Now in its second edition, Artefact shined a light on artisanal excellence. On show was an array of astonishing work, including museum-quality pieces from around the globe. Attracting top designers, architects, collectors and enthusiasts, visitors could experience the joy that handmade objects can bring.
Artefact was staged in the magnificent Design Avenue. Visitors went on a voyage of discovery, gaining a greater understanding of how one-of-a-kind designs are conceived and made, as well as acquiring unique work to cherish for years to come. There were opportunities to meet leading gallerists from the vibrant craft scene and view authentic work up close from established and emerging makers and artists.
With interior design placing greater value on craft, Artefact was an opportunity to discover, learn and connect with remarkable design talent at the world’s premier design destination.
An impressive rollcall of contemporary craft and visual arts galleries included 155A Gallery, 50 Golborne Gallery, Cavaliero Finn, Jaggedart, Jan Hendzel Studio, Katie Jones Gallery, Lloyd Choi Gallery, Madeinbritaly, Mixed Metals, Objekti, Oxford Ceramics Gallery, Seeds, Ting Ying Gallery, Ting-Ying Gallery Presenting Vezzini & Chen and Vessel Gallery.
The imagination, diversity and techniques on display attested to the relevance of collectible craft today, with artisans engaging in different media from paper and porcelain, to stalwart craft disciplines such as metalwork, glass, sculpture, textiles, ceramics and upcycled materials.
Throughout the week, a curated programme brought contemporary craft to life. There were maker trails and gallery tours, Access All Areas sessions and artisan demonstrations.
Broadening specialist knowledge, the Conversations in Craft talks programme offered insider insights from the craft industry’s leading lights. Chaired by writer and Material Matters podcaster Grant Gibson, they delved deeper into the world of contemporary craft.
Some extraordinary makers were brought on board including Barnaby Barford, Julian Stair and Ptolemy Mann; furniture makers Benchmark’s Sean Sutcliffe and Chris Eckersley, glassmakers Jahday Ford, Louis Thompson, Lena Bergstrom and Lulu Harrison; embroiderer Richard McVetis, textile artists Alice Kettle and Celia Pym, and knitter Freddie Robbins. Experts included gallerist Juliana Cavaliero, Jane Marriott of Harewood House, QEST’s Deborah Pocock, Mary Lewis of Heritage Crafts Association and interior designer Jo Le Gleud.
Proceeds from ticket sales were donated to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
There were daily demonstrations by makers from QEST (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust). The charity supports the training and education of talented craftspeople. Transforming an idea into reality takes skill and vision; from revitalising heritage techniques and cutting-edge innovation to unlocking the potential of materials and artisan processes, so this gave the chance to see these talented artisans in action.
For many showrooms at the Design Centre craftsmanship is at the heart of their business. Throughout Artefact, there were behind-the-scenes guided tours to discover how their products are conceived and made.