By Lauren Jade Hill
Back this year for its third edition, London Craft Week is bringing together artists, designers and makers from the international art world to showcase their skills and creativity. With the vision of taking visitors ‘beyond luxury’, the week-long event will highlight the craftsmanship behind handmade products. Taking place in venues across the capital from the 3rd to 7th May 2017, the week will encompass over 200 events, looking into the craftsmanship in fashion, luxury, food and culture, as well as art and design.
The V&A, British Museum, The Shard and The House of Lords are among the venues taking part, in addition to the city’s many boutique studios and workshops, and unexpected locations such as Michelin-starred restaurants. These venues will host artists and makers across a diversity of arts disciplines, ranging from independent craftsmen to world renowned luxury brands.
Chanel, Princess Yachts, Mulberry and Rolls Royce are among the prestigious brands giving an insight into the craft behind their products, with esteemed fashion designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Hussain Chalayan also playing a part.
Wood carvers from Japan, wood block printers from China, and umbrella makers from France are just a few of the international artisans showcasing their work alongside skilled craftsmen from across the UK; London Craft Week 2017 will place a specific focus on Scotland, with Scottish tailoring, weaving and woodworking demonstrations.
The 2017 program is set to encompass more than 50 disciplines, with book-binding, boat building, glass-blowing and watchmaking among them. And striving to be more than just a series of exhibitions, London Craft Week promises to immerse visitors through demonstrations, workshops and performances, plus the chance to meet the makers themselves.
Artists and makers will be leading behind-the-scenes studio and workshop tours; the V&A’s Gilbert Collection resident jeweler Silvia Weidenbach will be demonstrating the historical and modern techniques behind her craft; and Freed of London will be leading tours of the factory in which pointe shoes are made for some of the world’s leading ballet dancers.
The British Council will be presenting an exhibition highlighting the work undertaken in villages across Southeast Asia to encourage the application of traditional crafts; the creative director of Mulberry, Johnny Coca, is hosting a breakfast at the Mulberry Showroom for craftsmen to present their skills; and an evening at Vivienne Westwood’s couture boutique will look into the artistry behind her corsets.
From long-held traditions to modern innovation, across a vast array of disciplines, this showcase of craftsmen who go ‘beyond luxury’ and their exceptional work promises to be a window into the world of skilled artisanship.
Find out more about London Craft Week and plan your visit by going over to londoncraftweek.com.