Closing this weekend, and now in its fourth year, this year’s Modern Craft Market at Heals in Tottenham Court Road has the theme ‘Made in London”, with a focus on small individual designers working across London, showing how London remains a hub of creative crafts with designs on show (and for sale), workshops and demonstrations.
Creative crafts take on an increased importance as the UK enters the unchartered waters of BREXIT and seeks to develop a new identity in the 21st century world. Crafts on show include recycling unwanted or disused materials, fabrics, chair-weaving, ceramics, furniture, glass, soap…..and gin!
Designer Caitlin Hinshelwood takes inspiration from the natural world for the screen printing designs of her textiles, while London Terrariums bring the natural world inside cities and the London Cloth Company uses traditional weaving techniques to create beautiful contemporary fabrics. Rachael South uses traditional caning and weaving skills to create her modern furniture while the Blackhorse Workshop provides access to equipment to restore just about anything and, in a similar vein, the Goldfinger Factory supports upcycling into new designs. The Shoreditch Design Rooms supports training and designs for new upholstery, and ceramics on show demonstrate the inventiveness of Amanda-Sue Rope, Jode Pankhurst and Milo Made, while Michael Ruh creates one-off hand-blown modern glassware.
On the wider side of crafts, Soapsmith creates artisan soaps and lotions to “nourish the skin and rouse the senses” while, also rousing the senses, Sipsmith Gin started a gin revolution when, in 2009, it opened London’s first new copper distillery since 1820.
Creativity is alive and well and Heal’s are to be congratulated in raising awareness of a little of what is going on across London. How will the Government support further expansion and international markets for these and other enterprises?