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Paper cuts and beautiful robots Master Craftsman Award boosts Swiss arts scene

The Swiss Association of Arts and Craftsexternal link wants to show its support for craftsmen and women working in Switzerland with a new type of prize.

The first Master Craftsman Award, worth CHF10,000 ($10,070), goes to François Junodexternal link, portrayed in the video above, who has developed the automaton into a new art form. The prize was established to honour an “outstanding craftswoman/craftsman for his/her complete oeuvre and his/her artistic charisma” in Switzerland and abroad. 

Junod, from Sainte-Croix in western Switzerland, calls his unique creations androids: mechanical robots designed to resemble humans in both appearance and behaviour. 

A man stands with an automated machine
(Mario Del Curto )

The second category – the Arts & Crafts & Design award – honours the cooperation between craftsmen and designers. The first prize is worth CHF10,000 for the design and CHF10,000 for the construction of the object. The first Arts & Crafts & Design award goes to Peter Finkexternal link, who makes ceramics in Ependes, also in western Switzerland, and Geneva-based designer Josefina Munozexternal link.

Peter Fink et Josefina Muñoz
(Pierre-Yves Borgeaud)

In the category “Young talent in arts and crafts” there are three prizes. The applicants have to be younger than 35. More than CHF17,000 was raised through crowdfunding for this. The first prize, worth CHF10,000, goes to Lucas Bessard external linkfrom L’Isle in western Switzerland, who builds wooden skis.

Montage: Lucas Bessard with skis
(Pierre-Yves Borgeaud)

Lausanne-based Bertille Laguetexternal link, a blacksmith, took the second prize. No prize money is given for second and third place.

Montage: two figures of birds on a perch, right: portrait of Bertille Laguet
(Pierre-Yves Borgeau)

Marc Schweizerexternal link from Zweisimmen in western Switzerland scooped the third prize with his paper cut designs.

Marc Schweizer and his work: 'Scherenschnitt/paper silhouette.
(Pierre-Yves Borgeaud)

The awards ceremony is on Friday at the artgenèveexternal link exhibition at Palexpo in Geneva.

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