American Craftsmen in Britain: Rick Armiger

Shinola and Jocks&Nerds came together to create a unique project exploring the importance of craft in the 21st century and how it can help build and shape communities both locally and globally. We met up with five Americans, all now living in the UK, to see what makes them tick and why they like to get their hands dirty.

Rick Armiger, master modelmaker, London

Where are you from?
I’m originally from Baltimore but I now divide my time between London and Piacenza in Italy.

What makes your job special to you?
I work with a fantastic range of designers and architects such as John Pawson and David Chipperfield. My role means I’m there right at the birth - when their “big ideas” first emerges. It’s in my studio where the first 3D models are realised that everyone sees.

Is there a community aspect to your profession?
Absolutely. Because models are universally understood. They speak an international language.

Why did you come to Britain to work?
I had a lot of great mentors in the UK.

How do the UK and USA differ?
I don’t look at it that way. It’s more yin and yang but I love both equally.

Why do you think there is a resurgence in craft in the 21st century and why is that important?
The beautifully made will never go out of fashion.