The London Craft Fair: Origin: Week One

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Origin: The London Craft Fair is the annual juried craft fair where the best of Britain, and the rest of the world, exhibit original contemporary craft. In each of the two weeks 140 craft makers from all fields including ceramics, glass, textiles and jewellery display their works. This year they are also holding workshops, talks and events to give patrons a chance to learn more about craft. There is even a Pom Pom International Project; making pom-poms for world peace.

We have sought out some of the quirkiest and most eco for your delight... Winner of the quirkiest has to be Postal Jewellery. Made out of thick white cardboard, it is flat-pack jewellery that can be sent through the mail, like a postcard and assembled. There are twelve birth flower "rings"--one for each month. Each one folds into a flower-shaped ring. October's flower is the cosmos, by the way.

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Ellie Evans is concerned about issues of heritage and cultural identity. She takes old family documents and papers and makes textile pieces that incorporate them. With Polish and Dutch grandparents, some of her work has traditional folk embroidery, printed pieces of material with old bits of passport stamps, and embroidered initials. She makes hanging pockets; an idea that originated in the 18th century when women wore them tied around their waist, under their main skirt, and over their petticoat. "In the days when people often shared bedrooms and household furniture, a pocket was sometimes the only private, safe place for small personal possessions". Hers are hand embroidered on the inside, with old pins and names and images sewn onto them.

makeba lewis craft fair photo

Makeba Lewis weaves beautiful and colourful scarves. She is interested in working with sustainable yarns and makes use of them in her pieces. One was made of a soya beans and silk combination. Another was made of milk protein fibre which is extracted from milk and spun into yarn. Others were hand woven from crab yarn and banana yarn. She sources them all from an international yarn fair held in Florence twice yearly. She works gold and silver and copper into the pieces. Copper is supposed to be good for arthritis sufferers and gold and silver have anti-bacterial properties.


Ian McKay's whimsical toys and wall pieces were made out of bits of driftwood and found objects. They are hand-built from cherry wood and incorporate metal and other materials.


The Origin Intervention was a series of new works commissioned specially for the fair, presenting challenging work and new ways of experiencing craft. Julia Lohmann's lamps certain did that: they were made of preserved sheep stomachs. They looked sort of brown and nubbled and were quite delicate.


A live textile installation was also being created day by day at the show. It will grow over the course of the event. Visitors are being invited to write their thoughts on ribbons that will then be woven together and form the fabric of the free-standing structure. :: Origin: The London Craft Fair
More on Origin: The London Craft Fair

:: Origin: 2007
:: Origin: 2006

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