London Craft Week:'meet the makers' at 130 events this May

Craft’s contribution to the capital’s cultural life and economy is recognised in London Craft Week, May 3-8. Now in its second year, it features innovative makers around the city.

There will be demonstrations, exhibitions, talks and plenty of opportunities to get your hands dirty. Learn how items in daily use, such as textiles, ceramics, metalwork and glass, are made and how today’s makers translate ideas into finished products.

There are 130 events in workshops, studios, galleries and shops, with lots to inspire, fascinate and buy. Most are free and drop-in, others must be pre-booked due to limited space.


Vanguard Court in Peckham, a hub of ceramics making with some terrific domestic ware by Chris Keenan and Carina Ciscato, opens its doors from 2pm-3.30pm. The ceramicists demonstrate how they work, and gallerist Joanna Bird explains how to develop a ceramic collection. Meet at Number 67, South London Gallery, Peckham Road, SE5.

Free at the V&A: silversmith Rauni Higson will give a demo of her craft at 2pm on Tuesday May 3

At the V&A, Cromwell Road, SW7, makers from Wedgwood show their skills in the Ceramics Gallery, 10am-5pm. Tour the Silver Speaks: Idea to Object exhibition at the V&A with me at 1pm, followed at 2pm by Rauni Higson’s demonstration of raising a vessel from a flat sheet of silver.

Handmade porcelain: Royal Academy Summer Exhibition bowl, £2,500, by Helen Beard, who will be giving a talk at Craft Central, EC1, on May 3, noon-1pm. Free


Ben Hymer demonstrates weaving techniques, while Daniel Harris and leading designer Martino Gamper weave with dye at Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, E1, 10am-5pm (and on Thursday). There is a chance for visitors to cast concrete at the Institute of Making, University College London, Malet Place, WC1 from 10am-11am.

Try handling silver at Silver Speaks: Hold at The Goldsmiths’ Centre, Britton Street, EC1, when leading silversmiths Angela Cork and Rod Kelly explain how pieces are made, from 10am-noon. The Craft Film Festival, Real to Reel at Picturehouse Central, Piccadilly, W1, from 6pm–9pm (also Thursday) shows different craft films that explore makers, making, materials and process.


To see how craft skills are used in luxury brands in Mayfair, there’s a talk by fashion designers Alice Temperley and Hussein Chalayan on The Making Behind Fashion, at Selfridges, 6.30pm–8pm.

Jewellery: Dorothy Hogg will guide visitors through making pendants at Contemporary Applied Arts, SE1 from 1pm-6pm, Thursday, May 5. Free to attend

In a tour and talk around the W1 tailoring mecca, Andy Barnham and Rupert Watkins explain How to Buy the Bespoke Suit on Savile Row. Meet at 11am at bespoke tailors Dege & Skinner at 10 Savile Row. At 6.30pm hear a talk titled How to Commission a Bespoke Shirt at Turnbull and Asser Bespoke, 23 Bury Street, SW1.

Visit Second Floor Studios & Arts in Harrington Way, Woolwich, SE18, home to furniture designers Sebastian Cox and David Gates, who will explain their work, take orders and discuss commissions from 1pm-3pm.

Bespoke furniture: From Greenwich to the Barrier (£6,000-£8,000), an oak and maple cabinet by David Gates at Second Floor Studios & Arts. Gates will be at the collective in Harrington Way, Woolwich, on Thursday May 5 to talk about his work and take commissions 

Glass engraver Katharine Coleman explains her making process from noon-1pm at Craft Central, 33-35 St John’s Square, EC1, where there is also an exhibition of bespoke furniture, open daily, with a chance to meet the makers.


Contemporary Applied Arts at 89 Southwark Street, SE1, has a series of events. On Friday Sue Paraskeva, known for creating tableware for Kevin Costner and Calvin Klein, will throw ceramic bowls from 10am to 6pm, which she will smash and restructure to music on Saturday from 2pm-3pm. Once fired, the vessels will be for sale.

Building Crafts College, 17-31 Gibbins Road, E15, offers stone carving from 1.15pm-4.15pm, based on carving deriving from hieroglyphs on the Sarcophagus of Seti I, which is at Sir John Soane’s Museum.


At the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, E17, take a behind-the-scenes peek at the original blocks that Morris used to print his textiles and try your own block printing from noon-2pm. The V&A has a silver workshop with leading silversmiths to make your own silver spoon from 10.30am-4.30pm. Glass blower Simon Moore opens his studio at Unit 6-8, 28 Wren Street, Camden, from 10am-11am.

Hand-blown glass: at Michael Ruh Studio, 6 Parade Mews off Norwood Road, SE27, Ruh (pictured) is hosting One Simple Shape, creating unique works with fellow glass artist Marc Barreda, at 11am-1pm, Saturday May 7. Tickets are £15 plus VAT 

... and ALL WEEK

The Geffrye  Museum Kingsland Road , E2 shows its  new exhibition, the Craft of  Wallpaper with different makers in residence most days. On Tuesday 3rd Vicky Davison of Graham & Brown will create a new wallpaper based on 2 pieces from the museum’s archive.  

Drop in any day between 10am-4.30pm to London Glassblowing at 62-66, Bermondsey St, Southwark, SE1, to watch an international team of glassblowers at work.

Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly, W1, is the venue for Crafted, a small show of contemporary craft by makers from the 2015 Walpole Crafted mentoring programme, including jeweller Silvia Weidenbach, wood turner Eleanor Lakelin and silversmith Theresa Nguyen.

Wood’s good: sea urchin-shaped vessels by wood turner Eleanor Lakelin, whose work features in Crafted, daily at Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly during London Craft Week

See hand engraving at Rebus, 59 Leather Lane, EC1, from noon-3pm daily. Or bookbinding and printing demos and make your own notebooks at St Bride Foundation, Bride Lane, Fleet Street EC4.

  • For further information including times, full venue details and booking arrangements, go to or pick up a directory from a participating venue. Do check in advance as some events are selling out fast. 

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