May diary

May is the month for exquisite crafts, so be sure to catch one of the stunning shows in London and nearby. Add to a collection, enhance your home, or commission a very special piece
The ancient craft of stick dressing
The ancient craft of stick dressing will be displayed at Hatfield House

Living Crafts: Art, Design and Innovation


Hundreds of craftsmen and women will be selling their wares in the grounds of the historic Elizabethan mansion of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. It is billed as "the biggest event of its kind in Europe". Demos, workshops, entertainment, children's activities and plenty of food and drink make for a fun day out. Tickets booked in advance cost £7.50 for adults; £7 for seniors; £3.50 for children; or a family ticket is £21. Tickets on the day cost £8.50 for adults; seniors, £8; children, £3.50; family ticket, £23.
7-10 May, 10am-5pm; Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire; 023 9286 3871; www.livingcrafts.co.uk

Alice Mara’s Nest of Wedding Bowls
Alice Mara’s Nest of Wedding Bowls, £104, Cavaliero Finn

Home is Where the Art is


Peep behind the scenes when the Cavaliero Finn design consultancy opens up its studio/home to display/sell contemporary paintings, sculpture and ceramics by 15 artists and designer-makers.
9-10 May, 11am-6pm; 268 Croxted Road, Herne Hill, SE24; 07941 200300; www.cavalierofinn.com

Glass Roots: an exhibition of Chinese and British Glass


In London for the first time are 30 Chinese glass artists, boasting a sparkling and glowing array, from plates and bowls to delicate small sculptures.
11 May-5 June; The Glass Art Gallery, 7 The Leathermarket, Weston Street, SE1; www.londonglassblowing.co.uk/currentevents

‘Spin’ Venetian glass by Ritsue Mishima
© Seiichi Nakamura
‘Spin’ Venetian glass by Ritsue Mishima at Collect 2009

Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects


Forget any lingering images of homely crafts - the modern moniker is "contemporary objects", and they have a fitting home in a special exhibition spanning three floors of the stunning new Saatchi Gallery. More than 300 artists will be showing ceramics, glass, jewellery, silver and other fine metalwork, textiles, wood and furniture. Tickets booked in advance cost £10 (until 13 May). Tickets on the door cost £15, or £20 for unlimited visits; concessions are £10. Evening Standard Offer: on 15 May, 5.30pm-8pm, print this page for admission, with catalogue, for £25 instead of £35.
15-17 May; Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, SW3; 020 7806 2510; www.craftscouncil.org.uk/collect

Blue Rose Buildings Cakestand
Blue Rose Buildings Cakestand by Esther Coombs at Made in Clerkenwell

Made in Clerkenwell


More than 70 designer-makers have their studios in a fascinating complex in the heart of the city. This weekend shopping event is your chance to meet the makers and buy their work. Find distinctive pieces of jewellery, fashion, interior products, ceramics, accessories and traditional crafts. Admission is £2.50; children under 16 get in free.
14 May, 5pm-8pm; 15 May, noon-7pm; 16-17 May, noon-6pm; Craft Central, 33-35 St John's Square, EC1; and 21 Clerkenwell Green, EC1; 020 7251 0276; www.craftcentral.org.uk

Bowl of strawberries
© Dee Puddy
Browse top brands, including Dee Puddy, at the Spirit of Summer Fair

Spirit of Summer Fair


Pick up a kit for an "edible chocolate beach hut", and browse top brands for summer living, at this new shopping fair. A food hall will have tempting goodies and plenty of samples to taste, such as fine wines and rare cheeses. Get ideas for easy updates for your summer wardrobe at special workshops, as well as inspiration for seasonal flower arranging. Learn to pack a perfect picnic - or simply buy one ready-made, courtesy of chef Anton Mosimann in the centre of the fair. Tickets booked in advance cost £14.80; under-12s, £6.50.
14-16 May, 10am-6pm; 17 May, 10am-5pm;
Olympia Grand Hall, Olympia Exhibition Centre, W14; 0844 412 4623; www.spiritofsummerfair.co.uk


The sculpture park at Blenheim
The sculpture park at Blenheim will feature the work of highly talented local artists, including this piece by Rachel Ducker

Art, Design and a Taste of Summer


This is a new show, with an interesting mix of art, craft and design, featuring exhibitions, demos, workshops, stalls and specialist food/wine. Take hands-on lessons in stone sculpture, see a watercolour master in action, explore a "chocolate heaven" marquee, or join in a tutored wine-tasting. Clay days are great fun, with on-site raku firing, while there's 40-minute cookery classes for children in the kitchen academy.
23-25 May, 10am-6pm; Blenheim Place, Woodstock, Oxfordshire; 023 9286 3871; www.livingcrafts.co.uk

Bank Holiday fun


May is the month of free time, with two Bank Holidays, and half-term. London's museums and galleries have great programmes of special events for adults and children alike. Check out these websites:
The Victoria & Albert Museum at www.vam.ac.uk
The Design Museum at www.designmuseum.org
The British Museum at www.britishmuseum.org
Somerset House at www.somersethouse.org.uk
The Museum of London at www.museumoflondon.org.uk

Find a full programme of National Trust events can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk, and English Heritage events at www.english-heritage.org.uk.

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