The ninth edition of London Craft Week is taking place from 8–14 May 2023, offering an abundance of workshops, exhibitions and talks that are perfect for anyone with an interest in design and crafts. In this article we’ve selected ten events that rug and textile lovers should not miss.
Designer and weaver Nancy Nicholson will present an exploration of design and storytelling, as well as the role textiles have played in cultures all over the world. View the new collection of rugs and wall hangings by Nancy Nicholson Studios at The Mercantile in Spitalfields during London Craft Week.
‘Demonstrations with Vandra Rugs Weavers’
Sinclair Till is hosting Ukrainian weavers Alina Zvizdetska and Viktoria Ahatieva at their Pimlico storefront for the duration of London Craft Week. The ‘Vandra Rugs’ weavers will lead a series of demonstrations where they will impart details about the techniques involved in handcrafting rugs.
‘Aiveen Daly at British Pullman’
Aiveen Davy’s incredible work with textiles have gained her a reputation as one of London’s leading specialist textile artists. She will showcase some of her ethereal pieces on board the British Pullman as part of a VIP journey during London Craft Week.
Showcasing Qatari Al Sadu textiles and woodcarving, the ‘Crafts of Qatar’ exhibition, presented by Caravene Earth Foundation, is an excellent opportunity to learn about Qatar’s culture and traditional crafts. A talk will be held alongside the exhibition at 11am on 13 May.
Celebrating the art of contemporary weaving, ‘Warped’ will be held at the Sarabande Foundation from 12–14 May. The exhibition is an amalgamation of weavings from three studio residents, influenced by different artistic disciplines. Jeweller Megan Brown, interdisciplinary artist Anouska Samms and designer Martina Spetlova use a variety of materials in the execution of their pieces, ranging from human hair to precious metals. The show also includes an interactive loom installation, which is ‘purposefully designed to function as a collective tool’, whereby visitors are encouraged to engage in conversation while working on a piece of material on the loom.
Vanderhund’s ‘Sands of Time’ will be held at its Notting Hill Studio and will display Christine Van Der Hurd’s previously unseen personal embroidery archive to the public. There will also be an installation of pieces from the brands first 2023 collection. The exhibition is open from 10am–5pm throughout London Craft Week.
The Tangible Project is an exhibition of new work by eight artists that is being launched for London Craft Week. The underlying theme of the exhibition is ‘touch’, and since ‘hands exploring materials are the lifeblood of artists’, a variety of media have been used in the exhibition. Sharon Grifin from the Tangible Project explains that ‘Joining forces has been incredibly invigorating and inspiring for us all and we’re looking forward to engaging with visitors at Tangible and sharing our passion to connect through our hands and touch.’ Visitors will be able to view the work of Jacqueline James, award-winning textile artist who creates custom rugs for public and private interiors. Shown above is her hand woven textile that will be exhibited as part of the project.
‘Kumihimo: Japanese Silk Braiding’
‘Kumihimo: Japanese Silk Braiding’ by DOMYO is showing at Japan House in London until 11 June 2023. This exhibition explores the past, present and future for kumihimo (joining threads together): an intricate, decorative braided cord from Japan, characterised by vivid colours and intricate patterns. The exhibition will be open for the entirety of London Craft Week and visiting hours are from 10am–8pm.
‘Material Beings’ is an artist-led exhibition curated by Forest and Found that ‘pushes the conceptual nature of craft practice through a radical rethinking of materiality’. The exhibition will be held in the Lavery Studio at Cromwell Palace.
‘LEAD From the Heart’ is a window exhibition showcasing rugs that were co-designed by 24 artisan weavers from Jaipur Rugs Foundation and 24 Weave students from the BA Textile Design at Central Saint Martins. The exhibition is showing until 15 May at the Window Galleries, Central Saint Martins and there will be a rug collection launch/story-telling event on 12 May from 4.30pm–7pm. Rug knotting workshops will be held at the same venue on 13 and 15 May from 10am–5pm.