Year after year, London Craft Week shines a light on some of the most exciting makers through a programme of workshops, experiences, pop-ups, exhibitions and talks. The festival returns to the capital for its ninth edition from 8 – 14 May 2023, with an eclectic programme of over 400 events set to take place across the capital, showcasing works by more than 700 artists, designers and makers from all over the world. Here we bring you this year’s highlights.
London Craft Week 2023: What’s On?
London Craft Week kicks off just after the official coronation of King Charles III, so naturally that’s a big theme this year. A special programme will explore the stories of the craft that went into the royal event, including an exhibition at The Garrison Chapel celebrating The Prince’s Foundation at Highgrove. Elsewhere Turquoise Mountain will present a tour of historical art museum Leighton House, which will include a special display of work by artisans in Afghanistan and the Levant.
And for those who want a bit of insight into the lives of the royals, London Craft Week is offering behind-the-scenes tours of Royal Warrant holders. Embark on a tour of Floris Perfumery, take part in a grooming masterclass at Truefitt & Hill, or look round Rachel Trevor Morgan’s atelier, milliner to the late Queen Elizabeth.
There will be plenty to see at South Kensington art hub Cromwell Place. An exhibition called Material Beings will display works from eight contemporary craft artists who are breaking boundaries through either their choice of material or their artistic process. Explore pieces from names like Max Bainbridge, Chloé Rosetta Bell and Abigail Booth, made using materials from wood to clay and even insects.
Also not to be missed is Imprints of Iran, a show featuring works from three young Iranian artists: Bibi Manavi, Rana Khadem, and Navid Azimi Sajadi.
London’s Creative Communities
London Craft Week will celebrate the diverse communities of its host city. The Pimlico Road Series includes interactive workshops, demonstrations and talks with prestigious craftspeople, designers and curators, including an in conversation event with Cleto Munari, known for collaborating with Carlo Scarpa and Ettore Sottsass.
Over in Chelsea there’s the Artisan Chelsea Series (supported by Cadogan), which includes pop-up shows from local creatives like Emilie Coste, and behind-the-scenes tours of artist studios such as ceramicist Kate Braine.
Be sure to check out the Vivienne Westwood Boutique too, which will be showing a retrospective exhibition of archive corsets.
Once again, sustainability will be a key theme, with a focus on the makers demonstrating innovative solutions to the use of materials. The Mills Fabrica is the art fair’s official Innovation Partner for the third year running, and will be hosting a programme of panel discussions around planet-saving innovations, with talks from pioneering companies like GANNI, Biofabricate and The Earthshot Prize.
Elsewhere, visitors can explore jewellery made from recycled and aluminum drink cans from beach clean-ups at Anabela Chan; and learn about the low-waste processes of interiors brand Tengri, who makes its products using ethical materials from Mongolia’s Khangai Mountains.
The best independent makers are being celebrated throughout London Craft Week. At the Oxo Tower Wharf’s Bargehouse, Future Icons Selects will present works from over 70 makers from across Europe, offering special workshops and the chance to meet the artists. Also at the Oxo Tower Wharf, new artist collective The Tangible Project will present a group exhibition focused on hands exploring materials through crafting of textile, wood, clay and glass, with works from names like Amélie Crépy, Line Nilsen and Loraine Rutt.
Another big one not to miss is Artefact, the contemporary craft fair in Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, which brings together acclaimed galleries like Katie Jones Gallery, Madeinbritaly and Vessel Gallery.
Find the full programme at londoncraftweek.com
Featured image: The Mills Fabrica