Incongruously tucked away in a disused mews garage in the heart of Mayfair is The New Craftsmen pop-up shop. Founded in 2012, The New Craftsmen is a network of makers from the British Isles working in a variety of crafts including ceramics, basketry, glass blowing and textiles. What pulls them all together into a coherent collection is a shared contemporary take on traditional craft methods, the highest handmade quality, and a sustainable, deep connection with culture and place. Here's my pick of the best pieces available to buy from The Garage this festive season, and through The New Craftsmen online shop.
Potter Tim Hurn served an apprenticeship with John Leach, grandson of the "father of British pottery" Bernard Leach. Tim produces wood fired salt glaze pottery in his traditional Japanese 'Anagama', or 'cave' kiln, in Dorset. The firing process is time consuming, but this ancient method ensures that no two pots will be the same. The quality of the resulting pots illustrates the almost destructive effects of fire and salt on clay.
Originally trained in woven textiles, Hilary Burns weaves sculptural baskets with traditional techniques using her own grown willow, and hazel, oak and ash which is harvested locally to her studio in Devon.
I first came across glass blower Michael Ruh recently through his collaboration with one of my favourite textile designers, Sarah Campbell (see Sarah Campbell: Fabrics and Other Things). Working from his south London studio, Ruh creates exquisite handmade glass vessels, including these Roundy Tumblers - perfect for that Christmas tipple!
Clarity, purity and translucency are qualities that both glass and ceramic possess, and this fascinates maker Andrea Walsh. Her pieces, such as these faceted boxes, are formed of slip casting and kiln casting techniques, and every piece is then polished by hand. Some items are enriched with burnished gold.
Royal College of Art graduate Stuart Carey's highly individual, semi-porcelain stoneware is much sought after. His celebrated hand thrown tableware is available in a new colour range developed exclusively for The New Craftsmen.
The New Craftsmen Garage is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am - 6pm, with late night shopping until 8pm every Wednesday and Thursday. 14 Adams Row, London, Mayfair, London, W1K 2LA.