As a concept, the sensory traditional of craft doesn’t lend itself to the virtual world we are currently living in, yet its slow-paced, thoughtful approach is one that is much needed right now. Returning for its sixth edition, London Craft Week mindfully supports makers this year through a handful of interesting initiatives.

London Craft Week founder Guy Salter is launching Create Day for 2020, a global digital feature that he had been thinking up for a while. The one day event (10 October) highlights the act of creation and creativity around the world. Each region gets a chunk of time, and for this, curator Rue Kothari and designer Mira Hawa have produced a series of films in support of the design community in Beirut following the disaster that tore down many studios and creative spaces.

‘Rebuild BEIRUT: promoting Lebanese creativity’ will showcase the sheer resilience of six designers, Sayar Garibeh, Anastasia Nysten, Karen Chekerdjian, Bokja, Cynthia Raffoul and Anastasia Elrouss. ‘We had originally approached over 30 designers to participate in this project,’ Kothari and Hawa say. ’So many told us that their ateliers had been destroyed, along with their archives, and several were suffering personal injury and loss. The challenges were simply too great. We truly thank them for their consideration and are grateful to these final six for having produced or collated footage for Create Day - in order to keep the spotlight on Beirut as it continues the fundraising effort to rebuild the city.’

Sayar & Garibeh studio
Sayar & Garibeh studio after Beirut blast

Sayar & Garibeh studio before and after the Beirut blast

In the spirit of underpinning the maker industry, Holly Wood curates ‘300 Objects: An Inaugural exhibition for Modern Day Patron,’ inside Quadrant Arcade that features an array of emerging talents championed by a panel of guest curators including designer interior architect Martin Brudnizki and design curator Kristen de le Vaillière.

‘We wanted to broaden the conversations around contemporary craft that doesn’t always feel represented,’ says Wood of the motivation behind the exhibition. Meandering through the Charlotte Taylor-designed space were designs by the likes of London-based Simone Brewster who was selected by Alice Fisher and Cockpit Arts-based wood artist Darren Appiagyei who was chosen by Yinka Ilori. Nottingham-based designer Mac Collins was also chosen by Ilori, and on display was his powerful new orange stained white timber chairs, made in collaboration with British manufacturer Benchmark.

Tiffany Low
‘The Weaverly Way’ by Tiffany Loy at CitizenM Bankside

Elsewhere works by south east London-based Jan Hendzel and fascinating vessels and mirrors made from industrial waste materials by Charlotte Kidger also decorated the laboratory of experimental making.

Making waves in the weaving world is Royal College of Art MA graduate Tiffany Loy who has realised ’The Weaverly Way’ – a project produced alongside British brand, Gainsborough Weaving. The spatial sculpture work lands in the centre of the CitizenM’s wooden staircase as a solid structure, tipifying the three-dimensionality of jacquard weaving.

Burlington Arcade Future Icons
Future Icons at Burlington Arcade

Elsewhere inside Burlington Arcade, 14 craft practitioners went on view throughout the retail space in a collaboration with Future Icons, a project promotes a select collection of design and craft led businesses. Here, the public were able book in meetings with the makers to discuss processes and inspirations.

With this year‘s edition being postponed from May, the event’s founder Guy Salter expresses that ’I was determined we stuck with it because London remains a very important creative hub.’ In the virtual press preview, both him and managing director Jonathan Burton expressed they aim to encourage individuals to buy the works of these independent makers, Salter said, ’we wanted to show how we put the well known and the less well known together, illustrating the vision we have that people nowadays want to discover new talent.’ §