Friday, 19 May 2017

London Craft Week 2017

This annual celebration of high quality craft is a great opportunity to discover more about the extremely talented makers and designers behind many well known brands and new creative businesses. This year's programme was absolutely packed! A huge range of skills were featured including those as diverse as marquetry, ceramics, origami and of course, knitting. The London Craft Week (LCW) team go to a great deal of trouble to ensure a broad range of crafts are represented during the Week and the number of events has grown from 60 to 250! I visited events and demonstrations on Wednesday 3rd May and Thursday 4th May and have decided to write about them in two posts as there is so much to say.

Art by Hazel Thorn on display in the V&A Museum Silver Galleries

My London Craft Week visits began on Wednesday at the V&A Museum. It was a delight to talk to silversmith Hazel Thorn in the V&A Sliver Galleries. Hazel was demonstrating how she creates her stunning work. We chatted about how design can be transferable between different disciplines. Hazel's work involves combining different metals by fusing them together, then in some designs cutting them up to create new shapes and patterns. Hazel can control the fusing process to create the alignment of lines that she wants. I was really struck by the similarities to weaving and knitting and I loved the beautiful pieces she had brought along.

Fused and Cut Sample by Hazel Thorn

A visit to Liberty London first thing on Thursday morning allowed me to have a close look at designer Jonathan Anderson's Loewe "This Is Home" Collection. Jonathan Anderson is collaborating with the Workshop of Robert Thompson, known as The Mouseman, for some of the items in the collection. Several years ago, I visited The Mouseman Workshop in Yorkshire with my family and we loved seeing how each piece of handmade furniture has a tiny mouse carved into it. Jonathan Anderson promotes high quality craft within his businesses and these skills are clearly important to him. In celebration of the Mouseman, Loewe have commissioned a selection of little mouse charms, made in both leather and wood. 

Loewe Mouse Charm selection at Liberty London

Loewe Wooden Mouse Keychain at Liberty London
The Loewe hand knitted cushions and wall art were fabulous. Each portrait cushion cover had leather backing with signature Loewe stitching. The hand knitted standing figures were very dramatic and Jenny from Loewe told me that they are also designed to be worn as scarves!

Hand Knitted Cushion Cover by Loewe This Is Home

Hand Knitted Cushion Cover by Loewe This Is Home

Hand Knitted Standing Figures by Loewe This Is Home

London Craft week runs during the first week of May. There is a mix of free and paying events that are open to anyone. Some require advance booking and others are open displays and demonstrations. All provide an excellent insight into the world of high quality craft and all are extremely inspiring! 

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