Your Pocket Guide To London Craft Week

by SHOWstudio on 13 May 2024

From explorations into digital craft to a magical journey through scent with Floris Perfumery, these are the London Craft Week events to have on your radar.

From explorations into digital craft to a magical journey through scent with Floris Perfumery, these are the London Craft Week events to have on your radar.

Exhibition

Vessel: An Exploration into Digital Craft

13 - 17 May

Many moons ago, the words 'craftsmanship' and 'digital art' were anything but synonymous, particularly to those desperate to keep AI out of the conversation. But what if we were to say digital craft is art, and digital tools are as important as oil paint was during art's Renaissance period?

Looking to reiterate just that, one of the first events rejoicing in London Craft Week’s 10th anniversary is the exhibition Vessel, which sees material, lighting and form combine in an ambitious edition of 1,000 unique artworks. Offering a glimpse into a future where craft is just as much digital as it is physical, the exhibition pulls into focus the role of digital tools and techniques when it comes to the highest standard of making in 2024.

Courtesy Vessel Gallery

Exhibition

In Bloom: An Exhibition With Browns Fashion and SEEDS Gallery

13 - 18 May

Florals for spring? No, it may not be a ground-breaking concept but boy is it a popular fashion trend that keeps coming back around year in, year out. The florals we care about? Browns Fashion and SEEDS Gallery have collaborated on a boutique-wide exhibition that unearths the roots of two innovative artists’ explorations of spring themes in full bloom. Although, these aren't flowers in the literal sense of the word, or even flowers at all, the idea of growth and renewal will always speak volumes when relating to contemporary art practises. Think artistic expression that sits at the intersection of fashion, art, and design. Think what craft redefined means today. From James Shaw’s 'Plastic Baroque', which challenges the notion of waste; to intricate sculptures by Elodie Blanchard, the master of harmonious textile artistry breathing new life into discarded fabrics, Browns Fashion invite you to journey throughout both artists' curated spaces as their own work echoes the reinvigorating narratives of Browns' seasonal sartorial updates.

Image courtesy SEEDS Gallery

Event

Selfridges X London Craft Week

13 - 19 May

Your favourite handbag has a hole from wear and tear? The seam on your most worn pair of jeans has unravelled? Don't sweat it, just mend it! That's the mantra Selfridges is adopting this London Craft Week with their new permanent RESELFRIDGES destination in the Accessories Hall, highlighting the makers and innovators using creativity and craftsmanship to repurpose, reuse and repair unwanted items and waste materials. Scrap greenwashing, this is really a new way of living. After all, who can afford to buy new clothes in this economy? And, if you really are looking for something new this summer, make sure it's a cop from RESELFRIDGES, who are celebrating their new initiative with a series of demonstrations featuring specialist craft techniques and innovative new ways of making. Makers include: Tessa Silva, All Day Goods, Celia Pym, Ciara Bowles, Lucie Gledhill, Blast Studio, embroiderers from The Kings Foundation and Anabela Chan.

Pastry Bag Blanket detail. Accessory by Celia Pym

Exhibition

Another Excuse at Charles Burnand Gallery

13 May - 28 June

Glassblower Fredrik Nielsen's raw, abstract expressions saw him emerge as a LOEWE International Craft Prize finalist in 2022, now, the artist's got an exhibition all of his own. Titled Another Excuse, Nielsen's singular approach to glass sculpture will go on show at the Charles Burnand Gallery until end of June, with the exhibition title purposefully symbolising both a 'reason' and an 'excuse' for creating art. Presenting several works that represent new directions for his practice including hand-blown neon, Neilsen's unconventional approach to glassmaking is stripped bare for viewers to marvel, beady eyed et al. 'My process is like that of a scientist, and my work is like an excavation' Nielsen said in a statement to press... a truth we can only back. Why don't you come along and see for yourself?

Artwork by Frederik Nielsen for 'Another Excuse' Exhibition

Event

Cromwell Place

14 - 19 May

Cromwell Place has an incredibly rich artistic history. With painters like Pre-Raphaelite John Everett Millais and Francis Bacon having their studios there... it's no surprise the building has gone on to become a destination for métiers d’art, and it's London Craft Week programme proves just that. Spanning craft, art, design, and luxury, Cromwell Place's planned events put emphasis on the the material, the maker, the process and the inspiration, shining a light on the creative talent behind some of the world’s most beautiful objects. Exhibitions include Today's Masters Meet Tomorrow’s Talents, Fine Craft by Soluna, Ethereal Nature and Hidden Gem, while various talks and events look to shape tomorrow's craft future.

Image courtesy Cromwell Place

Panel Discussion

Fashion and the Female Tailors of Saville Row

14 May, 18:30 - 20:00

We've heard of the male Saville Rowe great but what about the female tailors? In a discussion supported by The Pollen Estate, leading Savile Row female tailors Ruby Slevin, Kathryn Sargent, Nina Penlington come together with fashion editor and stylist Catherine Hayward for a conversation moderated by The Times' Hannah Rogers, debating all things made-to-measure. From the meteoric rise of bespoke female tailoring to why people care about the cloth they wear, this is a conversation not to be missed.

Savile Row, Courtesy British Fashion Council

Event

Secret Ceramics at SoShiro Gallery

15 - 19 May, 10:00 - 17:00

Kicking off a jam-packed London Craft Week schedule is the charity initiative Secret Ceramics; an event bound to attract anyone who's up for a gamble regarding whose art they buy. Featuring more than 100 single-stem vessels created by an exciting mix of leading artist-makers (Yinka Ilori, Nicholas Daley, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Henry Holland) as well as lesser-known talents (graduates included), buyers are instructed to go off their instincts and purchase the art that they're first drawn to - with the maker's name only revealed afterwards. The event - in partnership with FiredUp4 - acts as a celebration of London Craft Week's 10th anniversary and encourages people to hone in on beauty and beauty alone rather than a never-ending attempt at guessing the maker behind the works, all of which will be sold at a firmly fixed price of £300. The project will support the opening of a new FiredUp4 ceramic studio in White City, enabling young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to experience the power of working with clay. For more information, click here.

Secret Ceramics at SoShiro Gallery

Guided Tour

Behind the Scenes Heritage Perfumery Tour At Floris Perfumery and Museum

15 May, 12:00 - 13:00

What notes do you think Oscar Wilde liked in his perfume? Vanilla and Jasmine? Tobacco and Leather? However you envision the literary great, Floris Perfumery in St James' is set to take visitors on a journey through nearly three centuries of fragrance history, including a special demonstration on blending the 'Wilde' perfume, inspired by Oscar Wilde's scent.

Courtesy Floris Perfumery

Exhibition

Artisanal Intelligence

17 - 19 May, 11:00 - 17:00

If this year's London Craft Week was about one thing and one thing only, it's that AI is here to stay and that's only a good thing. Want to revive ancient crafts? Students from Imperial College London are saying to look no further than AI in their latest exhibition Artisanal Intelligence, where they've partnered up Park Royal Makers to explore how to do just that plus offer up ideas as to how new technologies can draw inspiration from the past. Designed around the spirit of research and development, the exhibition traces a series of works from the beginning, middle and end of their journey to delight in the process of making and what that truly looks like. At the root of it all? Collaboration isn't going anywhere.

Artwork by Frederik Nielsen for 'Another Excuse' Exhibition
Secret Ceramics at SoShiro Gallery
Secret Ceramics at SoShiro Gallery

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