Imbued with rich traditions yet often thrillingly anarchic in mindset, Britain has always been at the cutting edge of craftsmanship. London Craft Week celebrates the heritage, evolution and innovation of craft across the UK and for our seventh edition we are delighted to announce the return of the QEST Craft Trail as well as new initiatives including the Luxury British Craftsmanship Pavilion at Chelsea Barracks. Through a diverse programme of talks, demonstrations, workshops and tastings, discover the contemporary practices and traditional skills that illuminate the best of British creativity.
We’ve featured a selection of highlights below, but don’t miss the full programme on our Programme page.
Luxury British Craftsmanship Pavilion
Why Craft Makes You Happy
Britain is enjoying a golden age of craftsmanship not seen since the late 19th century. It’s transforming architecture, interior design, furniture – and the quality of our lives – in a variety of exciting and unexpected ways. In this panel discussion at Chelsea Barracks, Ben Pentreath, one of the leading names in classic English architecture, Ben Johnson of Albion Nord, and Country Life’s Giles Kime, will explore the benefits of craft skills in the creation of furniture and buildings.
With a shared passion for tapestry and craft, Charu Gandhi, founder of interior design studio Elicyon, embroiderer Geraldine Larkin, fabric expert Bernie de Le Cuona, and furniture, decorative arts and fabric agent Miles de Lange come together to discuss contemporary tapestry in interior schemes today, chaired by design expert Tony Chambers. Exploring how tapestry straddles craft and art, the talk will look at the delicate process of creation from artisan to abode.
Britain’s Royal Warrant Holders
On Wednesday 6 October, join some of the UK’s Royal Warrant Holders for a showcase of exceptional British craftsmanship. Ettinger will demonstrate how its fine leather accessories are handcrafted, while a cordwainer from Edward Green will show how their signature Dover style is painstakingly handsewn. Johnstons of Elgin sheds light on the brand’s heritage as producers of fine woollen cashmere knitwear made in Scotland, Floris will tell the stories behind nearly 300 years of artisanal perfume craftsmanship, and Jack Barclay Bentley will demonstrate the unique techniques involved in crafting cars by hand. Sign up for any one event and gain access to the full showcase.
Since its inception in 1986, Winch Design has become known as the ‘go-to’ studio for billionaires wishing to commission their dream home: on land, in the air and at sea. As part of the Luxury British Craftsmanship Pavilion at Chelsea Barracks’ Garrison Suite, meet wood carvers, furniture makers, embroiderers, ceramicists and textile designers who have helped create some of Winch’s most iconic projects. Learn about their craft and gain an insight into what it takes to create work for such discerning clients. At 3pm, join founder Andrew Winch in conversation with their specialist craftspeople.
Silverlining is a British furniture maker working at the nexus of design, craft and technology. Their Innovation in Craft exhibition showcases Silverlining’s progressive ideas and excellence in furniture making through hand sketches and material samples. As part of the exhibition, demonstrations will show how leatherwork (Tuesday 5 October), marquetry (Wednesday 6 October) and carving (Thursday 7 October) are advanced by combining traditional skills with the latest materials, science and technology.
British Craftsmanship Highlights
Situated in the rural heart of the South of England, Nyetimber uses only estate-grown grapes from their vineyard to craft critically-acclaimed English sparkling wines. As part of LCW, Nyetimber are hosting an exclusive wine tasting and canapé reception at their HQ on Sackville Street. Learn how they make sparkling wines using traditional methods, ageing them for extended periods of time to build complexity and flavour. The tasting includes four wines: Classic Cuvee Multi-Vintage, Blanc de Blancs 2014, 2013 Tillington Single Vineyard and Cuvee Chérie Multi-Vintage.
Savile Row is the home of the world’s best bespoke tailoring and a byword for unequalled quality. Go behind the scenes and meet the individuals that make Savile Row one-of-a-kind at Henry Poole, H Huntsman, Dege & Skinner, Cad & The Dandy and Savile Row Valet. Discover the heritage, techniques and individual style of each of the houses in an after-hours experience, including demonstrations of signature techniques, and receive invaluable style advice while enjoying cocktails courtesy of Sipsmith. Presented in association with Gentleman’s Journal.
Building on the success of last year’s event, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust has joined forces with more Royal Warrant-holding companies in the St James’s area to host a craft trail celebrating their shared passion for British craftsmanship. Look out for the QEST logo and find QEST Scholar works displayed in stores including Crockett & Jones, Floris, Garrard, John Smedley, Lock & Co. Hatters, and more. For more details about the trail, including a map of all trail points and details of what’s on at each venue, visit their website.
Hand & Lock has been producing breath-taking embroideries for international fashion designers, the tailors of Savile Row and European Royalty since 1767. Fusing ancient embroidery crafts with modern design, the esteemed Royal Warrant holders continue to champion hand embroidery whilst embracing the emergence of digital machine embroidery. Visit their studios during LCW to discover a modern-day working embroidery atelier and witness expert embroiderers working on live client commissions.
Earlier this year, The New Craftsmen invited six of its makers on a residency to the historic Holkham Hall to explore and creatively respond to the rich narratives of history, culture and aesthetic style embedded in the estate. Over five days, the makers were commissioned by The New Craftsmen to interpret the spirit of Holkham through the medium of craft. The result is an idiosyncratic collection of handcrafted interior pieces – entitled ‘A Portrait of Place’ – exhibited at Holkham Hall before travelling down to London to The New Craftsmen’s showroom in Mayfair.
Discover elite Scottish craftsmanship with an evening of whisky with Bruichladdich and furniture designer Angus Ross. Multi award-winning designer Angus Ross has been innovating with wood for almost 30 years and continues to be curious about the possibilities of his local timber. He joins Bruichladdich brand ambassador Abigail Clephane at The Caledonian Club to talk about his work, accompanied by a tasting of four Bruichladdich whiskies, which are distilled on the Isle of Islay.
Monograms have been used throughout British history to add a personal touch to items of clothing and keepsakes. Join Sophie Conran and Stephanie Bonneau of Atelier Saint Clare at the Hotel Café Royal to learn how to monogram a signature Sophie Conran scallop pillowcase and hear about their mutual love of craft.
Featured Image: Harry Cory-Wright, Courtesy of The New Craftsmen
Please share this page with your family and friends.
Sign up to our newsletter below to get the latest London Craft Week news and curated content delivered straight to your inbox.