London Craft Week 2024: 10 things to see and do for the 10th anniversary celebration

Knitted fish, experimental eyewear and a secret ceramics sale — it’s all in our insider guide to the capital’s craft celebration
Glass artist Dale Chihuly is installing public works at Chelsea Barracks
Dale Chihuly
Cat Olley2 minutes ago

Hand-eye coordination will be in bountiful supply at London Craft Week, which returns with a bumper celebration from 13 to 19 May to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

London’s craft fiesta does away with a prescriptive theme and instead encourages more than 750 makers to throw open the doors to their studios, stage exhibitions and run talks, tours and workshops.

Headline events for the big birthday include Dale Chiluly’s riotous glass sculptures at Chelsea Barracks (above) but there’s bound to be something happening in almost every borough – from gilding to glassblowing.

Here are our highlights for London Craft Week 2024.

1. Visit London’s new ceramics hub

‘Turn the Big Light Off’ by Connor Coulston
Matthew Booth

In a fresh coup for London’s flourishing ceramics scene, part of the South Bank’s County Hall has been quietly transformed into a vibrant pottery destination with studios and an 1,800 square foot gallery.

Custodians Emma Louise Payne and Yasemin Gava are marking the opening with Beyond the Kiln, a showcase of cutting-edge ceramics by London-based artists.

13 – 19 May, Riverside Building, County Hall, SE1 7PB

2. Call in at Craftworks

Craftworks is a major new event at Shoreditch Town Hall
Alun Callender

Hosting more than a hundred makers, this major new show at Shoreditch Town Hall will take on zeitgeisty topics with a craft slant, from zero-waste and circularity to sidelined talent.

It will also include a showcase of endangered crafts on the red list, including silk weaving and straw hat making.

15 – 17 May, Shoreditch Town Hall, EC1V 9LT

3. Peruse textile talent in Peckham

A piece by Alice Burnhope
Alexander Mourant

Renewed interest in weaving catapulted textile art to the top spot at last year’s Craft Week – now a Peckham collective is taking up the mantle.

Craft Show’s A Textile Assembly will bring together the work of twenty established and rising textile artists, all of whom have an instinct for storytelling. Expect exquisite tapestries, tents and more.

13 – 19 May; Staffordshire St, SE15 5TJ

4. Take part in a secret ceramics sale

A piece from a mystery Secret Ceramics maker

A hundred single-stem vessels, all £300, sold without the name tag: Secret Ceramics is an unconventional sale indeed.

That’s because it’s actually a charity initiative, produced in partnership with FiredUp4 who provide pottery classes and equipment for young people. And who knows? You could pick out a piece by Kate Malone, Zandra Rhodes or Hitomi Hisono.

15 – 17 May; SoShiro, W1G 8DZ

5. Do a supermarket sweep in Soho’s vintage market

Food-inspired knitted creations by Kate Jenkins

Rumour has it that dealer Merchant & Found has spent five years preparing for the reveal of The Vintage Supermarket, a 6,000 square foot pop-up store in Soho for four days only.

Alongside the retro furniture they’ve rustled up an edit of curiosities from modern craftspeople, including a brilliantly kitsch (knitted) fish counter. Expect daily trolley dashes, naturally.

15 – 18 May; The Vinyl Factory, W1F 7BE

6. Get a glimpse of ceramic greats

A selection of Hans Coper pieces from the Shipley Collection

A slew of pieces from heavyweight Brit ceramicists, including Lucie Rie, Bernard Leach and Hans Coper, are on display for one day only before they’re auctioned off by Maak Ceramics.

The objects have been hidden away in the Shipley Collection and are likely to go back into private ownership – so this might be your one chance.

15 May; Maak, WC2H 9LH

7. Peek inside Highgate’s secret garden

Works by María Ignacia Walker as part of OmVed’s exhibition

Highgate ecology and food project OmVed is only usually open for specific events, so seize the opportunity to have a nose around this hidden sanctuary for its London Craft Week exhibition.

The network of glasshouses and gardens is a fitting backdrop for Alchemy – an exploration of human connection to nature via craft in partnership with Thrown gallery – and an antidote to staid white cube galleries elsewhere.

15 – 19 May; OmVed Gardens, N6 5JF

8. Browse bio-materials at Fabric X

Innovations on display at Fabrica X, Mills Fabrica’s concept store and gallery

Operating at the juncture of craft and science, the urgently named Planet-Saving Innovations is a must-see exhibition from sustainability incubator Mills Fabrica.

Using six planetary priorities as a jumping off point – water, chemicals, waste, microplastics, land-use and climate change – it will illustrate how innovations like bio-fabrication can help restore earth’s natural balance.

13 – 19 May; Fabrica X, N1 9AB

9. Meet tomorrow’s master craftspeople

Alba Fernández Castro and Isabel Martins with their ‘Celestial Dome’
Carmo Oliviera

Held at arts mecca Cromwell Place, Today’s Masters Meet Tomorrow’s Talents is a diverse showcase of results from the prestigious Homo Faber Fellowship, which pairs young people with master artisans across Europe.

Who wants to see what they made of their six months away? Their co-creations span stone sculpture to featherworking.

14 – 19 May; Cromwell Place, SW7 2JE

10. Ponder Cubitts curiosities at Coal Drops Yard

Wonder at whacky glasses in Cubitts’ Coal Drop Yards store

It’s unlikely that Cubitts accidentally produced a pair of elaborate birthday cake glasses in an earnest fabrication error, but this display of experimental specs promises to be great fun regardless.

Spot hidden functions and unorthodox materials among the creations from the Cubitts workshop.

13 – 19 May; Cubitts Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DH