Planning my Craft Events for 2019

I love planning my ‘must-see craft events’ for the coming year; 2019 looks like being a particularly great year of craft (including an excuse for a weekend in Paris), so here’s my top 5:

Organised by The Crafts Council, Collect kicks off the 2019 events. Collect is the only gallery-presented art fair dedicated to modern craft and design, and provides an opportunity to discover and invest in exceptional work produced in the last five years by living artists, much of which is made exclusively for the Fair.  Alongside the galleries, Collect Open returns providing a platform for 15 individual artists to show ambitious and conceptual craft-led installations. Collect will occupy the whole of the Saatchi Gallery for four days with over 30 galleries, selected by an independent panel of experts, selling the work of over 400 artists. (Early Bird tickets on sale now).

London Craft Week 7 May 2019 – 11 May 2019: London Craft Week is an annual event that showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands. I’d recommend the Glass artist Jochen Holz solo exhibition of the rarely practiced glassblowing technique of lampworking at Flow Gallery.

The Contemporary Craft Festival is one of the UK’s most prestigious and much-loved craft events. Over 200 of the UK’s finest makers will be exhibiting and - as always - the programme is brimming with workshops, demonstrations, children’s activities and entertainment, street theatre, festival food and live music, giving it a true festival feel. Maybe I’ll sign up for a workshop; I love the sound of a knife-making demonstration by Pole and Hunt, or learning about boatbuilding with the Boat Building Academy . Advance tickets are available now.

GNCCF Great Northern Contemporary Crafts Fair (2019 dates to be announced), with events in Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle, GNCCF is a must if you are based in the North.

It’s not too late to apply as a maker for GNCCF 2019, if you would like to register your interest visit their website.

My final recommendation is a bit further afield but, as excuses go, to have a weekend in Paris it’s a good one. The 4th edition of Révélations will take place from 23rd to 26th May 2019 at the Grand Palais in Paris. Every two years, Révélations provides a showcase for fine craftworkers and craft workshops along with an ambitious programme of events that highlight the diversity of creative skills.  As Revelations put it ‘”the exhibitors are expected to come from around 20 different countries and will include over 400 craftworkers, craft workshops, galleries, fine craft centres, foundations and institutions, who will each help to demonstrate the effervescence, splendour and vitality of contemporary crafts” – how very continental, I’ll book my Eurostar ticket!

Beth Alden

Raw Talent

It’s all very well going to an exhibition and admiring what is on show - or maybe thinking ‘my five year old could do better than that’.And it’s fine to be an observer and learner about craft, appreciating the skill and imagination that goes into creating works of art and craft. But it’s quite another to be inspired to think ‘well, i might try that’ 

The Textiles of Lucienne Day by Jan Miller

The Textiles of Lucienne Day by Jan Miller

For the past six months I've been working on a project with Beth Alden (CEO at New Brewery Arts), and have been hearing advance snippets about the New Brewery Arts' programming calendar. So I'd been looking forward to visiting Lucienne Day: Living Design for quite some time. It was a curious experience. There was joyous familiarity to some of the exhibits, whilst also so much more to explore and learn about the artist.