Craft is cool, okay?
If your idea of craft involves hot glue guns and papier-mâché, you need to think again. London Craft Week is high and it’s all about changing perceptions with its celebration of modern-day making and heritage artisans.
Running from 9th-13th May, this year’s London Craft Week promises to be biggest and most international yet, with over 200 events taking place across the capital, representing more than 50 crafts, including leatherwork, ceramics and wood carving.
Returning to the capital for its fourth edition, the festival will bring together over 200 established and emerging makers, designers, brands and galleries from around the world, giving them all a moment in the spotlight.
The programme of events allows visitors to meet the makers, explore the latest and most innovative designs, and even get involved in some seriously cool workshops. There will be 70 exhibitions, 41 workshops, 87 talks and 61 live demonstrations taking place across the city.
With so much to chose from, it can be somewhat hard to navigate. We’ve cherry picked the not-to-be-missed highlights…
CRAFT SCOTLAND X HEALS
Heal’s is partnering with Craft Scotland to explore the work of those designers and makers based north of the border.
From Wednesday 9th to Sunday 13th May the designers and makers Lise Bech, Naomi Mcintosh, Jude Gove, Object Company and Myer Halliday, a current Heal’s collaborator, will be taking up residence at Heal’s Tottenham Court Road.
There’ll be demonstrations in Heal’s flagship store’s windows and host a workshops, including willow basket weaving with Lise Bech (9th & 10th May £40 per person)…
… pattern making with Myer Halliday (10th & 11th May for £35 per person), jewellery making with Naomi Mcintosh (11th and 12th May for £40 per person), leather purse making with Jude Gove (12th & 13th May £35 per person)…
… and spoon carving with Object Company (12th and 13th May £40 per person).
Pop into Liberty to see work by the winners and finalists of #LibertyOpenCall 2018. Over the past few weeks designers have been encouraged to upload a photo of their work to Instagram, using the hashtag #LibertyOpenCall, for a chance to have their pieces stocked in the Regent Street stalwart. The winner will be announced at the launch of London Craft Week and the winning design will be available to purchase.
This year’s Open Call highlighted how designers are increasingly choosing to promote and exhibit their works through social media, with buyers also turning to digital platforms to discover the newest and most exciting talent. Liberty London has championed new design since it first opened its doors in 1875 and this year’s competition continues that legacy.
The chosen winners will be revealed on Tuesday 8th May with Ashley Hicks presenting the awards and Laura Jackson revealing the famous Liberty window through Instagram. The remaining ten finalists will also be displayed at the event.
Finalists include Alex Chinneck’s playful broom design, Katch Skinner’s egg cups and Rūta Bart’s folksy ceramics.
THE ART OF BORO
In Japanese, there is a term called “mottainai” or “waste nothing”. It is the core value of Boro (or Japanese indigo patchwork), the practice of mending or patching textiles. Toast will be hosting an Art of Boro Workshop on 11th May, where guests will be able to learn the traditional Japanese art of Boro led by London-based sewing school and fabric shop Ray Stitch. During this workshop visitors will explore the history behind this technique and use layers of TOAST cloth and thread to stitch together a boro-inspired textile or will be able to repair or strengthen an item of clothing. Each session lasts one hour. No sewing experience necessary. One hour workshops held between 2-6pm on Friday 11th May, at TOAST, 191 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London. W11 2SB.
SOPHIE ASHBY’S PENINSULA COLLECTION
Sophie Ashby is unveiling a limited-edition furniture range with Greenwich Peninsula. Named the Peninsula Collection, the eclectic new design pieces have been created by Studio Ashby in partnership with five handpicked British craftspeople, and inspired by Greenwich Peninsula’s unique design-led riverside setting.
The collection will be on display in the stunning Sophie Ashby show apartment.
CARL HANSEN & SON X HIUT
Mid-century design icons have been given a denim facelift thanks to Carl Hansen & Søn and Hiut Denim’s take on Kaare Klint’s classic furniture. Kaare Klint’s iconic Propeller Stool (1930) and Safari Chair and Footstool (1933) are getting a new look, unveiled on the 10th May from 6pm to 9pm at 16a Bowling Green Lane London, EC1R 0BD.
There’s plenty of workshops and demonstrations going on at The Conran Shop, from live slip-casting to hand-painting textiles, ceramics. They’re partnering with LRNCE to host a live-painting demonstration where ceramicist Laurence Leenaert will be live-painting onto her beautiful ceramic vessels and textiles in The Conran Shop’s Chelsea store, showcasing her vibrant use of colour.
Meanwhile, award-winning ceramicist Billy Lloyd will be exhibiting his unique talents in slip-casting, exhibiting throughout Craft Week at The Conran Shop in Chelsea.
Creators of fine bone china tableware Feldspar will be demonstrating their skills in an in-store demonstration of the plaster moulding process at The Conran Shop’s Chelsea store. Viewers can watch as creations take on their initial forms, seeing moulds made and plaster poured and shaped, while getting an insight into what it takes to create Feldspar’s most elegant pieces.
Artisan tile makers Bert & May will be demonstrating the craftsmanship behind each piece from its exclusive collaboration with The Conran Shop. Each tile from The Conran Shop x Bert & May range is hand-poured in Spain by its fourth-generation artisan Spanish tile makers. The tiles are then dried and cured in the Spanish sun for two weeks, resulting in a beautiful raw nish that just gets better with age.
Stationery makers Scribble & Daub will be hand-painting letterpress card designs live in-store at The Conran Shop Selfridges for visitors to purchase, with card personalisation also on offer for an even more unique touch (10th May 2018, 2pm – 8pm).
Demonstrating the crafting process behind mono silkscreen printing, Make-Ready print studio will be joined by artist Saskia Pomeroy at The Conran Shop’s Chelsea store where visitors will be able to create an original print with multiple complex colour layers and shapes, inspired by the forms present in Pomeroy’s artworks.
Created by painting designs directly onto the open mesh of a silkscreen, each image is constructed by then passing a special utensil over the entire screen to transfer the image onto paper.
SCP are hosting terracotta throwing demonstrations on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May, from 11am – 12pm & 2pm – 3pm, where live demonstrations will take place from terracotta thrower Steve Harold, who is responsible for hand-making Kaneko’s SCP Terracotta Collection. The demonstrations will be taking place at SCP’s East London flagship store.
Spanish fashion brand Loewe show its 30 finalists for the second edition of the craft prize at London’s Design Museum. The multidisciplinary award sees artisans from 18 different countries come together in a celebration of contemporary craft.
On display from 4th May – 17th June 2018 as part of the London Craft Week programme, the LOEWE Craft Prize exhibition features all 30 finalists’ entries.
Spanning ceramics, jewellery, textiles, woodwork, glass, metalwork, furniture, papercraft and lacquer, the works function as a multigenerational snapshot of the range of excellence in craft today.
The London EDITION and London-based clothing label BRUTA are hosting an Arty Party open to the public on Wednesday 9th May at The London EDITION, to celebrate the outstanding creativity and budding craftsmanship in the capital.
Guests will be invited to let loose and get creative with paint, pencils and chalk. Arthur Yates—the founder of BRUTA —aims to share his love of art and traditional crafts and teach visitors an arty trick or two.
Arthur himself will open the drawing class with a few quick tips and guidelines, then guests will be putting paint to paper and get stuck in.
The Arty Party will run from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Tickets £15 here.