LONDON CRAFT WEEK (3-7 May) is an annual event that showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands.
I write a few paragraphs each year about London Craft Week (LCW) but third time around I think this needs to extend to a good few pages as this timely show has grown beyond all expectations. The classy brochure landed this week with 120 pages covering over 200 events, which are gathered together in one place for one magical week. Here’s a quick edit.
Gilding first captured my imagination when reading about Clare Mosley’s Parisian apartment in Elle Decoration. I wanted to move in with her Eglomise glass gilded objects. If you want to explore gilding at LCW then head to OCHRE on Thursday 4 May, 3.30-4.30pm where Helen Chislett is in conversation with OCHRE and master gilder Katharine Knight. Katharine shows the stages of traditional water gilding and gold leaf technique on OCHRE’s new Surya light. This is the most beautiful and skillful of all the applied gold leaf techniques. The light has a hand-turned green oak shade where the natural cracks of the timber enhanced by slithers of 22-carat gold inspired by the ancient art of Kintsugi.
If you have a passion for process and in particular the lost-wax casting technique then you have something in common with Christopher and Nicola Cox, who continue to push the boundaries of materials: bronze; silver; wrought iron; blown glass and cast stone. These designer-makers talk to journalist Henrietta Thompson on Wednesday 3 May at 5pm, discussing how to commission handmade lighting and furniture. Take a design journey from the inspirations, original drawings and artisan techniques to the finished limited-edition piece.
Why slow design matters is answered at FRONT who believe that waiting a few months for a bespoke rug is something to be celebrated. Discover the techniques, materials and processes behind the most sought after rugs in the world. Writer and author Emma Crichton-Miller and FRONT’s Creative Director Aigars Zelmenis discuss how to commission handmade rugs by award-winning designers Jan Kath, Michaela Schleypen and Zoe Luyendijk on Thursday 4 May, 6.30 -7.30pm.
Design writer Barbara Chandler works with leading creative agency Design-Nation to present an exhibition of work by over twenty of their members. The exhibition runs from 4-7 May and is themed around marks and tools of the maker. It includes Margo Selby’s woven artworks. Don’t miss Barbara’s in conversation with Margo Selby, Michael Ruh and Hannah Tounsend.
Margo Selby is a champion of British craft whose experimental approach to woven textiles has won her world acclaim. One area that Margo is most excited by is her ‘paintings with yarn’. These are hand-woven artworks using a technique called Lampas, which she learnt at Atelier National D’Art Textile in Paris. Recently the scale and ambition of these designs has developed into larger scale framed artworks. Each piece displays her fascination with the interaction between colour, proportion, texture and weave.
Neisha Crosland’s distinctive designs for textiles, wallpaper, rugs, flooring, tiles, homes and fashion, have won her international fame. At LCW she talks pattern to Lucie Hague, founder of online platform Beyond Bespoke, and takes guests on a special behind-the scenes tour of her private studio, garden and home. Glean an insight into the evolution of a pattern, from an idea through the creative process to the finished product and receive a signed copy of her new book ‘Life of a Pattern’ on Thursday 4 May, 10am-12pm and 2-4pm.
In her story in Sunday times Home, Katrina Burroughs commented that ‘in the era of “buying less but better” craft is king.’
Fall under the spell of the handmade here