Origin, The London Craft Fair is an extravaganza of craft; with 150 exhibitors showing their wares this week, and another group next week. All the work must be approved by a jury so the quality and workmanship is very high. These exquisite "Map Shoes" (pictured left) were made from vintage maps, with a button trim. Jennifer Collier also makes little girls' dresses, suitable for framing, not wearing, out of old stamps or sheet music pages and machine embroidery. The clothing is symbolic, making us think about the fragility of the human body, and the transience of the things that we buy. Also from recycled paper, Magie Hollingworth's collection of spoons moulded out of pages from children's story books.
Louise Loder's "tools for building sandcastles" are displayed in a small sandbox. Made out of sterling silver (pictured right), driftwood and found beach objects and incorporating domestic items such as cups and vessels.; she shapes them into achingly beautiful implements for pushing the sand around in your own executive sand box. At the other extreme, Min-Ji Cho makes earrings and necklaces out of recycled rubber gloves. She cuts off the finger tips of the gloves and strings them on silver interspersed with semi-precious stones and pearls to make a very wild looking necklace.
There were quite a few furniture makers at the show this year. Alun Heslop makes these sculptural, organic outdoor benches from native hardwoods such as ash, oak, cherry and elm, harvested from sustainable, managed woodlands. He hand cuts the wood and uses traditional hand tools and techniques in his work.
Robert Eaves' Sustainable Furniture was made of ash and oak from the local woodlands near his workshop in the West midlands. He had been trained as a cabinet maker but went out on his own because he was tired of using imported timbers when there was good timber at his front door. He uses fresh logs because drying the wood is energy consuming and the seats are made of rush from the near-by River Avon.
Can't resist mentioning Robert Race's hand crafted wooden birds, on stands or on clothes pins, a gift from the sea.