If you haven’t received an invitation to the VIP lounge at Decorex, the London interiors show, then beg, borrow or steal one. Sensationally transformed into an immersive experience of British craftsmanship by Mayfair-based company The New Craftsmen, it offers the added bonus that most designs on display can be bought on the spot (and taken home when the show ends), and The New Craftsmen will accept orders for new commissions on behalf of the makers.
From September 20-23, an eye-catching installation of 55 baskets will showcase work created all around Britain – from tactile, coiled baskets made in Shetland, to an East Anglian rush workman’s bag. It will even include 5ft-tall “putchers” made from stripped willow by Deryck Huby and Don Riddle, the last two makers of these traditional salmon traps. The installation can be bought as a collector’s item (price on request) or each basket can be ordered individually (£100-£500 each).
Equally alluring is a collection of bowls (£300-£3,000 each) curated by The New Craftsmen to present a range of British materials and techniques. Among these stunners are Nic Webb’s carved cherrywood design; Pedro Da Costa Felgueiras’ gilded cork vessel (second picture); Akiko Hirai’s textured ceramic; Eleanor Lakelin’s bog oak bowls (first picture); and Edmond Byrne’s mould-blown glass creation with bone-china patination. Further tabletop highlights include Chelsea jars by glass artist Michael Ruh – colourful, handblown vases in various shapes and sizes (£90-£275, fourth picture), hand-painted terracotta serving platters (from £100) from potter Silvia K, and attractive dishes and bowls (30-piece set, £825) by John Julian Design.
Fabulous furniture includes the Maker’s trestle (third picture), designed by Lola Lely and made by Benchmark in stained and ebonised solid oak, and characterised by brass pegs and inlay details. It is available as an eight-seater dining table (£6,750) or smaller breakfast table (£6,400) and can also be commissioned with a glass top. A cherrywood daybed (from £3,800) from William Waterhouse is glamorously upholstered with a hand-block-printed mattress by his partner, fine artist Louisa Loakes.
The VIP lounge will also act as a showcase for two bespoke services just launched by The New Craftsmen. To mark the introduction of commissions in collaboration with specialist rug manufacturer Turnberry, textile artist Aimee Betts has created an innovative, large-scale wool rug (from £3,000), and a range of cushions inspired by diverse needlework techniques (set of two, from £1,200). The launch of a new lighting-design service is celebrated with ceramic table and ceiling lights (price on request) created by Hirai, and a trio of textile pendant lights (price on request) hand-woven by Catarina Riccabona.
Anyone with a passion for decorative and applied arts will be in craft heaven here.