Craftsmanship has been a Pimlico preoccupation for a long time. The Beauties of England and Wales, a series of books published in the early 19th century describing local history in poetic detail, noted the work at Pimlico engine-maker Mr Bramah’s workshops as ‘worthy of the inspection of royalty’, likely even to have ‘excited the admiration’ of the emperor of Russia. Mr Bramah was a master craftsman in iron who obsessively explored the capacities of his material as though it were a love-object.
Obsessive craftsmanship is still the hallmark of the businesses that have established Pimlico a modern design hub. If The Beauties of England and Wales were to be updated, they would feature a chapter or two about Pimlico Road. The shops and galleries that line this pretty neighbourhood street make a living out of crafting beauty. And for admirers, or those in search of a curiosity to buy or write home about, there’s no better time to witness the crafting of beauty than during London Craft Week (May 9-13).
London Craft Week, now in its fourth year, is a five-day event that celebrates craft in the capital. It promises to take visitors on a ‘journey-of-discovery’ through a programme of demonstrations, workshops, pop-up exhibitions and events. Here are four highlights of the week to look out for…
Flying the flag for the anti-consumer zeitgeist the antique dealer and decorator talks to Mr Porter’s Jeremy Langmead about decorating with antiques. May 10, demonstration (all day) and talk (6pm), free
Howe at 36 Bourne Street
The tiny and intriguing material shop, hiding from fame as only those destined for fame do, has invited multidisciplinary artist Lora Avedian to create in-residence. From Thursday, Avedian will have free reign of the shops exquisite materials to make embellished floral works of art. May 10-13 (10.30am-5.30pm), free
Sybil Colefax and John Fowler
‘She gets up by candle-light and fusses till midnight,’ wrote diplomat Harold Nicholson of Lady Colefax in 1930. If you’re the type to make use of every daylight hour and more then baskets are for you. England’s longest established interior design firm hosts a working exhibition with expert basket-maker Annemarie O’Sullivan. May 9 and 11 (9.30am-5.30pm), May 12 (10am—3.30pm), free
Eccentric husband and wife team Will and Charlotte Fisher make, deal and decorate. For London Craft Week they will collaborate with creative consultant Matilda Goad and fill their English Country House-style showroom with handmade beeswax candles. May 9-11 (9am—6pm), May 12 (11am-4pm), free
London Craft Week runs from May 9- 13. For more information and tickets visit londoncraftweek.com