Nearly a fifth of us engaged in some kind of craft activity last year, according to the Crafts Council. Not bad for a nation of shop-happy, time-poor consumers. Most of these objects will have considerably more sentimental than monetary value, but for a heavy dose of the finest designer-making from the UK and beyond, look to craft fair Collect.
The work of more than 400 makers will be on display at London’s Saatchi Gallery as part of Collect, including pieces by Hiroshi Suzuki, Michael Eden and Anna Berglund. Among the most interesting exhibits are Michael Cleff’s On Ideas 3, which turns a coffee cup handle into a tumescent scaffold-style edifice.
Blending the precious and the throwaway is the guiding theme of a few pieces in this year’s Collect, including Mia Maljojoki’s Explosive: Frozen Fireworks 1, which sees pearls buried in a lump of plaster on a rope circlet, and Ara Kuo’s Vernal Affection, which features a pearl peeking from between the splayed bristles of a pink brush.
For the first time, Collect features a space to display site-specific work, including a bespoke furniture collection made using Renaissance leather-carving techniques by Georgina Brett Chinnery. Other highlights will include a living wall installation by Rosa Nguyen and a large-scale installation by ceramicisist Lubna Chowdhary and textile designer Ptolomy Mann.
Also to be unveiled at the show – and reinforcing the link between crafts and art – is a brand new tapestry of Tracey Emin’s painting Black Cat, which she commissioned West Dean Tapestry Studio to create.