London Craft Week returns to the capital this May for its fifth edition, presenting an exceptional showcase of craftsmanship and creativity from around the globe. Once again this unique and ambitious event is supported by headline sponsors dunhill and Purdey.
Unfolding at hundreds of venues across the city, the one-of-a-kind festival creates a raft of opportunities to interact with leading craftspeople, thought leaders, brand figureheads, critics and artists, with a packed schedule of talks, workshops, exhibitions and creative encounters.
Over five days, more than 240 established and emerging makers, designers, heritage and contemporary brands and galleries from around the world invite the public to venture on a journey of discovery behind the scenes to explore the people, processes and materials behind exceptional products, garments, artworks and other crafted objects.
Spanning fragrance and furniture, couture and calligraphy, jewellery and ceramics, the festival is a wide-ranging platform for artists and makers in every sector, working both in the UK and internationally. From globally renowned institutions and revered retailers to cult design studios, social enterprise and maker spaces, London Craft Week unites diverse and iconic venues in a city-wide tribute to creative excellence, including: The V&A and the Royal Academy of Arts to Zegna and MATCHESFASHION.COM; The Conran Shop and Carl Hanson to The Italian Cultural Institute and MADE IN JAPAN PROJECT.
This year’s London Craft Week programme seeks to underline London’s status as a vibrant hub of international craft, encompassing makers of all sizes and scales, from the studios of celebrated masters to the hidden workshops of little-known producers.
Confirmed highlights include:
A huge selection of independent makers 2019 sees some of the most exciting names in modern making taking part, including:
Furniture artist Yinka Ilori redesigning a Nine Elms railway bridge;
Rush weaver Felicity Irons collaborating with kitchen cabinet company British Standard;
Sculptor Lucille Lewin opening up her home studio for a talk with rakesprogressmagazine;
Ceramicist Matthew Raw leading a series of workshops at the Barbican Centre, giving participants the chance to have their own work exhibited during London Craft Week;
Textile artist Lora Avedian in residence at Leighton House Museum;
Meanwhile, The Portuguese Ambassador’s Residence will host Vista Alegre and Bordallo Pinheiro, two of the country’s most celebrated ceramics companies, while events with The Italian Cultural Institute and Italian Trade Authority will position Italy as a country of focus for 2019.
Japan House, which opened in summer 2018, explores fashion, textiles, art and cuisine, while historic department store Heal’s presents the UK debut of work by makers from the Gifu area. The design shop Wagumi will host a workshop/demonstration focused on Kintsugi – the art of repairing broken pottery with metallic lacquer.
Dedicated Destinations As in previous years, galleries, retailers and studios in various areas of the city will come together to collaborate and mutually explore specific craft themes. Pimlico Road favourites including Daylesford, Robert Kime, Rose Uniacke, Cox London, Jamb and Carl Hansen & Søn present a range of interior events on the theme ‘Crafting Interiors’. Mount Street brands such as Pringle, MATCHESFASHION.COM and Christian Louboutin will collaborate with artists to create newly commissioned artworks curated by Wood Society of the Arts.
‘Sloane Street: Defining Luxury’ sees the legendary thoroughfare’s shops come together for a series of in-store events examining the dramatic transformations in the luxury sector that have taken place in recent decades. Businesses such as Fortnum & Mason, Floris and D.R. Harris & Co from across St James’s London will explore the five senses of craft through A Sensory Journey.
Hands-on making opportunities Every day of London Craft Week provides new possibilities to try your hand at any number of crafts, such as upcycling Burberry leather with sustainable luxury brand Elvis & Kresse, courtesy of The Room Service and Plain English; hand-making Anish Kapoor-inspired mirrors at Pizhanger Gallery, and taking part in a mass upholstery ‘Make-a-thon’ charity event at Shoreditch Design Rooms.
The full programme of 240+ events will be published on the London Craft Week website in March 2019.