COVER guide to London Craft Week
Next month the British capital will come alive with the annual celebration of art, craft, and design that is London Craft Week. A curated programme of events will take place across London, 8-12 May 2019, offering guests exclusive access to exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops involving over 240 established and emerging makers, designers, brands and galleries from around the world.
London Craft Week has much to offer in terms of contemporary textiles, textile making and dyeing. Textile makers to watch out for include: Lora Avedian, Celia Pym, Christopher Ræburn, Claire Felicity Miller, Ekta Kaul, Harijan Tejshibhai Dhana, Jessica Pile, Lalita Vakil, Lizzie Deshayes and Tim Butcher of Fromental, Margo Selby, Helen Yardley, Fung & Bedford, Anna Gravelle, Angie Parker, Georgia Bosson, Jacky Puzey and Jacqueline James.
For the duration of LCW, Battersea Power Station hosts a large-scale woven installation by Monica Cass of par-avion co. and Claire Potter of the Brighton based circular economy studio, Claire Potter Design. The two designers have transformed construction waste from the Power Station’s Phase II construction site into an intricately woven structure, reminiscent of the handwoven seats from par-avion co.’s sustainable furniture range. The resulting piece acts as a commentary on the inevitable contribution of construction waste to our landfills, and highlights the sustainable efforts of Mace Group (the primary contractor for Phase II) to reduce this impact with their ‘100% diversion from landfill’ commitment. Monica and Claire will discuss the impact of construction waste on landfills and the efforts of Mace Group’s sustainability team to combat this in a talk, 10:00-11:30 on Thursday 9 May.
Curated by Oxo Tower Wharf and Coin Street, The Future of Craft at the Bargehouse presents a carefully selected line-up of innovative and forward-thinking craft organisations, practitioners and collectives, including project collaborators Design-Nation and Future Icons. Visitors can discover new projects, installations and collaborations, over five floors, by trailblazing makers working in textiles, furniture, ceramics, lighting, metal and interior accessories. Showcases by Design-Nation include installations from Margo Selby, Helen Yardley, Fung & Bedford, Anna Gravelle, and Angie Parker. Elsewhere in the building, a display from Future Icons features Christabel Balfour, Richard McVetis, and Barnaby Goode. Alongside the curated displays, a talks programme tackles topics such as the role of craft in communities and how craft skills are used outside the world of object production. There is also the chance for visitors to get involved with hands-on craft workshops and demonstrations organised by Yodomo. Oxo Tower Wharf is home to over 25 designer-maker open studios, many of which are hosting special London Craft Week events or displays.
Southeast London makers, Chloe Phelps and Rachael Pilston have organised a curated showcase of fifty makers’ works at ‘Peckham Craft Show: An Annual Celebration of Modern Craft‘, including tapestries by Christabel Balfour. From natural dying to still-life drawing, maker hosted workshops will be held in the exhibition space, a selection of which are free to take part in. A private view is held on Thursday 9 May.
In collaboration with Injiri, Bamford are to host a two-part event exploring hand weaving and embroidery. An edited Injiri collection will be available in their South Audley store, alongside an exhibition showcasing how each item is woven and embroidered by hand using traditional Indian textiles and techniques. Axelle Faes Cortes will teach some basic hand embroidery techniques, inspired by the Injiri collection, in an intimate (sold out) hand embroidery masterclass.
FRONT London is the first handmade rug showroom in the UK to exclusively represent the world-renowned Jan Kath, Zoe Luyendijk and Michaela Schleypen. They are now honoured to also represent the award-winning rug maker Lila Valadan. Join Lila as she talks about the production of her Iranian rugs: the women who make them, the natural materials they use and the philosophy behind their craft.
Scottish knitwear brand Pringle offer a demonstration of hand intarsia–one of the most intricate and traditional knitting techniques–along with the opportunity to sample Scottish whisky, as you browse its latest menswear and womenswear collections.
