International Craftsmanship and Creativity
From it’s very beginning, London Craft Week has created an opportunity for craftspeople from across the globe to share their stories and make their work available to a larger audience. Now in our seventh year – and with fewer people able to travel – this remains a key concern and our 2021 programme showcases artist-makers and events from 31 countries. Discover the crafts, materials, and techniques that serve as distinct cultural calling cards for each country and meet the makers in a range of exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations and open studios.
We’ve featured a selection of international highlights below, but don’t miss the full programme on our Programme page.
Imagine the ‘Im’possibilities: Bamboo
Crafts on Peel present Imagine the ‘Im’possibilities: Bamboo, an exhibition co-sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (London). Traditional craftsmen and contemporary artisans from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan will come together to share their journey in reinventing the ancient craft of bamboo. As part of a rich programme of events for LCW, visit the exhibition, watch a bamboo crafting and papier-mâché live demonstration with maker Jinno Neko, or try your hand at traditional bamboo craftsmanship with contemporary artisan Gamzar.
The Kasama Potters project brings together 34 Japanese ceramicists from Kasama, a city that is home to a flourishing community of potters who are both established and emerging. London Craft Week marks the largest showcase of Kasama ware outside Japan to date, and includes brand new ceramics that have been inspired by the potters’ discourse with British ceramics specialists over the past year. Discover the history of this fascinating region and its myriad ceramic techniques through an exhibition of works by each Kasama potter and a programme of talks taking place during the festival in South Arcade, Islington Square.
Floral and decorative patterns play an important role in traditional Turkish arts due to their symbolic meanings. These motifs have been developed throughout Turkish history and appear on ceramics, glass, manuscripts, furniture, textiles, carpets, wood and tiles. Visit the Yunus Emre Institute during LCW to learn about traditional geometric and floral patterns and create your own design. Workshops are available to book via Yunus Emre Institute’s website.
Partnering with London Craft Week for the fourth year, National Base for International Cultural Trade (Shanghai) presents Amazing China, a virtual exhibition of exceptional craftsmanship and Intangible Cultural Heritage. From 4 October, watch online demonstrations spanning dress making, bamboo cutting, basketry, ceramics, paper cutting, lacquering, metalworking, printmaking, wood working, stone carving, musical instrument making and more. The exhibition will shine a spotlight on the rich history of Chinese artistry with an opportunity to meet the makers preserving China’s ancient crafts, such as Suzhou embroidery, pictured.
As part of LCW, Design Tasmania presents a unique collaboration with acclaimed London-based Tasmanian designer Brodie Neill. Applying his sustainable approach to material and craft, Brodie revisits the indigenous timbers of Tasmania through the innovation of Hydrowood, a precious resource reclaimed from the depths of the island’s lakes. Find out more about Brodie’s innovative process and see the pieces at the exhibition, which is taking place from 4-10 October at 6 Motcomb Street.
A Luxury Craft Journey Across Southeast Asia
Dia Guild presents a showcase of Southeast Asian craft creations, from minaudières featured in Crazy Rich Asians to jewellery made of upcycled metals from the Vietnam War. This immersive exhibition at the Pan Pacific London spotlights artisans who fuse heritage craftsmanship, modern design and modes of storytelling to celebrate the region’s vibrant history and culture. Discover unique objects, art installations and the artisans behind them.
Highlights from Create Day 2021
The second edition of Create Day took place on Saturday 4 September and featured 24-hours of content from over 300 artists, makers, designers and creators around the world. Don’t miss the full programme of films which are available to watch now on the Create Day website.
Riviere Rugs are crafted in Riviere’s own workshop in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal, made with age-old traditional techniques passed from generation to generation. The long process is carried out entirely by hand, no machinery is involved. Find out how Riviere’s artisans use the finest grade, hand carded and hand spun Tibetan wool and Chinese silk to produce rugs that are unique and long-lasting.
Conrad Hicks is an artist, blacksmith and tool-maker in Cape Town. He specialises in hand-forged metal work, using only traditional blacksmithing jointing methods as he believes these are essential to the symbolic meaning of the finished form. In his Create Day livestream, join Conrad in his studio and hear him explain how he sees all of his work, from the most functional to the purely sculptural, as tools.
Arumjigi Culture Keepers Foundation
Arumjigi Culture Keepers Foundation – located in Seoul, South Korea – presents a video exploration of the development of baji, or pants, throughout over 2000 years of Korean sartorial tradition. Drawn from historical records and artefacts, the video captures the process of traditional tailoring – from textile-weaving, to design, to the assemblage of garments in a deeply thoughtful contemporary celebration of Korea’s craft history.
Watch Arumjigi Culture Keepers Foundation
Betty Soldi is a wordsmith, calligrapher, designer and creative thinker. Born into a Florentine family that has been handmaking fireworks since 1869, Betty sees herself as “making fireworks with inks”. In her Create Day livestream, we joined Betty in her Florentine studio where she demonstrated how her calligraphy skills merge graphic design with old type, modern colours and unique touches.
In this film, supported by the National Base for International Cultural Trade (Shanghai), watch WU Cairen as she demonstrates the process of painting fine porcelain, from hooping to colouring with enamel and inscribing with brush calligraphy.
Featured Image: Kasama Potters
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