Tom Skeehan awarded PATRÓN Tequila’s $25,000 craftsmanship grant

PATRÓN Tequila has announced the recipient of their $25,000 PATRÓN 60 Hands – Pay It Forward craftsmanship grant is furniture and product designer Tom Skeehan. With this grant, PATRÓN wanted to ‘pay it forward’ to grassroots and community craftspeople in the Australian creative community and help them grow their craft.

The initiative received hundreds of applications from across Australia, and with an extremely high calibre of craftspeople in the running for the grant, it is a brilliant achievement for Tom to be recognised as a stand-out craftsperson.

Tom is a Canberra-based craftsman and the designer behind design studio SKEEHAN. Trained as a furniture maker, Tom then studied industrial design, and it is this cross section of skills that makes his SKEEHAN designs so unique. With an approach to design that is honest and collaborative, Tom strives to create meaningful projects that add value to the community – something that resonates strongly with PATRÓN, as sustainability and giving back to the community are at the core of the premium tequila.

PATRÓN 60 Hands was a national call out to those in the handmade fields of design, fashion and hospitality industries, and was about honouring and nurturing talented craftspeople, and helping them hone their abilities.  If anyone knows of the craftsmanship that goes into creating an authentic handmade item, it is PATRÓN Tequila, and PATRÓN 60 Hands spoke to the fact that the spirit is handmade, with 60 hands needed to craft it into what we know as PATRÓN Tequila.It is not only Tom’s skill as a craftsman that spoke to both the grant judges and PATRÓN, but also his plans for the grant. Tom intends to put the $25,000 grant towards further project development and support manufacturers and other craft practitioners in his industry. Tom and his team at SKEEHAN are currently exploring ways to keep hand-blown glass manufacturing facilities and craft processes alive and viable in Australia, and hope to support this sector by developing projects that further evolve this craft and its legacy.

PATRÓN 60 Hands judge, design and architecture connoisseur and comedian, Tim Ross, said, “It’s been wonderful to engage with the work and ethos of all the applicants, and I think it is great that Tom wants to share the grant in an area beyond his expertise.”With so many high calibre applicants, the runners up for the grant are also respected craftspeople. Kenny Son (NSW), an object maker and designer specialising in metal craft, and Ben Devlin (NSW), the chef and owner of Pottsville restaurant, Pipit, were both very deserving applicants, who showcased a great craftsmanship in their respective fields. Finalists included Keiko Matsui (VIC), Raffaele Persichetti (QLD), Zachary Hanna (NSW), Adrian Kaleel (NSW), Shari Lowndes (VIC) and Kate Caicedo (NSW).

“PATRÓN itself is a refined handcrafted spirit, so there is a great synergy between the craftsmanship of our tequila and these makers. We’re thrilled have Tom as the grant recipient and look forward to seeing him use this opportunity to also pay it forward to handcrafted industries,” said Stephanie Sarantakos, PATRÓN Tequila Australia’s Brand Manager.“We saw entries from a wide range of crafts from makers across Australia, and we’re delighted by the positive response we’ve received from the creative community for this initiative. The judges spent a lot of time deliberating over the applications, and we’re grateful for their commitment to this initiative,” continued Stephanie.

Though PATRÓN Tequila has grown to become one of the most recognised and respected luxury spirits in the world, it is still exclusively produced in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, in the same small batches and with the same commitment to quality and craftsmanship.

Source: PATRÓN Tequila