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Celebrating craft

Between 3-7 May there was a special buzz about Oxo Tower Wharf as we hosted a series of events and a major exhibition as part of the third annual London Craft Week.

‘MARKS & TOOLS’ EXHIBITION

gallery@oxo played host to Design-Nation’s ‘Marks & Tools’, the Great British portfolio’s craft and design showcase. Design-Nation champions British design and, along with its partners, seeks to actively grow the UK’s creative community.

The exhibition, curated by design journalist Barbara Chandler, was a huge success, drawing over 1,100 visitors over four days. This included collectors, curators, writers and a special visitor from the Foreign Office’s interior decorating team which looks after British embassies & consulates abroad. Several of Design-Nation’s exhibitors made direct sales, including to visitors from across the UK, France, Germany, Jordan and Hong Kong.

The event  kicked off with a sold-out ‘in conversation’ and show-and-tell with Barbara Chandler, Margo Selby, Michael Ruh and Hannah Tounsend [pictured below], exploring the question “What makes every craftsperson unique?” The answer, as the exhibition revealed, are the “marks” they leave on their materials and the tools they use, from the broad sweep of the studio itself to a favourite knife, an old mallet and even a pebble.

Visitors were delighted with the exhibition and quick to share their thoughts in the Guest Book and on social media. Some of the comments:

“Taz Pollard’s ceramics [pictured below] are the most fabulous things I’ve seen in ages.”

“A beautiful exhibition, especially Joanna Kinnerley-Taylor’s printed textiles [pictured below].”

“Hugh Miller = Legend.”

LIVE ‘KINTSUGI’ AT WAGUMI

Up on the first floor, Japanese design shop wagumi (Unit 1.08) hosted a live ‘kintsugi’ demonstration, a process that marks and seals the cracks in ceramics (and sometimes glass) with lacquer and gold powder to give the broken objects a beautiful afterlife. As act of repair, but also an art in itself, ‘kintsugi’ touches upon some important ideas and aesthetics in Japanese life.

Providing the demonstrations to the many enthralled onlookers was Hiroko Ogawa [pictured below], a leading practitioner from the Bizen-ware ceramics region on her first visit to London.

‘METALSCAPES’ at Studio Fusion Gallery

Meanwhile, Studio Fusion Gallery (Unit 1.06), which specialises in a contemporary approach to enamel and other non-traditional materials, hosted ‘Metalscapes’, an exhibition curated by Brian Kennedy, featuring Daphne Krinos, Tamar de Vries Winter and Rebecca de Quin. For the exhibition, the three artists created their own metal landscapes [pictured below] playing with the connections and spaces between the objects.

Throughout London Craft Week Studio Fusion Gallery welcomed up to 40 visitors daily, with over 30 visitors attending the artist talk and Private View on Thursday 4 May.

London Craft Week may be over for another year but, as leading destination for the highest quality design and craftsmanship and home to 28 designer-makers, Oxo Tower Wharf always has something up its sleeve to offer all craft and design aficionados. We look forward to welcoming you to the heart of creative London.

 

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