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Letter From the Editor: Joy in the Making

Discover masterful artisanry.

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In Dylan Thomas’s Poetic Manifesto, the writer states, “The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps in the works of the poem so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in.” Whether it’s the words of a poet or an intricately carved gemstone, the principles of fine craftsmanship apply universally across every art and discipline.


No matter how craftspeople apply their talent, the beauty of their art is expressed in the details. From their heart through their hands, their creations reach beyond our sensory perceptions to touch our hearts. What makes these artists so special isn’t just their skill but also their soul, which goes into and comes out of everything they touch, from the beauty of a well-proportioned sculpture to the sumptuous feel of soft fabric and the pleasant fragrance of organic flowers wrapped in a bottle of perfume.


For the past ten years, Magnifissance has sought the finest craftspeople in the world, and in telling their stories we’ve developed a deep appreciation for what it takes to make something truly beautiful and lasting. Over the years, we’ve tried to apply that same artistry and dedication to our own lives and the creation of our magazine. This special issue is a celebration of those stories and the impact they’ve had on us.


In this issue, we revisit Florence, the birthplace of Europe’s Renaissance, travelling along the city’s winding stone paths to Antico Setificio Fiorentino, one of the last remaining traditional silk workshops in the world. Its artists have been using the same looms for hundreds of years, making just 15 inches of silk per day.


From there, we head to a monastery in the remote French countryside where, for many generations, a small group of nuns has been making lace as fine as angel’s hair. The delicacy of their art requires a level of concentration that can only be found in pure, pious hearts. “It teaches us virtues such as patience, perseverance, humility, and tranquillity. You can see a sort of divine beauty in lace,” Mother Prioress says.


On the other side of the world, Hong Kong jewellery artist Wallace Chan has been working with gems since he was 16 years old. When the hardships of his life became too much, he sought peace at a Buddhist monastery, and when he returned to work he saw how the tribulations shaped him the same way he shapes his beautiful stones.


While the world seems obsessed with AI tools like ChatGPT, we’re focusing on hand-made arts and hard-won wisdom. We crave more connection to nature, not less. No virtual reality can replicate the refreshment that comes from the earthy spring fragrance of our backyard, or the gratification of a delicious meal cooked with wild-harvested ingredients.


We experience beauty through connection—with each other, with nature, and with heaven. The role of an artist is to make those connections possible. That’s what makes a piece of work timeless, and that’s what we hope to share with this edition. Hope you enjoy the journey.

This story is from Magnifissance Issue 118

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Inspired for a Beautiful Life

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