London Craft Week

Six things to see and do at London Craft Week 2019

A five-day festival of craft kicks off in London on Wednesday, with events across the capital dedicated to makers and artisans. Design editor Augusta Pownall picks out six of the best to take in.

This year's edition of London Craft Week takes place from 8 to 12 May and many of its events are free to attend.

Talks, workshops and screenings all feature in the programme, along with exhibitions of hand-crafted objects and artworks.

Here's our pick of six that will be worth seeing:

Loewe Baskets Live

Following a collaboration and exhibition at Milan design week, fashion label Loewe has again partnered with Californian mother and daughter weaving duo, Shizu Designs, for a series of demonstrations of weaving leather.

These will take place from 11 to 12 May at Loewe's three-storey flagship store in Mayfair, which opened this year and is designed to feel like a collector's house.

Shizu Designs' work – including rock-weaving, the Japanese technique of wrapping rocks with ornamental rattan or cane knots – will also be on show in the space.


For the first time, London Craft Week will include a major exhibition. Curated by gallerist Sarah Myerscough, Scorched is a selection of pieces created by artists and designers using the process of shou-sugi-ban, otherwise known as yakisugi.

Originating in 18th-century Japan, the technique involves charring the surface of the wood which enhances the appearance of the grain, as the tree's rings burn at different speeds depending on the rate at which they grow.

The exhibition will include work from 17 makers, including Sebastian Cox, Alison Crowther and Gareth Neal, who will be in conversation with the curator at 3pm on Wednesday 8 May.

Fitzrovia Chapel, 2 Pearson Square, W1T 3BF

Woven Waste

Design studio Par-Avion Co and self-proclaimed circular economy design studio Claire Potter Design will create a large-scale woven installation made from repurposed construction waste materials at Battersea Power Station.

The power station has been empty since 1983, but is currently undergoing a transformation into a business and residential complex that is likely to include Apple's new London headquarters. The construction site inevitably produces a huge amount of waste.

The installation is intended to "highlight the sustainable management of construction waste", as well as acting as a commentary on the contribution that construction sites make to landfill.

Battersea Power Station, Riverside Piazza, Circus West Village, SW11 8EZ

Coal Drops Yard

The Heatherwick Studio-designed Coal Drops Yard opened in London's Kings Cross in October last year. For its inaugural participation in London Craft Week, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities throughout the week.

Options include knife sharpening on a whetstone at the Kitchen Provisions store, a chocolate-tasting workshop at Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, the opportunity to learn how to dye fabric at one of five workshops run by Store, as well as candle making and craft beer tasting.

Also on display at Coal Drops Yard will be the new collection of handmade ceramic bottles, cups and jars, from Assemble's Granby Workshop. Pieces are made in the studio's Liverpool workshop, by casting liquid clay in a series of stackable modular moulds.

Coal Drops Yard, Stable St, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4DQ

Paul Brown: A Community of Design

The late set and costume designer Paul Brown, who died in 2017 at the age of 57, worked on operas at Covent Garden, La Scala and Glyndebourne, as well as designing sets for theatre.

During a talk introduced by designer and curator Kate Burnett on Thursday 9 May, his work and studio are discussed by his design associates and collaborators, alongside a VR reproduction of the subterranean studio created by filmmaker Jonathan Hamilton.

Topics will include the craft and vision involved in producing scaled set-models, and Brown's technical drawings for set and costume designs.

V&A, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL

Yinka Ilori: Types of Happiness

Dezeen Awards judge Yinka Ilori is transforming a southwest London underpass with colourful murals made from powder-coated panels. Called Happy Street, the design will be unveiled during the London Festival of Architecture next month.

For London Craft Week, the British-Nigerian designer is showing a collection up-cycled furniture created in response to the project. The pieces on show represent the 16 different types of happiness incorporated into the underpass artwork.

The show opens during London Craft Week but will continue through to June.

StudioRCA, 1 Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Lane, SW8 5AU