From lace and leatherwork to cobbling and caning, London Craft Week celebrates craftspeople using their nimble fingers to create bespoke objects using everything from ancient, endangered techniques to new age skills. But, even though craft week comes around once a year, here are nine classes you can get involved in so you can stay crafty all year around.
Best for tool-lovers: Carpentry at The Goodlife Centre
Go with the grain and learn your way around a spoke-shave in a hands-on carpentry class. This independent learning space offers workshops for everyone – from fresh-faced joiners to the woody-wise – and timber techniques including carving, turning, furniture-making and restoring. You’ll learn classic woodwork skills and walk away with a stool or table made with your own fair hands.
Next class: The Goodlife Centre. Borough. Intro to woodwork. Sat May 6. £175.
Best for those who can take the heat: Glassblowing at London Glassblowing Studio
Blow hot air in the best way possible by using your lungs to transform balls of molten glass into delicate ornaments. The London Glassblowing Studio lets blowing beginners spend a whole day in their hot glass studio gathering and shaping molten glass with help from one of their in-house glass artists. Learn to add pattern, texture and colour to the red-hot orbs and create up to four pieces of glassware to take home.
Next class: London Glass Blowing Studio. London Bridge. Dec 2. £475.
Best for Grayson Perry hopefuls: Ceramics at Raw Ceramics
Fire things up, and revitalise your crockery cupboard, by getting down and dirty with clay. Over three sessions you’ll perfect the basic hand-building techniques of ‘pinching’, ‘coiling’ and ‘slap building’ so you can shape, glaze and fire your own clay creations. There’s chilled vibes, music and a bring-a-bottle policy.
Next class: Raw Ceramic Workshops. Haggerston Overground. Beginner workshop. Jun 5. £90.
Best for the nimble-fingered: Fabrications
Haberdashery gets a modern overhaul at Fabrications, an independent shop and creative hub based in bustling Broadway Market. From knitting and crochet to embroidery and darning, there are more classes here than you can shake a needle at, all giving quintessential granny skills the cool treatment.
Next class: Fabrications. Cambridge Heath Overground. Hand applique and embroidery. May 13. £55-£95.
Best for the green-fingered: Terrarium Making at Grace & Thorn
Don’t let your gardenless flat get in the way of your green fingers. Create your own self-contained ecosystem in one of the Hackney florist’s monthly workshops. All materials are provided and you’ll get the chance to rifle through a botanical pick ’n’ mix of lush succulents to fill your glass globe and turn your living room into a tropical paradise.
Next class: Grace & Thorn Flowers. Hoxton Overground. Terrarium Tuesdays. Tue May 2. £65.
Best for free spirits: Looming at The London Loom
The only thing looming over these Hackney Downs studios are yards of colourful yarns. London Loom’s weaving workshops will teach you a centuries-old traditional craft so you can create flamboyant clothes and tapestries. Their freestyle classes mean that once you’ve had an intro to the Japanese looms, you’re free to play with the 200 yarns to create a unique bespoke cloth.
Next class: The London Loom. Rectory Rd Overground. Tapestry Weaving. May 4. £55 for two hours.
Best for Matisse wannabes: Collage Club
Swap pencils and paint for glue and scissors in this monthly get-together where you’ll get skilled in cutting up beautiful papers and pasting them into a patchwork of eye-popping art. Once you’ve mastered the basics, test your skills in a range of activities including speed-collaging, collaborative image-making and working from still-life set -ups.
Next class: Lunar HQ. Hoxton Overground. Collage Club x Lunar HQ. Wed May 3. £5.
Best for eccentric crafters: Prop making at Wilton’s Music Hall Craft Club
Get crafty in the ramshackle splendour of London’s favourite music hall. Every Thursday, the hall’s back rooms are full of crafters beavering away to create fabulous props for Wilton’s shows. Ranging from specific projects to tasks spanning a few weeks, expect a miscellaneous mish-mash of crafts and the chance to learn a glorious medley of creative skills.
Next class: Wilton’s Music Hall. Tower Hill. Weekly craft group. Thu May 4. Free.
Best for traditionalists: Basketry at CityLit
Become a basket case, by weaving your very own in one CityLit’s part-time basketry courses. Take this centuries-old skill into your own hands and learn how to plait, twin and coil using willow, cane, rush and less traditional materials with the help of an experience tutor who’ll encourage you to develop your weaving skills through personal research. With everything from taster sessions to specialist classes to pick from, it’s the perfect excuse to put all your crafts in one basket.
Next class: CityLit. Covent Garden. 'The basketry project: investigate, explore, make'. May 8 - July 3. £349.
London Craft Week runs from Tue May 3 - Sun May 7 at various venues.
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