PINCH and Mourne Textiles launch their collaborative collection of wall hangings and cushions, LUACHANNA. Visit the PINCH Bourne Street shop for the master weaver and legacy loom demonstrations on 8 and 9 May at 10:00 and 14:00. Booking not necessary, admission is free.
The Contemporary Applied Arts’ ‘Birth of Flowers’ exhibition will feature a retrospective of textile and jewellery artist Annie Sherburne. A hands-on embroidery workshop and talk with textile artist Ekta Kaul (who’s ‘story maps’ complement the ‘Birth of Flowers’ display) can be booked in advance for 11 May, 10:30 – 13:00.
North London fabric shop, haberdashery and sewing school Ray Stitch, will offer the chance to take part in creative textile and stitch workshops.
‘Exploring Wellbeing Through Making’ is this year’s theme for a programme of talks, workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions at Craft Central during London Craft Week. Don’t miss Celia Pym, as she discusses her visible mending of textiles as an art and her residency at King’s College London in the opening night talk, Damage and Repair. Pop into Stitch School to learn embroidery and help make a specially commissioned ‘Supper Cloth’, or learn from Asha Buch’s talk on Wellbeing through Ethical Practice in Textiles, a short history of the Gandhian approach to handcrafts, local and sustainable practices from India.
Fermoie and Dudgeon Sofas invite you to experience their collaborative film, celebrating British craft and the journey of textile printing and upholstery from start to finish. Meet the team and enjoy an exclusive preview of Fermoie’s Tented Stripe collection, upholstered on Dudgeon’s Somerset armchair, at the Fermoie showroom on Pimlico Road.
The Hiut Denim Company was launched to bring textile manufacturing back home to Cardigan in Wales, and to use the skills on their doorstep. Hosted by the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales in Whitehall, Hiut Denim break down the process of making a jean and discuss how they are getting their town making jeans again.
British interior designer, Rose Uniacke will explore the application of fabrics in her Pimlico Road showroom, including her new collection of hand-printed fabrics, across traditional upholstery, soft furnishings, wall coverings and curtains.
An exhibition currently on show at Japan House London, ‘Living Colours: Kasane – The Language of Japanese Colour Combinations’ focuses on natural dyeing techniques and the age-old art of kasane, the creation of Japanese colour combinations. It shines a spotlight on the guardians of this tradition, the Yoshioka Dyeing Workshop, a 200-year-old family-run company based in Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto. The exhibition continues until Sunday 19 May.
Sheelagh Boyce and Annabelle Harty will hand quilt, using local architecture as inspiration, at Hoi Polloi in Shoreditch. Their quilts incorporate loved garments from chefs Fergus and Margot Henderson, architect Brian Henderson, architect Stephen Harty and artist Martin Boyce.
Ermenegildo Zegna will stage a wool inspired installation in its New Bond Street store; the material is at the heart of the brand’s heritage and innovations today.
‘Blue Innovations’ will highlight the creative potential and established craftsmanship of indigo textile-printing production in the Czech Republic at Czech Centre London, where designer and maker Alice Klouzkova will talk about indigo printing techniques and lead a workshop using indigo-dyed material to create fashion accessories.
A preview of India Craft Week at the Nehru Centre London will showcase the diverse skills found in five different Indian states. Expect Pashmina weaving, Rogan textile art, Chamba Rumaal double-side embroidery, Kagzi pottery making, Bidri metal carving and inlay, and the epic legends of Phad, narrative folk art. Hands-on demonstrations will offer the opportunity to explore your creativity through traditional techniques.
Coal Drops Yard has commissioned BUAISOU to produce an installation of handmade and hand dyed indigo flags, using traditional Japanese techniques (on show until Thursday 30 May). Alongside the installation, the BUAISOU team will be hosting a series of dyeing workshops in KIOSK N1C, and London-based artists, architects and designers association STORE, will host a series of five public dyeing workshops run by some of the most exciting designers working in the UK.