London Craft Week
Guy Salter, founder of London Craft Week, wants to get his hands on design savvy hipsters – not to shake some sense into them, that simply isn’t his style, but to demonstrate to them the importance of what lies beneath. This is a man on a mission to reinstate an understanding of what “luxury” (a somewhat debased term that he admits “we are stuck with”) really means. Look back 120 years and, he explains, “the word wouldn’t be used”; instead, among those that could afford the finest, there was an understanding of method. There was a shared body of knowledge that was, at its best, the basis of a relationship of mutual respect between maker and client. What early patrons of craft possessed, beyond money, was confidence: they knew what they wanted from craftsmen and how to ask for it. Using workshops, demonstrations and in store events – anything other than static showcases – Salter hopes London Craft Week will be a relaxed event where a new generation – and an existing audience – can learn about the skills available to them in the capital; and perhaps become more open to the idea of commissioning. “Consumers are on a journey,” believes Guy, “eventually they reach a crossroads and want to know more about products.” With London Craft Week Guy Salter has constructed a signpost for them. Because finding out about how things are made, from a Saville Row suit to a tapestry, is the first step on the road to a more considered kind of consumerism. We are very excited for all the events happening at this year's London Craft Week. 3 - 7 May This is an extract from Beth Smith's article in the Ageless issue of Selvedge. Images: Nick Hynan.