Craft that cuts it
Browse crafts from four continents at Collect selling fair in Chelsea, says Corinne Julius
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