The pleasure of hand-made objects derives from seeing them up close, so rescheduling London Craft Week from its usual May slot has paid off in terms of being able to appreciate some exceptional artisanship, as well as meet the makers and see them in action. Here are the highlights
The Natural Room
Until 7 November, weekdays 10am-6pm. Sarah Myerscough Gallery, 1 White Hart Lane London SW13 0PX
Sarah Myerscough’s stable of makers has a particular focus on natural materials, and her autumn show plays to these strengths, with slow grown, organic materials in the spotlight. The Natural Room features work by the likes of Fernando Laposse, whose extravagantly hairy benches are made from sisal, the raw fibres from the leaves of the agave plant. Traditionally used to make ropes and fishing nets in Mexico, sisal was quickly superseded by plastic, but Laposse seeks to give it a new purpose. Also on show are Laura Ellen Bacon’s contemporary take on willow weaving, Luke Fuller’s scaly stoneware and porcelain sculpture, and Gareth Neal’s furniture, which combines digital processes with hand-making.
Ceramic Landscapes: A Show from Norway
30 September-14 November, Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm. Flow Gallery, 1-5 Needham Road London W11 2RP
Beloved of west London collectors, Yvonna Demczynska’s gallery recently celebrated 20 years in business. The space is focusing on two experimental ceramicists from Norway for London Craft Week. Nina Malterud creates wall-mounted plates that go through a laboured making process, with multiple firings and layers of glaze, resulting in surfaces with depth and luminosity; while Astrid Sleire makes – as the show’s title, Ceramic Landscapes, suggests – individual ceramic components, arranged in dialogue with one another. While their techniques may vary, the pair share a similar approach through texture and colour, and their embrace of the imperfect. The show is supported by the Norwegian Embassy.
30 September-10 October, 11am-5pm. Quadrant Arcade, 82 Regent Street London W1B 5HB
This multidisciplinary selling show is one of London Craft Week’s flagship events, with emerging makers and established artists both represented. Guest curators including Martin Brudnizki, Yinka Ilori and Kristen de le Vaillière have made their own selection of work, and should offer intriguingly contrasting perspectives on what craft means to them. Makers to look out for include Jan Hendzel, who recently made a series of idiosyncratic valet stands for Hertfordshire hotel Birch, profiled for Design Anthology UK here; Esther Cox, who makes abstract mixed-media collages layered with colourful paint; and Vic Wright, whose cast sculptures revel in contrasting one surface or material with another.
A Journey to Mexico
30 September-8 October, 10am-6pm. Revolution of Forms, 105 Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8PH
Founded by former Christie’s design expert Raffaella Goffredi and her partner Stephen Smith, new online gallery Revolution of Forms is dedicated to craft originating in Mexico. It is marking its launch with an accompanying physical show, featuring handmade ceramics and textiles, much of which has not been shown in London before. Look out for the glossy black pottery made by Colectivo 1050, a sustainable non-profit based in Oaxaca; a textile wall-hanging by Arudeko, made in collaboration with highly skilled weavers from Teotitlán del Valle, also in Oaxaca; and Onora’s pit-fired terracotta vessels. The gallery is on Pimlico Road, where a wealth of other design and interiors showrooms are hosting talks and demonstrations for London Craft Week, including Ochre, Cox London and Collier Webb.
Until 30 October, Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm. Unit 70, Burlington Arcade, London W1J 0QJ
The smart surroundings of Piccadilly’s Burlington Arcade play host to this pop-up gallery. Future Icons founder Louisa Pacifico has amassed a broad stable of makers from the world of jewellery, furniture, art and homewares, and has become a go-to contact for in-the-know professional buyers – so this show is a way to acquire some sought-after pieces before they make it to top stores. Hand-dyed veneer boxes by Kevin Stamper, appliqué artwork by Claire Coles and ceramics by recent RCA graduate Judy McKenzie make this a particularly colourful stop-off. Still within Burlington Arcade, luggage aficionado Globe-Trotter also has a special display for London Craft Week, showing the results of a collaboration with Vitale Barberis Canonico, one of Italy’s oldest fabric mills.
30 September-2 October and 5 October-8 October, 9.30am-6pm. SCP, 135 Curtain Road London E16 GW
SCP’s Curtain Road showroom windows are shining a spotlight on a different maker each month throughout the autumn, with London-based glassmaker Jochen Holz in the frame for London Craft Week. Holz’s irregular objects are made using a lampworking technique, where a torch rather than a furnace is used to heat the glass. It’s more commonly used to make scientific instruments – Holz’s raw material is ready-made borosilicate glass tubes, but fashioned into something much more human and engaging than your average test tube.
The Weaverly Way
30 September-8 October 2020, 10am-8pm. CitizenM Bankside, 10 Lavington Place London SE1 0NZ
Singaporean textile weaver Tiffany Loy has teamed up with heritage fabric house Gainsborough to create an installation for CitizenM Bankside. Loy’s textiles are decidedly three-dimensional, and the installation sees her reinterpreting and exaggerating a silk jacquard to create something more sculptural than the flat fabrics that might be expected from a traditional weaver.
10 October. Online at www.createday.org
It wouldn’t be 2020 without some kind of ‘phygital’ hybrid aspect to the event, and London Craft Week has devised an ambitious virtual finale. Billed as “24 hours of non-stop human ingenuity, imagination, diversity and skills from around the globe,” Create Day is an online open studios programme featuring 300 makers unlocking their doors, which rolls out in real time starting in the early hours of 10 October with participants in Asia before moving across time zones, finishing up in North America. Expect demonstrations, tutorials, tips and tours, from big names such as Tom Dixon and Thomas Heatherwick and independent talent such as silversmith Ndidi Ekubia and milliner Noel Stewart.