The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall on Thursday, February 5, 2015, visited the Art Workers Guild in Queens Square, London to mark the launch of London Craft Week, 6-10 May 2015. The week is dedicated to demonstrating excellence in craftsmanship and to celebrate the long standing and important role of ‘making’ in London. The week was launched at the Art Workers Guild Building.
The Art Workers Guild has gathered great craftsmen together in its historic building for over 125 years. The Guild is currently engaged in a fund-raising project to improve the facilities, to enable the hosting of its active outreach programme and growing membership. Its aim is to raise standards of craft in the UK, through apprenticeships, nourishment of inter-disciplinary relationships, and providing a home for intellectual discussion. For more information on the Guild and its fund-raising appeal visit www.artworkersguild.org
Their Royal Highnesses were greeted by Master of the Guild, Anthony Paine, and by Guy Salter, founder of London Craft Week, who escorted the royal party through the building to meet some of the UK’s most sought-after craftsmen, leaders of industry and witnessed makers at work.
To illustrate the breadth of London Craft Week’s inaugural programme, which will comprise over 50 craft demonstrations across London from 6 to 10 May. Their Royal Highnesses were presented with ‘The Suit’, deconstructed to reveal the many elements of skill needed to create one item. Those who contributed include designer Patrick Grant, spinner and knitter Rachael Matthews, Savile Row tailor Kathryn Sargent, livery tailor Keith Levett from Henry Poole & Co, Daniel Harris, a weaver from London Cloth, and for the finishing touch, Hawthorn and Heany, who embroidered the maker's label. The Prince of Wales then tried his own hand at pattern cutting. For more details about London Craft Week’s programme visit www.londoncraftweek.com.
Guy Salter, Founder of London Craft Week, said; “We are delighted to be welcoming Their Royal Highnesses to the launch of London Craft Week here at the Art Workers’ Guild, an initiative that puts really talented makers and exceptional craftsmanship centre stage, using London as a platform, and taking advantage of its position as a creative hub.”
Anthony Paine, Master of the Guild, said: “The Guild’s passion is encouraging good skills in making, so we are delighted to be supporting the launch of London Craft Week. Crafts are finally getting the recognition that fashion and the fine arts have enjoyed in London for some time.”
About London Craft Week
LONDON CRAFT WEEK is a new annual event which showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops, lesser known makers and highly specialised skills alongside famous shops, galleries and luxury brands.
Founded on the ethos of making, LONDON CRAFT WEEK aims to introduce the talent, people and techniques behind beautifully made things to a wider audience. They will be able to experience craft not just as static branded objects in smart shops but understand the context of how they were made, why they are special and even have a try themselves.
LONDON CRAFT WEEK is independent, not-for-profit and supported by founding partner Vacheron Constantin and strategic partners the Arts Council England as well as the Mayor of London, the Crafts Council, Walpole and the Heritage Crafts Association. @LondonCraftWeek #LCW15
About the Artworkers’ Guild
The Art Workers’ Guild (AWG) was founded in 1884 “to advance education in all the visual arts and crafts by means of lectures, meetings, demonstrations, discussions and to foster and maintain high standards of design and craftsmanship in all branches of the visual arts and crafts in any way which may be beneficial to the community.”
The AWG became the cradle of the Arts and Craft Movement in Britain and helped to stimulate similar movements elsewhere in Europe and North America. Today, the growing membership of some 360 craftsmen, designers and artists with skills spanning more than 70 crafts. All our members are acknowledged leaders in their field.
The Guild facilities at 6 Queen Square in Bloomsbury host some ninety kindred Arts based organizations, many of which have been spawned by the AWG. It is estimated that just under 10,000 people use the building every year.