London Craft Week 2023 Highlights
Spotlighting creativity from the capital and beyond, London Craft Week (8–14 May 2023) is the city’s chance to show its mettle as a vital hub for making and collecting. Discover up-and-coming names or see the work of major figures from the craft industry, and find out how they work via talks, demonstrations and tours
Pimlico Road Design District
Various dates and times across London Craft Week; Pimlico Road, London SW1W
Pimlico Road is the sweet spot where craft and interior design meet, with several of the area’s showrooms mounting special shows and events around London Craft Week. Head to Pinch to see work by Emily Campbell of Pemberton Qwilts, who takes a modern, graphic approach to traditional quilt-making. Twentieth-century Nordic design specialist Modernity is showing the work of Danish-Italian ceramic artist Sandra Davolio, whose ethereal objects look impossibly delicate and translucent for porcelain; while de Le Cuona is giving a platform to Zena Holloway, whose extraordinary, coral-like pieces are made from wheatgrass roots, trained into moulds.
10-14 May, 10am-6pm Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm Sunday. Cromwell Place, SW7 2JE
South Kensington’s Cromwell Place is one of the main hubs of London Craft Week, with several shows happening in this multi-galleried venue. Max Bainbridge and Abigail Booth of Forest + Found have curated Material Beings, an exploration of the physicality of the material world, and the more conceptual side of craft; Forest + Found say that the show “allows space for the materials themselves to permeate our minds and question where our sense of self ends and the physical world begins.” The pair’s work will be on show – Bainbridge works with timber, while Booth is a textile artist – alongside names including leatherworker Frances Pinnock; Alida Kuzemczak-Sayer, who creates tactile, feathery wall-hangings from Japanese paper; and ceramic artist Chloé Rosetta Bell. Cromwell Place is also hosting a show dedicated to the work of ceramicist Dahye Jeong, winner of the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize 2022 (showcased for the first time outside of South Korea), plus weaving from Taiwan, Indian textiles and garments by Raw Mango, and much more.
9-13 May, Tuesday-Saturday 9.30am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm. SCP, 135 Curtain Road, EC2A 3BX
Amsterdam-based Floris Wubben’s work is instantly recognisable. His monumental-looking ceramics, made by extruding clay through machines he designed himself, manage to look crafted, primitive and industrial all at once. SCP will host a show of some new, large-scale pieces, and Wubben himself will be in the showroom on the evening of Thursday 11 May for drinks and a talk about his work.
Future Icons Selects
11-14 May, 12-6pm. Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, SE1 9PH
This show at Oxo Tower Wharf’s Bargehouse venue will be one of best places to see work from multiple makers in one place. More than 70 artisans are showing, representing a host of disciplines including basketry, ceramics, furniture and woodworking, jewellery, leatherwork, metalwork, paper art and textiles; look out for John Eadon’s exaggerated, flowing interpretation of a traditional Windsor chair and Atelier Wolfson’s faceted leather vessels. Many of the makers are rising stars, so if you like to be in on the ground floor when it comes to collecting, this is the place. A series of workshops accompanies the show offering the chance to get hands-on and learn from the experts, including origami folding with Angela Fung and Ashley Bedford on Friday 12 May (12.30pm), and creating your own modernist mobile with Anja Hessler of Form + Gestalt on Sunday 14 May (3.30pm).
9-13 May, 10.30am-5.30pm (except Thursday until 7.30pm). Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, Lots Road, London SW10 0XE
With interior designers and architects more frequently commissioning craft for their projects, Artefact at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour has been curated to appeal to an audience of designers and upmarket collectors, although everyone is welcome. High-calibre galleries showing their work include The New Craftsmen – recently relaunched under the stewardship of Sarah Myerscough and Kathy Lacour – which will show work from its key makers as well as new pieces; Louisa Warfield Art, which is bringing work by four up-and-coming artists including slogan-emblazoned ceramics by Marice Cumber; and Katie Jones Gallery, which works with some of the best Japanese makers. An accompanying talks programme includes a session with renowned ceramicist Alison Britton, and the V&A’s Alun Graves on the rise to prominence of British studio ceramics.
Fabrica X at London Craft Week
9-14 May, Tuesday-Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm, Fabrica X, The Mills Fabrica, 36–40 York Way, N1 9AB
New materials – and biomaterials in particular – are under the spotlight at gallery and concept store Fabrica X, which is London Craft Week’s nominated innovation partner. Plantlife can do some amazing things when combined with technology and the hand of the maker, so immerse yourself in what the future might hold for craft here, from seaweed sequins to lab-grown shoes. A half-day of panels and presentations, titled Planet Saving Innovations, takes place on the morning of 11 May, with speakers including Manel Torres of Fabrican (the technology behind the Coperni spray-on dress worn by Bella Hadid at 2023’s Paris Fashion Week), Idan Gal-Shohet of Fibe, which makes fibre from potato waste, and Keith O’Brien of sustainable denim brand Isko.
The Art of Making
13-14 May, 11am-5pm. The Art Workers' Guild, 6 Queen Square, WC1N 3AT
Make The Art Workers’ Guild’s show at its Bloomsbury headquarters part of your weekend wanderings in search of craft. The guild was founded in 1884 and has its roots in the Arts & Crafts movement, but its current members cover a broad range of disciplines, as this show demonstrates. There are large-scale ceramic outdoor works by Peter Hayes, books imprinted with hand-carved rubber stamps by Ruth Martin and woodcuts printed on found cardboard by Carolyn Trant. Many of the makers will be giving talks over the weekend, and tours of the handsome Georgian building are also available, all pre-bookable.
Quilts – A Material Culture
9-14 May, Tuesday 12pm-4pm, Wednesday-Friday 12pm-7pm, Saturday-Sunday 11am-6pm, Batsford Gallery, 266 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ
East London’s newly opened Batsford Gallery, an annexe to the charming Batsford Books, hosts this survey of contemporary quilt making, reflecting the medium’s resurgence as a form of functional art that can be rich and complex in meaning. Those taking part include Catherine Marie Longtin, who draws on minimalist abstract art in her work; Adam Herbert, who embraces small mismatches of pattern that show the hand of the maker; and Julius Arthur of House of Quinn, whose geometric, earth-toned work has a beautiful simplicity.