Marianne Thoermer Craft week 2023

Tradition meets Technology at London Craft week 2023

London Craft week has steadily grown over recent years. It brings together over 700 established and emerging makers, designers, brands and galleries from around the world. Craft is increasingly been seen as a driver of luxury industry, most recently in so called ‘quiet luxury’. Craft week clearly demonstrated how the industry is moving along with the times.

Image: Internal Landscapes by Marianne Thoemer, Canopy Collections

Most interesting works during the London Craft week exhibited tradition and heritage combined with unusual material choices or new technology application.

Craft Art

What makes craft an art piece? Craft has evolved a long way from humble everyday use items to become objects of desire. When craft becomes art it is often about uniqueness of material choice guided by intuition of the making process to express individuality.

Reinventing Tradition

Korean craft and design foundation presented beautiful examples of traditional Moon Jar artistry that represents Confucian ideas of purity, simplicity and austerity.

Launch of the Red List of Endangered Crafts

During the Craft week the Red list of Endangered craft skills in UK was updated. Crafts classified as ‘extirpated’ or ‘locally extinct’ are those which are no longer practised in the UK. For the purposes of this research, this category only includes crafts which have become extinct in the past generation.

Craft skills have been gradually and steadily disappearing from generation to generation. However, during and even before the pandemic certain skills like knitting and sewing have grown in popularity. Needlepoint (below) and most recently tufting workshops are emerging hobbies.

Benedikte Klüver’s new works also explore a geometric formalism but through the traditional technique of needlepoint.
Benedikte Klüver’s new works explore a geometric formalism but through the traditional technique of needlepoint.

Pushing Boundaries

Many works at the Craft week showed how boundaries are becoming more fluid between handmade and naturally formed. Power of nature is an inspiration that can also transcends ideological boundaries.


New biomaterials is one of the fastest growing areas in material innovation. During Craft week The Mills Fabrica which is a go-to solutions platform accelerating techstyle and agrifood tech innovations for sustainability and social impact presented some of the most innovative solutions.

Modern biocraft

Craft is a skill of making and doing (usually by hand), so how are biomaterials craft? In fabrication of biomaterials there is a process or intervention to create materials with biology. In the future we will see many more amazingly creative applications of how that can be achieved.

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