Scotland at London Craft Week 2017

Craft Scotland at London Craft Week, photo: Sylvain Deleu

The third edition of London Craft Week took place from Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 May, and this year’s programme saw a special focus on Scotland’s creativity.

We look back at some of the Scottish workshops, talks and demonstrations that took place, and hear from some of the Scottish makers and exhibitors about their experience of London Craft Week 2017.

Craft Scotland at The Caledonian Club

Craft Scotland at London Craft Week, photo: Sylvain Deleu

Craft Scotland offered an insider’s look at makers’ practices at their successful event at The Caledonian Club, with designer/ maker Jennifer Gray revealing the design process and range of techniques behind her contemporary work, including her Surface Tiles and Condiment Sets. She also demonstrated the methods she has developed to mimic stone surfaces through mixing pigments into jesmonite.

Instagram: @jennifergraydesign

Craft Scotland also offered the opportunity to hear from award-winning designer Angus Ross of Aberfeldy, who demonstrated the process behind his popular Unstable Stool. Angus has been at the forefront of British craft furniture for over twenty years, creating exquisitely handcrafted furniture using sustainably-managed Scottish wood. This wood is used green for the traditional Scottish technique of steam-bending, which Angus talked audiences through at the event.

Craft Scotland at London Craft Week, photo: Sylvain Deleu

Angus Ross, said: “ A fascinating week to be in London; craftsmen, designers and artisans from all disciplines giving an insight into their creative practices.  We had a thoroughly enjoyable event at The Caledonian Club, with Jennifer Gray and Craft Scotland, talking both to members and the engaged public.”

Twitter: @angusross
Instagram: @angusrossltd
Facebook: Angus Ross Furniture

Method Studio

Architects of objects, Method Studio (Linlithgow) inhabit the world of design, artisan craft and experience. Husband and wife team behind Method Studio, Callum Robinson and architect Marisa Giannasi, shared some thoughts on their bespoke process and demonstrated woodcarving with master carver David Robinson.


Lara Scobie at jaggedart

For London Craft Week, ceramicist Lara Scobie (Edinburgh) had work featured in jaggedart’s group exhibition entitled A Cabinet of Curiosities.

Lara’s ceramic vessels stand tall, tilted or oblique. The theme of balance is constant, significantly underlining her work in which ideas of dynamic interplay between form and surface. By integrating drawing, surface mark making and volume, Lara plays with the balance of space and pattern alongside hue and texture on both the decorated and void surface areas. For her, it is the balance between composition and form, absence and presence that offers some of the most exciting opportunities for expressing her creative voice.


Paisley Make, photo: S Bryden

Paisley made textiles and textiles made Paisley. Once the centre of the thread industry, Paisley now aims to reconnect with its rich heritage through a bid for UK City of Culture 2021. As part of that process, PaisleyMake was born. PaisleyMake is a gathering of artisans and makers who come together to share their stories and rekindle the entrepreneurial spirit that made the town famous.

PaisleyMake at London Craft Week continued the town’s journey as it reconnected with makers and creative industries through the Paisley pattern. Events included an evening reception within Dover House and during Bentley’s celebration of luggage-making skills, artisan Charles Laurie London hosted a leather and hand-stitch demonstration showcasing the finest Paisley leather from Scottish Leather Group.

PaisleyMake also hosted a series of origami & pattern workshops, coinciding with PaisleyMake’s audio visual installation exploring ancient Paisley shawls alongside new work from designer/makers Siobhan Mackenzie, Mairi McDonald and new emerging makers from InCube Renfrewshire.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “Paisley is once again making its mark on the global fashion and textiles world by threading together the town’s history as the one-time centre of the global textile industry and the Paisley Pattern’s global relevance today.

“During a Paisley-themed reception at Dover House, cashmere giants Pringle of Scotland made a special announcement that their new collection will feature an original Paisley Pattern design from the previously unearthed archives of Paisley Museum.

“It was fantastic that this announcement was made during London Craft Week with influential creative industry leaders and two fledging Renfrewshire businesses, Misty Concepts and Paisley Pins, present at the reception. Both businesses, supported by Renfrewshire’s business incubator InCube, ran sold-out workshops at G F Smith, historic luxury paper makers of Hull, the city that is UK City of Culture 2017.

“They were joined by organisers of PaisleyMake, Renfrewshire’s international festival of creativity and design, and textile experts as they showcased all things Paisley to the world, which included an exhibition featuring the work of seven InCube businesses.  

“Reconnecting Paisley with its global brand, the Paisley Pattern, is central to some exciting regeneration plans, developed by Renfrewshire Council, for the town and surrounding area revolving around culture and textiles, turbo-charged by the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.”

Twitter: @paisleymake
Instagram: @paisley_make

Silver of the Stars

Sharleen Spiteri, Silver of the Stars

The Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh paired up talented Scottish craftspeople with celebrities, including Sean Connery, Ewan McGregor, Alexander McQueen, Robbie Coltrane and Sharleen Spiteri, to create ten unique drinking vessels.

For the past ten years, Silver of the Stars has been promoting contemporary Scottish silversmithing around the world by showing this ancient artisan tradition in an innovative way. Silver of the Stars is part of Inspired 2017 a selling exhibition that promotes a unique and diverse range of contemporary silver and bespoke furniture made in the UK by both established and new designers.

Mary Michel, Director: “Scotland is home to countless talented and creative makers, so I was thrilled to see the work of so many of those makers featured at this year’s London Craft Week. 

“We had a great response to our Silver of the Stars collection, a sparkling collection of contemporary silverware created by some of the best Scottish craftsmen and women, designed in collaboration with world famous Scottish celebrities, which was included in the Inspired 2017 exhibition. 

“It was also exciting to see work by several makers who will be exhibiting at the Elements Festival, which will be held in Edinburgh in November.”

Twitter: @incofgoldsmiths
Instagram: @elements_edin

Tom Pigeon

Fife-based design studio, Tom Pigeon showcased their new Shipwreck collection in an exciting window display at the London showroom of the Republic of Fritz Hansen, an international design brand.

Tom Pigeon’s work is inspired by the flotsam and jetsam washed up on our local beaches. By the colours, shapes and rhythms created by driftwood, salt washed plastic, rope and nets. The collection arose last year when Tom Pigeon created a triptych of abstract screen prints for London Design Festival.

Tom Pigeon have taken these prints as a catalyst to develop new work across a variety of materials and production methods, exploring the boundaries between craft, design and manufacture. These Shipwreck collection includes a kilim rug handwoven in India, a range of foiled stationery, a linen wall hanging and a sculptural mobile.

Tom Pigeon also hosted an “in conversation” event at the Republic of Fritz Hansen, discussing the crossover in boundaries between craft, design and manufacture in contemporary practice. Chaired by award-winning design writer, Katie Treggiden, the panel included Tom Pigeon’s creative director Kirsty Thomas, woodcraftsman Sebastien Cox, Floorstory’s Simon Goff and designer/academic Jane Norris

Kirsty Thomas, Creative Director Tom Pigeon said:“London Craft Week was a great opportunity for us to showcase our new collection to a London audience. The wealth of events, talent and creativity on show throughout the week was really exciting and it was a privilege to be part of the action.”

Twitter: @tompigeon
Instagram: @tom_pigeon
Facebook: Tom Pigeon

This article was published on 23 May 2017