Craft and Design Month celebrates the UK’s finest handiwork

A photograph of someone making jewellery, relating to Craft and Design Week

The perspiration of Britain’s best craftspeople offers inspiration in May, as Craft and Design Month celebrates the finest UK handiwork…

Bookbinders, psaligraphers (the art of cutting out silhouettes) and a man who whittles wooden spoons from timber sourced from a cemetery all take the stage during May’s Craft and Design Month. It’s a nationwide celebration, with the keynote London Craft Week (3-7 May) featuring 130 events across the capital. Everywhere from hidden workshops to galleries, the following artisans will all be showcasing their painstakingly produced wares:


A photograph of a set of wooden spoons, relating to Craft and Design WeekBarn the Spoon (Barnaby Carder to his family) spent three years sleeping in forests, whittling spoons from the trees. He’s now got his own east London shop, where he sells spoons carved from timber harvested in Tower Hamlets Cemetery.





A photograph of a single Armadillo shoe, relating to Craft and Design Week

Shortly before his death, Alexander McQueen commissioned footwear designer Georgina Goodman to create the unwieldy-looking 24cm-tall ‘Armadillo’ shoes, with Lady Gaga buying three pairs for £190,000. The Armadillo isn’t Goodman’s only outré creation – she’s previously created wearable glass slippers and launched a range of ‘perennial’ shoes.


A photograph of a woman binding a manuscript, relating to Craft and Design Week It’s a skill redolent of Samuel Pepys’ time, but now young artisans, including Hayley Andrew, are keeping the fine craft of bookbinding alive. Recently completing her apprenticeship at Barnard & Westwood, her handicraft fuses traditional methods such as hand gold-tooling with the latest print technologies.


A photograph of a collection of perfumes, relating to Craft and Design Week

After an eclectic career running a boutique hotel, soybean farm and ice-cream parlour chain, Linda Pilkington decided to pursue her childhood hobby by launching a perfume range, Ormonde Jayne, in the early 2000s. She creates striking scents using ingredients such as black hemlock and frangipani.


A photograph of a stack of wallpaper, relating to Craft and Design Week

Helen Morley was a nature reserve warden and her love for conservation inspires her hand-printed lino-block wallpapers, which make use of oil-based inks and a printing press, and come with titles such as ‘Guelder Rose and Old Man’s Beard’.




Craft and Design Month takes place nationwide. London Craft Week runs from 3rd-7th May.

About author

Christian Koch

Christian Koch

Alongside his work for Director, Christian has written features for the Evening Standard, The Guardian, Sunday Times Style, The Independent, Q, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, ShortList and Glamour in an eclectic career which has seen him interview everybody from Mariah Carey to Michael Douglas through to Richard Branson with newspaper assignments including reporting on the Japanese tsunami and living with an Italian cult.

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