Lauren Franceschini

The best craftsmen come to town for London Craft Week

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From May 3rd through 7th, London will be taken over by the best of the best in the crafting world. The second annual London Craft Week will feature a massive program of over 130 events over the span of five days. Events will occur across the city and feature hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, shops, and luxury brands. London Craft Week aims 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 blown, and Chinese calligraphy being performed live. All against the serendipitous backdrop of London’s variety and vitality.

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Ceramic piece by Akiko Hirai.

During the week, 46 crafting disciplines will be displayed spanning from the traditional hobbies (ceramics, jewellery making, painting, woodworking, and embroidery) to niche market crafts (hat making, diamond cutting, instrument making, and psaligraphy). Of the more traditional crafts, ceramicists like Akiko Hirai and Caroline Cheng will displaying their work. Featured at Flow Gallery, Hirai’s work will be displayed in accompaniment with tea served in tableware created Hirai herself. Hirai makes practical ware using the Japanese tradition of allowing the clay to show how it wants to be fired itself. Cheng’s work will be shown at the British Museum where she will give a talk about the next generation of artists from China’s 1000-year-old porcelain capital.

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Karen Bit Vejle at work.

Of the more unique crafts, there will be diamond polishing and cutting by Backes & Strauss and psaligraphy by Karen Bit Vejle. Backes & Strauss, a high-end Swiss jeweler, will be performing a demonstration on their services. The demonstration is a rare opportunity to gain a behind-the-scenes insight into the high-skill-intensive processes that transform the hardest natural material into a polished gem. Karen Bit Vejle will talk about psaligraphy (paper cutting), the art of drawing with scissors, and the magical stories in her work. Bit’s works are formed from a large, continuous pieces of paper and cut with only a small pair of scissors. Her artistic work spans the travelling exhibition Scissors for a Brush to commissioned work for several renown international companies, such as Hermès and Skandium.

To keep up with all of the events, follow London Craft Week on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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