Returning to the capital for its fifth edition, London Craft Week is currently taking place at venues across the city. Involving a wide range of museums and galleries, studios and workshop spaces, shops and luxury brands, the five-day festival is dedicated to makers and artisans, and brings together creative talent from across the globe.
Showcasing iconic heritage and contemporary brands alongside independent makers, the event features talks, workshops and screenings, as well as exhibitions and demonstrations, and here are the picks of 2019, as chosen by Dezeen’s Design Editor, Augusta Pownall.
Loewe Baskets Live
Taking place from 11th to 12th May at Loewe's three-storey flagship store in Mayfair, a series of demonstrations will spotlight the work of Shizu Designs. The Californian mother and daughter duo specialize in leather weaving, and recently collaborated with the luxury brand and took part in its exhibition at Milan Design Week.
The pair are best known for using traditional Japanese ikebana basket making techniques to transform rocks into art, using rattan or cane to wrap and tie the rocks with ornamental knots, and examples of this work will also be on display.
Loewe, 41 New Bond Street, W1S 2RY
Featuring the work of 17 makers, including Sebastian Cox, Alison Crowther and Gareth Neal, Scorched is London Craft Week’s first major exhibition. Curated by gallerist Sarah Myerscough, it showcases a selection of pieces created by artists and designers using the process of shou-sugi-ban, also known as yakisugi.
Originating in 18th-century Japan, yakisugi involves charring the surface of wood, which enhances the appearance of the grain as the tree's rings burn at different speeds depending on the rate at which they grow.
Fitzrovia Chapel, 2 Pearson Square, W1T 3BF
Battersea Power Station on London’s south bank is playing host to an installation by design studios Par-Avion Co and Claire Potter Design, intended to "highlight the sustainable management of construction waste".
Empty since 1983, the power station is currently undergoing major renovations to transform it into a business and residential complex, a process that will inevitably produce a huge amount of waste, and the work by the environmentally conscious design studios acts as a commentary on the contribution that construction sites make to landfill.
Battersea Power Station, Riverside Piazza, Circus West Village, SW11 8EZ
Coal Drops Yard
Newly opened retail development Coal Drops Yard, designed by London-based Heatherwick Studio, will be taking part in its inaugural London Craft Week, hosting a wide variety of activities throughout the festival.
Among the events are knife sharpening on a whetstone at the Kitchen Provisions store, a chocolate-tasting workshop at Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, the opportunity to learn how to dye fabric at one of five workshops run by Store, as well as candle making and craft beer tasting.
The Kings Cross shopping destination will also showcase the new collection of handmade ceramic bottles, cups and jars, from Assemble’s Granby Workshop. Pieces are made in the studio's Liverpool workshop, by casting liquid clay in a series of stackable modular moulds.
Coal Drops Yard, Stable St, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4DQ
Paul Brown: A Community of Design
Taking place today at the V&A, designer and curator Kate Burnett will introduce a talk discussing the work of the late Paul Brown. The set and costume designer, who died in 2017 at the age of 57, worked on operas at Covent Garden, La Scala and Glyndebourne, as well as set design for the theatre.
Brown’s design associates and collaborators will discuss his work and studio, including the craft and vision involved in producing scaled set-models, and his technical drawings for set and costume designs. This will take place alongside a VR reproduction of the subterranean studio created by filmmaker Jonathan Hamilton.
V&A, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
Yinka Ilori: Types of Happiness
British-Nigerian designer Yinka Ilori is showing a collection of up-cycled furniture representing 16 different types of happiness. Ilori is currently transforming a southwest London underpass with colorful murals made from powder-coated panels. Called Happy Street, the project will be unveiled next month during the London Festival of Architecture, and the up-cycled furniture will be incorporated into the underpass artwork.
StudioRCA, 1 Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Lane, SW8 5AU
London Craft Week runs to Sunday, 12th May. Find out more here.