The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is supporting a 100-day roadshow aimed at highlighting some of the best artisans around the British Isles.

The Contemporary Classics Tour will visit the Isle of Man as part of a trip that will see it visit 25 leading artisans around the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man. During a visit to the Island in August this year the people behind the project - Sophie van Poele and Daniel Craanen - will feature Isle of Man Creamery and the Apple Orphanage.

Sophie explained: ‘We believe that culture and tradition don’t belong in museums, but that they should evolve and grow as communities, technologies, and people do. These things shouldn’t just be preserved, but actively kept attractive for future generations. By sharing their stories online through video, we hope their extraordinary lives and spirit will inspire others.

‘The Contemporary Classics Tour is a unique initiative to showcase and promote the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man as places where traditional techniques and contemporary approaches blend seamlessly. It will be, to the best of our knowledge, the most comprehensive road trip of the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man ever undertaken. Over 100 days, we’ll go everywhere, including Shetland and the Channel Islands. 

‘Along the way, we’ll visit premier craftspeople whose vision has blended traditional techniques with contemporary designs and preferences, and share their stories through engaging weekly videos. Apple Orphanage and the Isle of Man Creamery will feature alongside likes of Mati Ventrillon’s knitwear in Fair Isle, and Burleigh Pottery of Middleport.’

Most the funding for the trip is being raised via a Crowdfunder appeal and Sophie and Daniel have been backed by the Morgan Motor Company, which has pledged a Morgan 4/4 to take them on their journey. The Manx leg of their journey will see them sail from Liverpool on August 22nd and onto Belfast on August 26th.

‘The thought that drives us is “tradition is now”,’ said Sophie. ‘We’ll keep people up-to-date and share the adventure through Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. We’re very grateful to the Steam Packet Company for supporting the Isle of Man leg of our roadshow and helping us make the project a reality.

‘We hope this initiative will inspire people to think of these islands as hubs of design and craftsmanship, where contemporary approaches complement, rather than compete with heritage.’ 

Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘This sounds like a fascinating project to showcase some of the finest craftspeople within the British Isles, and it’s important that the skills that the Isle of Man has in abundance are included. With the initiative set to feature widely on social media, it’s a fine opportunity to promote the Isle of Man as an exciting destination.

‘We are happy to support Sophie and Daniel and wish them well as they embark on what is sure to be a fantastic voyage around the British Isles.’