audience with Wilfried, you can book by appointment, for a visit to his sculpture garden and talk to him in person about bespoke commissions.
Craftswoman Saskia Shutt: Goldsmith and Jewellery Designer
Last but not least, 23 years ago, the same year that Peter set up his cheesemaking business, I established myself as a goldsmith & jewellery designer in the Oxo Tower in London, sharing a workshop space with another jeweller.
Later, I relocated my business to the south of England and joined the Sussex Guild of Master Craftsmen.
Today, I have my workshop in the heart of the Belgian design district in Brussels. If you are interested in having a bespoke piece of jewellery made, please book your appointment directly into my calendar.
As a child, I have always enjoyed working with my hands and I am proud that I was able to create a business from my passion as a craftsperson.