London Craft Week 2024 at the Art School

Last month, we were delighted to host our annual London Craft Week event.

Over Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May, visitors joined us for our exciting two-day programme of activities celebrating specialist craft skills.

The programme kicked off on Friday morning with the start of the Annual Carving Competition. First year woodcarving and stone carving students are challenged to complete an original work within 12 hours, split across the two days. Each year, the competition is centred around a different theme, which this year was ‘Under the Sea’.

Annual wood and stone carving competition

We were thrilled to be joined by 2013 carving alumna and distinguished stone carver Anna Rubincam and Miranda Lowe CBE, Principal Curator of Crustacea at the Natural History Museum and Chair of Culture&, as our judges for this year’s competition. During the prize-giving, Anna and Miranda commended the level of work created by our students in the time allocated, and the diversity of subject matter. Well done to all those who took part, and a huge congratulations to our winners:

First Prize Stone Carving, sponsored by the Mason’s Company – Mark Thompson, BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone

First Prize Woodcarving, sponsored by Dick Onians – Alec Stevens, BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding

Second Prize Stone Carving, sponsored by the Mason’s Company – Charlotte Ellery, BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone

Second Prize Woodcarving, sponsored by Dick Onians and the William Wheeler’s People’s Choice Award – Joss Trevena. BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding

Peer Prize, voted for by carving students – Sarah Balfour, BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone

Honourable Mention, voted for by carving staff – Joe Klose, BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone

Take a look at the winning carvings on our Instagram post here.

(L-R) Judges Anna Rubincam and Miranda Lowe CBE with Tom Young, Head of Carving

Visitors were invited to place their vote for the People’s Choice award, and were also able to have a go at stone carving themselves.

‘Have a Go’ at Stone Carving

Our Conservation students ran a series of demonstrations and interactive activities, including gilding, japanning, verre eglomise and paper restoration. The students were joined by Decorative Surfaces Fellow Eloise Dethier-Eaton, who demonstrated Trompe-l’œil painting techniques.

Conservation Demonstrations

Decorative Surfaces Demonstrations

Over in our historic print room, visitors had the opportunity to take part in printmaking workshops with Print Fellow Ben Topping. Ben ran a series of workshops on the traditional process of Intaglio printing, where participants were taught how to create beautiful debossed prints using a variety of materials to create texture and without using ink.

Printmaking workshops

A number of exhibitions were on display throughout the Art School over the weekend. Visitors were greeted in the atrium by an exhibition of work by our National Saturday Club members, who have been learning 2D and 3D heritage craft skills at the Art School every Saturday this academic year. Our members had a range of their work on display, including carved frames, prints, examples of paper marbling and verre églomisé. Visitors also enjoyed an exhibition of entries for the Art School’s Taylor Pearce Drawing Prize, open to students on our Carving and Conservation degree programmes, and the Roger de Grey Drawing Prize.

Exhibition of work by National Saturday Club members

Our sponsors and artisan beer company, Fabal Lager, held a free Talk & Tasting in the Art School café, where visitors learned about their locally-sourced ingredients, commitment to sustainability and championing of craftsmanship.

Talk & Tasting with Fabal Lager

Thank you to our sponsors, The Masons’ Company Craft FundThe Carpenters’ CompanyDick Onians and Fabal Lager, and thank you to everyone who visited and took part. We hope to see you all at our upcoming Degree Show, running from 22-28 June, and at next year’s London Craft Week.


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