‘It brings not only different disciplines, but different cultures together’ said fashion designer Hussein Chalayan during the opening of London Craft Week at the Victoria and Albert Museum last week. From Korea to Italy, fashion to ceramics, food to yachts, this genre-busting buzz spanned 200 events across the city, shining the spotlight on makers.
Now entering its third year, there was certainly a special buzz with the likes of Loewe, Smythson and Burberry all hosting interactive demonstrations on site during the week, while Edmund De Waal scooped the London Craft Week Medal. ‘Our rapid growth is a testament to the capital’s continued entrepreneurialism, diversity and openness to new ideas and visitors,’ noted London Craft Week chairman Guy Salter.
Innovative ceramics were on display at the Korean Cultural Centre exploring the connection between traditional and contemporary craft, from the tools used, through to modern porcelain pieces. Meanwhile at The New Craftsmen, young talent Leah Jensen experimented with a new technique of pinning and carving patterns to create geometric vessels.
‘Saw dust’ vessels, by Elliot Denny, for Simple Shape
In south London, British craftsmen including Sebastian Cox and Luke Hope came together to create the ultimate dinner setting at Simple Shape’s exhibition, while chef and food stylist Olivia Bennett crafted a ‘Stay Home’ menu to match the pieces. Other notable gastronomic events took place across town too: Aquavit hosted a Nordic dinner with Flow gallery, while Mark Hill presented mid-century Murano glassworks at Veneta.
Collaboration was the name of the game at London Craft Week. Over at The Hospital Club, the likes of Sebastian Herkner, Dimitri Bahler, and Raw-Edges all worked with a different artisan for the first time, exploring new making methods. Fresh artistic couplings were also on view in the windows at Harrods for its ‘Art Partners’ project. The partnerships spanned different crafts: interiors brand Visionnaire joined forces with designer Alessandro La Spada; bed specialists ViSpring teamed up with fashion brand Missoni; and fashion designer Elie Saab paired up with The Rug Company.
Multiple talks also took place around town including one at Café Royal where our very own design editor Rosa Bertoli sat down with Lee Broom to discuss the connection between designing and making.