London Craft Week Announces Programme: 3-7 May 2016
A ‘Beyond Luxury’ Showcase
Last year the first London Craft Week launched with 70 events, 20,000 visits and a wide cast including HRH The Prince of Wales, Grayson Perry and 350 makers. From 3 – 7 May the second edition will showcase exceptional craftsmanship from around the world through a journey-of-discovery programme of 129 events across the city, featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands.
The aim being to experience the magic of true creativity, see what real quality means, meet some of the world’s most respected makers and artists and even have a try. Visitors will see world-class fragrances being developed scent by scent, diamonds being cut and polished, porcelain being hand painted, silver being shaped, glass being mouth blown and Chinese calligraphy being performed live. All against the backdrop of the vitality, variety and serendipity of London from Selfridges to Chelsea Physic Garden, from Mayfair to SE27.
An invitation-only VIP programme is run alongside the main programme with a small number of one-off and intimate experiences, including handling objects from museum collections, special access to private residences and exclusive dinners. London Craft Week is supported by founding partner Vacheron Constantin and sponsors Grosvenor and Mulberry.
“London has long had a Fashion Week and a Design Festival. Now there is London Craft Week, a celebration of the magical combination of imagination, individuality, passion and skill found in the best-made of things.” Guy Salter, Chairman.
2016 Programme Highlights
London Craft Week shines a spotlight on outstanding craftsmanship from around the world, featuring luxury brands including CHANEL, Lalique, Carl Hansen & Son, Rolls Royce Motor Cars, LOEWE, Graham & Brown and Holland & Holland. Two master craftsmen, a watchmaker and enameller demonstrate the skills required in fine watchmaking at the Vacheron Constantin boutique. Grosvenor launches The Grosvenor Series showcasing London’s finest craftsmanship with a series of events across Mayfair & Belgravia, including a ‘Window with a view on Pimlico Road’. Mulberry will host, at their Bond Street store, a celebration of the arrival of the new Johnny Coca design for The Clifton, which is made in England at their Somerset factories. Asprey’s homeware designer, Hakan Rosenius, will host an event to showcase Asprey’s long heritage and current collection of barware including cocktail shakers inspiring a new London Craft Week champagne cocktail, served to audiences at the event. Linley celebrates its 30th anniversary with an artist installation by Michael Eden. The British Fashion Council’s Headonism makers, together with renowned milliners Noel Stewart and Piers Atkinson, at The Dorchester Hotel present the opportunity to buy a bespoke hat, while shoe designer Georgina Goodman takes over Black’s Private Member Club with an installation and pop up shop.
Independent makers such as Julian Stair, Alison Britton and Kate Malone will be talking across various London venues, while artists such as Danny Lane and Simon Moore open their workshops to the public. Furthermore, London Craft Week presents behind the scene tours of collective studios including Standpoint Studios, Vanguard Studios, Second Floor Studios & Arts, Crafts Central and Cockpits Arts as well as individual maker’s workshops such as furniture makers David Gates and Rachael South and silversmiths Smith & Harris, who have completed commissions for artists Anish Kapoor and Marc Quinn.
London Craft Week offers the opportunity to deconstruct and see how contemporary everyday items such as the suit, dress, hat, shoe, knife or book are made. Intimate, expert-guided ‘How To Buy Bespoke’ tours tackle suits, couture millinery and shoes. Talks on commissioning one-off works and advice from curators on collecting also feature in the programme.
Some of London’s landmark institutions are offering behind-the-scenes tours to look at ‘The Making Behind Buildings’, including The Royal Opera House and The Tower of London, while artist demonstrations and installations will be presented at The British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Design Museum, Geffrye Museum, The William Morris Gallery, Sir John Soane’s Museum and Science Museum. London Craft Week celebrates special moments such as HM The Queen’s 90th birthday with visits to the Patey Hat Factory, the hatters who make the Brigade of Guards’ bearskins, and the saddlers of the King’s Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery at Woolwich Barracks. There is also a chance to get the inside track on the making of costumes used in Game of Thrones or King Arthur in a tour of Angels Costumes, recent winners of a BAFTA award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.
Fortnum & Mason present a showcase of work by designers who have taken part in Walpole’s Crafted mentorship scheme and fashion designers Hussein Chalayan and Alice Temperley will be at Selfridges to discuss ‘The Making Behind Fashion’. World-class chefs demonstrate craftsmanship in the context of food, such as knife-making with Mark Hix at his carving dinner, eating off specially commissioned ceramic plates in the company of Skye Gyngell at Spring Restaurant, and off custom made wooden spoons and bowls with Stevie Parle at CRAFT restaurant.
This year, as well as featuring exceptional British artists, London Craft Week is also premiering national treasures from further afield including Professor Wang Dongling from China, who will be performing his large scale calligraphy at The British Museum; ceramicist Rafael Pérez from Spain exhibiting at the Contemporary Ceramics Centre; Officine Saffi and FattoAdArte (hosted by MADEINBRITALY) Italian galleries that will present pop up exhibitions, Karen Bit Vejle from Denmark whose intricate paper installations will be on view at the V&A and Skandium and pottery demonstrations by Jingdezhen artists at the China Design Centre. A conference at the Heritage Crafts Association brings international makers to London including Ritu Sethi from India and Eivind Falk from Norway. International films will be shown as part of the first annual UK festival dedicated to craft and moving image, produced by the Crafts Council and Crafts magazine, giving a platform to the wealth of films that explore themes of making, makers, materials and process.