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Crafty ideas: three places to visit this Spring

The sun is shining (just about), the flowers are blooming – and we all look forward to being out and about to make the most of the sunny, warm weather. If that’s not enough to lift your spirits, there are plenty of brilliant places to check out this Spring, not just for culture vultures but also for families and day-trippers alike.

You heard it here first: this season is all about craft happening up and down the country, from London to the Cotswolds and all the way up to Yorkshire. It’s everything – the home, fashion, art, you name it. Here, we’ve picked out a few highlights that may just surprise and inspire you. Get your diaries ready – our Spring round-up is sure to keep your social calendar as fresh as a daisy.

Harewood Biennial
Until 29 August 2022

The Harewood Biennial is back at Harewood House with its second edition, Radical Acts: Why Craft Matters. This year, curator Hugo Macdonald and his team have created an exhibition rooted in craft and craftsmanship. It explores why craft is a “radical act”, addressing urgent crises in life and society today, and looking to a future where we might live in a more environmentally and socially responsible way.

The exhibition features works by some of the leading industry names including Sebastian Cox, Mac Collins, Michael Marriott, Ilse Crawford, and Patrick Grant – best known for his role as a head judge on the BBC’s The Great British Sewing Bee. If you can’t make it to the Biennial in person, worry not – you can see and hear more about it via a series of short films and podcasts.

Address: Harewood House, Leeds LS17 9LG

Kelmscott Manor
Now open

William Morris’ beloved rural retreat in the Cotswolds has been restored to its former glory and reopened to the public. Described as a “Heaven on Earth” by Morris, one of Britain’s most celebrated 19th Century designers, the old farmhouse epitomises the finest craftsmanship that works in harmony with the surrounding countryside.

Today’s visitors will experience “the beauty and seclusion that inspired many of Morris’ most important designs and writings, as well as influenced his ideas on conservation for both the built and natural environments”.

Curator Dr Kathy Haslam researched how the farmhouse used to look when Morris resided there – based on old inventories and photographs – which then enabled her and her team to position furniture and objects exactly where they were before. And that’s not it – handprinted wallpaper, using the original blocks from the Morris and Co archives, has also been reinstated to a number of rooms in this remarkable place.

Address: Kelmscott, Lechlade GL7 3HJ

London Craft Week
9–15 May 2022

London Craft Week returns this May with another exhilarating programme of exhibitions and events. Now in its eighth edition, the city-wide festival is set to continue championing creativity and originality across multiple disciplines, from heritage craft skills to newfound techniques and materials.

One of this year’s highlights is Artefact, a contemporary craft fair at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, which shines a light on artisanal excellence in metalwork, glass, sculpture, textiles, ceramics and upcycled materials. Meanwhile, The Royal Exchange in the City of London will present a Makers’ Market alongside key districts including King’s Cross, Pimlico and Chelsea, which will also play host to a series of special events and workshops throughout the week.

For more information visit:

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