Working within the design industry, I’ll forever associate the word craft with high-quality, knowledge and luxurious or unique materials, dominated by the kind of folk that want to keep skills and techniques alive and well within the creative industries – no robots around here. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I cringe at the word ‘craft’ entering my inbox. Having increasingly become a word used for ‘something fun to do with your kids’, I’ve increasingly started to associate it with paper mache and pasta necklaces. It’s time to bring it back to the good stuff. Enter London Craft Week, the mini-festival showcasing the best of the best when it comes to exceptional craftsmanship and creativity.
From Taiwan to Turkey, the week embraces cultures and traditions that have stood the test of time, embracing everything from food and drink to performance and fashion. With over 200 events taking place this year, I’ve whittled down to a few that I’ll be exploring. Why don’t you come along and learn something too? Knowledge is power, right?
Tom Pigeon Collection at Fritz Hansen
I’ve got a little bit of a soft-spot for the lady behind Fife-based design studio Tom Pigeon, so I’ll be popping in to check out their latest showcase, ‘Shipwreck’, a collection of their prints, textiles, wood and metalwork. The latest additions explore the processes and the people behind Tom Pigeon’s simple abstract style while playing with a series of new materials and textures, moving beyond the studio’s graphic print collection.
Design Nation: Marks & Tools
I would expect nothing less than a great exhibition at Oxo Tower Wharf, where true craftsmanship and traditional skills remain truly at the forefront of the 20+ stores. This year design writer Barbara Chandler has teamed up with leading creative agency Design-Nation to present an exhibition of work by over twenty of their members. The exhibition is themed around marks and tools of the maker so expect insight into the process and the design journey.
Wu: Five Oolong Teas from Taiwan
If you haven’t been to Native & Co’s beautiful Notting Hill design and lifestyle store, you need to go now. However, this year the design duo are branching out for London Craft Week and have designed an exhibition focusing on the theme of Wu (meaning five), celebrating Taiwanese tea culture and traditions. Supported by Ministry of Culture, Taiwan, the tea experience showcases contemporary brewing techniques, all in a serene and calming space with furniture designed by the studio.
Mulberry: The Passion of Making
Make like Megan Ellaby (yes that lass does LCW) and check out Mulberry’s flagship store where craftsmen and craftswomen from the luxury accessories brand will be demonstrating how they make their iconic handbag styles.
Lighting the Square by Tom Raffield
If you’re looking for the current leader in the craft world, Tom Raffield is surely your man. The Cornwall-based lighting and furniture designer has created a spectacular sculptural lighting installation in Belgravia. Created with over 70 steam-bent pendant lights the installation has been inspired by its natural orange tree surroundings and incorporates sustainable design practices.
Orange Square, Pimlico Road, Belgravia, London SW1W 8UT.
Until 7th May 2017