Highlights from Friday 8 May

Gemma Kay Waggett was set up on the ground floor of Heal’s with a group of London Craft Week visitors around a table who were listening eagerly and asking plenty of questions about the craft of screen-printing.  I recognised a lady I had met the previous day at Linley and she had already spent her day productively, attending a number of events and making a purchase at the Cox + Power Open House that morning.

Gemma demonstrated how she creates her signature geometric prints and sensing all of our curiosity she invited us to each have a go at making our own printed notebooks using her design on the front cover.  Many of the guests had backgrounds in textiles and therefore particularly deft hands and printing.  Sadly, I could not say the same for myself!  Nonetheless, the passionate maker reminded us that the subtle differences between each print is what makes them special and differentiates them from mass produced objects which are often just churned out in factories and this is what London Craft Week is about.  Meeting the makers behind these carefully made crafts and experiencing the making process for ourselves, gives one the opportunity to understand the amount of skill and patience it takes to produce them and from the positive reception received, I am certain that many visitors will be considering taking up the craft themselves.

Morning started with a fascinating talk on Bleigiessen, the Heatherwick Studio installation at The Wellcome Trust by Stuart and the two glass artists who worked on the project: Max Lamb and Peter Jones. The piece at 29 metres tall and constructed from 26,732 cables under tension and 142,070 glass spheres is stunning.
On then to watch one of the masters from Dovecote Studios in Edinburgh demonstrating tapestry weaving in front of the huge Kitaj tapestry at the British Library.

Then to QEST and the Griffin Gallery’s show at the Crypt. An eerie place. The star piece in my book was Carrie Ducker’s 200+ steps. At F&M lovely to see the eponomous Michael Ruh (the subject of BBC4’s wonderful Make:Glass released last week) in Crafted’s show.

On then to CAA’s wonderful pavilion in Southwark. Bravo to the Arts Council for helping them out!
Then back north to Trunk’s welcoming store and Japanese belt master Takaharu Osako and their delightful neighbours, the jewellers Cox & Power.

Home for a couple of hours to The New Craftsmen to sing the praises of the stunning Made of Mayfair collection and then down to our amazing installation with Floris in “The Mine”. Quite the coolest place I’ve been to at Craft Week! Well done Floris and Katharine May.

Finally off to Sarah and Gerard Griffin for what was THE evening of Craft Week. Their home contained the who’s who of all the best of British Craft – in form and in person. Lovely to meet up with Sam and Valerio from Gallery Fumi and to catch up with Marthe Armitage and Julian Stair to name just a few. Sarah, Gerard you are stars!

Made in Clerkenwell at Craft Central, and Cockpit Arts Open Studios both provided plenty of great opportunities for the photo shoot today.

Saw the talented Helen Beard doing her ceramic decoration demonstration, and managed to control my urges to buy everything, and came away with just a vase, bowl and earrings!

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