London Craft Week (LCW) returns for its ninth edition with a rich and varied programme of events taking place across the capital from 8th-14th May. The festival will feature over 400 curated workshops, immersive experiences, pop-up stores and original exhibitions, and showcase works by more than 700 artists, designers and makers from around the world. Spanning the fields of craft, art, design, luxury, fashion and accessories, LCW showcases the best of craftsmanship, the latest developments in material innovation, treasured heritage techniques and some of the world’s most intricate and beautiful objects. The festival reflects the zeitgeist of rising interest in high-quality and one-of-a-kind products from leading creative brands and independent artist-makers, creating an opportunity to present their unique work to an eclectic audience.
The Artisan Chelsea and Pimlico Road Series, respectively supported by the Cadogan and Grosvenor Estates return with new partners and additional locations, The Mills Fabrica returns as Innovation Partner for the third consecutive year and the festival welcomes The Park Royal Design District for the first time.
Guy Salter, Chairman of London Craft Week said: “Our ninth London Craft Week builds on the post-Covid appetite for unique live experiences, which drove our record visitor numbers at last year’s festival, and celebrates unsung creative communities. That often hidden ecosystem of exceptional talent. Not just in London but from around the UK and the world. Reinforcing this is a glimpse behind the scenes of the Coronation and the work of another fascinating community of artisans and specialist crafts linked to the monarchy. More than ever this year, I hope we’re proof of London’s enduring international cultural pulling power – and a tangible demonstration of human ingenuity and diversity”.
2023 programme highlights include:
● Curated fine art, collectable design and international exhibitions at Cromwell Place, including the first UK showcase of work by Loewe Foundation Craft Prize Winner 2022, Dahye Jeong, and ‘Material Beings’, an artist-led exhibition of six contemporary craft artists pushing the conceptual nature of their practice, exploring materials and the physicality of their making process with works ranging from the monumental to miniature.
● A glimpse into the craft behind the Coronation, with a workshop and demonstration led by The Royal Mint’s hand engraver and an insight into the Royal Family’s patronage and preferred makers and brands with behind-the-scenes tours of Britain’s Royal Warrant Holders including Floris (perfumers), Lock & Co (hatters) and John Lobb (cordwainers), among others.
● Demonstrations from Chanel’s Métiers d’Arts (Master of Art) ateliers, such as Goossens (jewellers) and Maison Michel (milliners).
● A display of the House of Vivienne Westwood’s archive corsetry from 1987 to the present day.
● A dynamic programme of exhibitions and events presented by Innovation Partner, The Mills Fabrica, featuring a biomaterials exhibition in Fabrica X innovation gallery, biodesign-led workshops and Planet-Saving Innovations, an exclusive one-day industry event with a high-calibre of speakers such as Dr. Manel Torres – the inventor of the world’s first spray-on fabric and leaders in sustainable fashion from GANNI to FARFETCH and The Earthshot Prize, the global challenge celebrating ground-breaking solutions to repair our planet (founded by Sir David Attenborough and Prince William).
● A trail of Open Studios showcasing works by Kate Malone, Brodie Neill Studio and Gareth Neal Studio in De Beauvoir Town.
● Traditional techniques and cutting-edge technologies feature at the Park Royal Design District. A cluster of creative talent push the boundaries of craft and design, sourcing reclaimed materials from industrial neighbours and exploring themes of circularity and resourcefulness.
In celebration of the Coronation, strategic partner The Royal Mint will give visitors an insight into the processes behind the minting of His Majesty King Charles III’s new coin and the King’s new effigy in a live demonstration and workshop by their accomplished hand engraver. The National Army Museum will celebrate their unique archive of British military uniforms, with opportunities for visitors to explore the craftsmanship of ceremonial dress with a behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s collection, and take part in Embroidering Identity: Goldwork, an embroidery course led by Hand & Lock.
Iconic art institutions, museums and galleries across London will mark LCW through a curated programmes of unique events and workshops. At the Royal Academy, Alicia Merrett will host a quilt making course inspired by Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers in light of their current Souls Grown Deep exhibition.
The Design Museum will host a clay workshop inspired by their exhibition Ai Weiwei: Making Sense, the artist’s first exhibition focusing on design.
The V&A will also present a wide-ranging programme. Taking inspiration from Hallyu! The Korean Wave, visitors can sign up for a workshop using traditional Korean silk fabrics and thread to create a hand-stitched lucky pouch, Bok jumeoni, while London Fine Art Studios will offer specialist insights into Donatello: Sculpting the Renaissance in their demonstration and talk. The V&A’s new Artist in Residence, Rebecca Stevenson, will also host an Open Studio on the same day. The V&A will also hold a live demonstration by four renowned contemporary British silversmiths, Alice Fry, Ray Walton, Katie Watson and Vicki Ambery-Smith.