Craft that cuts it

Browse crafts from four con­ti­nents at Col­lect sell­ing fair in Chelsea, says Corinne Julius

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Crafts -

Ves­sel Gallery

THIS is boom­time for craft. “Con­tem­po­rary craft is in­creas­ingly col­lectable,” says Crafts Coun­cil creative di­rec­tor An­nie War­bur­ton. “The in­ter­na­tional mar­ket has never been more buoy­ant.” From to­mor­row at Col­lect, the an­nual Lon­don craft sell­ing ex­hi­bi­tion, a record num­ber of gal­leries are ex­hibit­ing lead­ing artists and mak­ers from four con­ti­nents.

Thirty nine gal­leries are tak­ing part, a third of them new par­tic­i­pants. As well as the UK, they in­clude ex­hibitors from the US, South Korea, Ja­pan, France, Nor­way, Italy, Bel­gium, Ger­many, the Nether­lands and Swe­den. Lon­don vis­i­tors can see and buy mu­seum-qual­ity pieces from pre­vi­ously unseen artists as well as old favourites work­ing in tex­tiles, ce­ram­ics, wood, met­al­smithing, glass and jew­ellery.

Craft­ing with wood is in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar. “Peo­ple are start­ing to recog­nise this in­ter­est­ing el­e­ment in craft and put a value on it,” says wood spe­cial­ist Sarah My­er­scough. She is par­tic­u­larly pleased with a joint project be­tween de­signer-maker Pe­ter Marigold and Tadanori Tozawa. In Ja­pan, Tozawa split more than 40 logs to choose the most in­ter­est­ing, to make six cab­i­nets de­signed by Marigold.

My­er­scough is also show­ing in­trigu­ing ves­sels by Ernst Gam­perl and Eleanor Lake­lin, sculp­tural ves­sels by Marc Nest

Joanna Bird Con­tem­po­rary Col­lec­tions

Ri­court, some limed white like porce­lain, oth­ers rusted brown by fer­rous ox­ide, as well as large rounded ves­sels with scorched in­te­ri­ors by Nic Webb.

The Masters of Bri­tish Stu­dio Pot­tery show­case fea­tures rare works for sale from some of the big­gest names in Bri­tish 20th-cen­tury ce­ram­ics. High­lights in­clude a rare Thir­ties tea set by pi­o­neer­ing mod­ernist Lucie Rie; works by her col­lab­o­ra­tor Hans Coper and by “fa­ther of Bri­tish Stu­dio Pot­tery” Bernard Leach; early work from Aus­tralian artist Gwyn Hanssen Pig­ott and mon­u­men­tal ves­sels by Ju­lian Stair.

Younger ce­ram­i­cists are also rep­re­sented. Joanna Bird shows the un­fired work of 2017 Woman’s Hour Craft Prize win­ner Phoebe Cum­mings. TingYing’s Col­lect Spot­light fea­tures wall and light in­stal­la­tions by ce­ram­i­cist Cristina Vezzini and glass­maker Stan Chen. Two gal­leries are de­voted to con­tem­po­rary Bri­tish me­tal — Bish­op­s­land Ed­u­ca­tional Trust and Gold­smiths’ Fair. Me­tal­smith Juli­ette Bigley has cre­ated TABLE — a scaled-up ver­sion of her own table with a tableau of wine bot­tle, jug and wa­ter glasses crafted from pati­nated cop­per, brass, nickel sil­ver and sil­ver.

This is com­ple­mented by Lon­don jew­ellery de­signer Ka­trin Spranger’s Aquatopia, a col­lec­tion of ob­jects as­so­ci­ated with wa­ter, in­spired by pip­ing and plumb­ing parts and mostly crafted from cop­per and glass. Tex­tiles at the Ox­ford Ce­ram­ics Gallery in­clude a new rug by Garry Fabian Miller de­pict­ing a ring of em­bers, and Jilly Ed­wards’s tapestry chron­i­cling her past year.

Many artists will be on hand, so Col­lect is a good op­por­tu­nity to learn about con­tem­po­rary craft, as well as to buy.

Or­nate glass: Sakura XII by Am­s­ter­dambased

rep­re­sented by of Not­ting Hill

Bird and Nest team up: red writ­ing desk from

fur­ni­ture rep­re­sented by

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