London Craft Week 2017

London Craft Week 2017

Our homes are increasingly paeans to fine craftsmanship as more of us fall the collecting bug, whether it's ceramics, glassware, art or woodwork that rouses our passion. So if you have a thing for craft, don't miss the upcoming London Craft Week

By Hari Alexander
Layne Rowe at work at London Glassblowing

Now in its third year, London Craft Week runs from 3-7 May, with some 230 events taking place across the city. Meet up-and-coming talent at work in their studios or visit the capital's finest buildings where some of the world's most prestigious luxury craft brands will be showing their wares and taking you through their production processes. Talks include Grayson Perry discussing his work with Prof Frances Corner at the London College of Fashion. Pictured above: Layne Rowe at work at London Glassblowing. londoncraftweek.com

Craft used to be word that conjured up images of homely activities done to, dare we say, not particuarly high standards... people making quirky things for fun to sell in the village hall sale. Today the word has undergone a volte-face and craft has come to mean highly skilled individuals using their hands to make products to exacting standards that can sell for very large sums of money.

To see the gamut of high end craft in the 21st century, check out the programme of some 230 events that make up this year's London Craft Week. It covers 55 disciplines including glassblowing, furniture making, book binding, leatherworking, siversmithing, ceramics and sculpture. Top ceramicists taking part incldue Matthew Raw who presents Clad, an exhibition that explores the roles we play in changing the nature of the areas we live in; while Kate Malone opens her north London studio to visitors and studio potter Julian Stair hosts visitors in his south London studio, where he'll talk through the process of makng a pot from clay to kiln. 

Delicate spinning tops by ceramicist David Marques of Cockpit Arts
Luxury brand Asprey shows the Meissen Butterfly tea set
Aquatopia by Katrin Sprange at Cockpit Arts, which offers artists studios in Deptford and Holborn
Cornish lighting and furniture maker Tom Raffield uses steam bent wood to make his designs

You can visit London Glassblowing's studios in Borough or head further south to Deptford and say hello to Blenheim Forge, where you can watch a knife-making demonstration. If printing interests you, don't miss the chance to look around letterpress studio New North Press in Hoxton, where the team will host a hands-on demonstration. And to celebrate the opening of its new store in Marylebone, the team of David Mellor, one of the UK's best loved makers of modern cutlery, has commissioned a unique table setting with pieces made by craftspeople the company has collaborated with over the years. 

David Mellor's new Marylebone store is showing a special table setting
Chairs by long established fine furniture brand Carl Hansen & Son
Bespoke lighting and furniture from Cox London
High end furniture brand Soane Britain is taking part in craft week

Craft from Scotland

The Caledonian Club in Belgravia is hosting Craft Scotland, an exhibition of work by some of the brilliant craftspeople working north of the border. See the furniture of Angus Ross, surface and tableware designer Jennifer Gray, among others. And Fife-based design studio Tom Pigeon presents Shipwreck at Fritz Hansen's showroom near Oxford Circus, which 'explores the  rhythms, shapes and colour of objects washed up on Scotland's beaches'.

And Norwich and Edinburgh-based artist Angie Lewis of the St Jude's fabric and wallpaper company will be leading a workshop on the craft of wood engraving and bookbinding at the London Centre of Book Arts in Hackney Wick, east London. 

International craft

LCW is a global event and you can also see craft from countries including Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, India, Norway, Denmark and Spain. Third generation Spanish flamenco and classical guitar maker Felipe Conde will be demonstrating his skills at Home House in the West End.

Brand is king

If you're a brand junkie, don't miss the chance to go behind the scenes with brands including Mulberry, Aston Martin, and Italy's Frette Linens. Mulberry's creative director, Johnny Coca, for example, is hosting a breakfast at Mulbuerry's showroom in Kensington where craftspeople fro its factories in Somerset will demonstrate their skills.

The V&A and the British Council are among major organisations taking part in the week and talks are taking place at some of the world's most recognisable buildings including The Houses of Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral. 

Billy Lloyd, ceramicist
Arjan van Dal ceramics
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Find a full timetable of events at www.londoncraftweek.com

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