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Emerging Talent (left) and Excellence in Craftsmanship (right) by Nature Squared

The story behind the trophies for the Artistry and Craft Awards 2024

29 January 2024 • Written by Lucy Dunn

The winners of the BOAT International Artistry and Craft Awards 2024 were presented with handmade keepsake trophies created by award-winning ethical design brand, Nature Squared.

The inaugural awards, held at the Superyacht Design Festival in Kitzbühel, Austria, celebrate the unsung heroes of boat design. They were handed out by the awards' chair and BOAT's creative director, Christopher Whale, along with features director Charlotte Hogarth-Jones in front of a 350-strong audience.

Nature Squared is a brand synonymous with using traditional craftsmanship to create stunning materials, finishes and objects from sustainable natural products, so their partnership with an awards ceremony celebrating impeccable and time-honoured workmanship made perfect sense.

Nature Squared co-founder Lay Koon Tan says: “For me, craft and artistry go to the heart and soul of every yacht that’s out there, and the fact that BOAT has chosen to put the spotlight on the people that produce those incredible works is absolutely what is needed - very often they are the hidden heroes that are not seen, not celebrated and can’t share their work widely enough to take the credit and get the recognition they deserve.”

Lay Koon Tan

The intricate trophies – one for Excellence in Craftsmanship and another for Emerging Artisan of The Year – took four months to make. They were inspired by "the force of air and water combined" and were fashioned in the shape of a natural vortex inspired by whirlpools and tornadoes. Cast in copper, ethically sourced crushed shells including pearl shell, brown lip and rainbow oyster, all chosen for their rich colour, were painstakingly inlaid by hand. All three shells are the by-products of fishing and pearl farming and would otherwise be discarded as waste. By monetising these waste products, Nature Squared can support the livelihoods of pearl farmers and fishermen.

The two main awards, plus a specially commended award

Tan concludes" “Nature Squared launched 23 years ago with sustainability front and centre in our minds. With craft being the lowest impact manufacturing you can find, as well as nodding to intangibles such as heritage, culture and mindfulness, all of that goes into every single thing that we produce at Nature Squared. Our mission is to provide the most luxurious, most bespoke, most attractive product possible and keep true to these values.”

Read More/Everything you need to know about the BOAT Artistry & Craft Awards 2025

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