London Craft Week 2017 Commences With a Pop, Fizzle, Bang at the V&A


Creative Stars Join London Craft Week at Official Opening

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This week more than 500 artists, designers, makers, artisans, collectors and patrons of craft descended on the V&A to celebrate the beginning of London Craft Week 2017, which takes place across London from 3 - 7 May.

Notable guests in attendance on the night included Hussein Chalayan, Johnny Coca, Tom Dixon, Stephen Jones OBE, Bill Amberg, Lady Carol Bamford and Azzi Glasser plus various international stars including Korean artist Do Ho Suh, Hong Kong designer Elaine Yan Ling Ng and third generation Spanish guitar maker, Felipe Conde. 

Award-winning fashion designer Hussein Chalayan presented acclaimed potter Edmund de Waal with the coveted London Craft Week Medal, an annual award given to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional skill, shown innovation and originality, and contributed significantly to the sector.

On receiving the award, Edmund said,

"It’s a ridiculous pleasure, I didn’t know that potters got prizes. Craft is a way of thinking about the world, it crosses boundaries and I’m proud to be part of this extra special week in such a multi- cultural city.”

During the opening ceremony, guests were welcomed by Guy Salter OBE MVO, Chairman of London Craft Week; Julien Marchenoir, Heritage and Strategy Director of Vacheron Constantin, the Founding Partner of London Craft Week; and Director of the V&A, Tristram Hunt.

Guy Salter commented,

London Craft Week is a magical combination of imagination, individuality, passion and skill found in the best-made of things. This year’s diverse programme of demonstrations, workshops, exhibitions, handling sessions, talks, drinks, dinners and parties ensures there is something for everyone with an interest, from the simply curious to the dedicated collector”.

The evening culminated with a performance by dancers from the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles. The Royal Khon is one of Thailand’s oldest narrative dance forms, revived by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit as a royal craft from the Thai court. During the week, demonstrations that show the making of Khon costumes by skilled weavers, embroiderers, and mask-makers will also be on show at Two Temple Place. 

Now in its third year, London Craft Week is an annual event showcasing the very best international and British creativity and craftsmanship through a ‘beyond luxury’ journey-of-discovery. The curated programme brings together more than 230 events from all corners of the globe featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands.

From the V&A to The Shard and RADA to the House of Lords, hidden studios to Mayfair stores and bustling workshops to Michelin-starred restaurants, London Craft Week is spread across the capital’s iconic buildings, influential institutions and off-the- beaten track side streets, many of which are not normally open to the public. The 2017 programme spans more than 55 disciplines from boat building to silversmithing, watchmaking to leatherworking, tailoring to glass blowing, book binding to steam bending and even the Japanese art of kintsugi.


Sarah Salmon


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