Last week I had the opportunity to spend a day in central London to see what London Craft Week had to offer. LCW is an event held annually, showcasing the finest craftsmanship in fields ranging from ceramics and weaving, to sculpting and jewellery making. Exhibitions, talks, and workshops are held all across the city, and anyone is free to explore and discover.
Photo from Harry-Forster-Stringer's demonstration
I first looked in on Ruth Tomlinson’s retrospective exhibition, located at her atelier, tucked into the heart of Hatton Garden - London’s prestigious jewellery quarter. This is where the most prominent works from her career were displayed, ranging from delicate porcelain pieces she created while at university (the ‘Flora’ collection), to her very latest collections.
The space is bright and modern, with a shelf wall housing her inspirations: from seashells and fossils, to dainty porcelain figurines. I also had the chance to peek through a sketchbook of design ideas - always an intriguing experience to get an insight into a designers mind!
‘Encrustations’ is a collection that caught my eye immediately. It is clear Ruth has true mastery of the materials she uses with how realistic the porcelain and metal coral and barnacles look. These designs are so distinctive, I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything quite like them before.
While each collection is unique in it’s own way, there is a clear theme running through them, connecting them: the treasures of the natural world. Just like in nature, each piece is one-of-a-kind, with asymmetrical, organic features, as though grown from Ruth’s mind rather than consciously designed.