Partner Programme

16 — 24 Sept 2023

Craft, Interiors & Furniture

Cromwell Place (Gallery 5)

4 Cromwell Place

South Kensington



The New Craftsmen presents a collection of works connecting us with the unique imagination of its makers through the theme 'Join, Assemble, Hold'. The exhibition is centred around 2 statement cabinets by makers Bibbings & Hensby and Matthew Raw, filled with and surrounded by objects alive with the spirit of this theme.

“Join, Assemble, Hold” presents two adjoining crafted interiors, rich with beautiful and tactile works that invite the makers’ worlds and hands into our homes. In each room, a statement cabinet centrepiece provides a focal point, expressing both the physicality of the works and a feeling of connectivity evoked by the space. Matthew Raw’s Welcome Drinks Cabinet is a drawing room show-piece; a fully tile-clad bar unit which becomes a playful talking point for gathering round and celebrating. Raw crafts and lays each tile by hand having developed his distinctive glazes and tile-assembled furniture by drawing on historical tiled stations and buildings across London. The Nailed Pantry by Bibbings & Hensby is an exceptional example of vernacular furniture for the modern kitchen that evokes a sense of abundance and togetherness. A seemingly simple but highly skilled construction of pared-back joinery peppered with hand-forged nails and combined with textured riven handles invites you into the busy heart of the home. These highly original cabinets are designed to become modern heirlooms and imbue a sense of place and spirit of the makers. Joining the Welcome Drinks Cabinet in The Drawing Room are works that are assembled, plentiful in components and which spark interactivity and joy. Complementing the rich hues of Raw’s ceramic furniture are the iridescent glass objects of Jochen Holz. His innovative and unique pieces draw us into his world of the playful and sublime. The room will be illuminated by a new sculptural lighting collection by Edmond Byrne. The Modern Kitchen features crafted pieces that are connected or joined and conjure a sense of conviviality and togetherness. The Nailed Pantry will overflow with an abundance of turned wood vessels and a hand-carved installation by Max Bainbridge which plays homage to the humble spoon will adorn the walls. Clusters of hand-wrought natural objects from Ash & Plumb, Darren Appiagyei, Takahashi McGil, Studio AMOS and a suspended installation of regional baskets invite us to gather with them in their warmth and tactility, to have and to hold in our domestic lives. The installation draws attention to and celebrates rare and endangered basketry techniques, offering insight into heritage skills unique to the British Isles, revived for the contemporary world. Many of the baskets displayed rely on British woods which have been driven to the edge of extinction in the UK. The display highlights the loss as cultural, as well as environmental, through the inclusion of these endangered materials, though the makers use only foraged, storm-felled or sustainable varieties. Statement lathe-turned and stitched sculptural wooden pendants by Ash & Plumb complete the installation. The duo have collaborated with The New Craftsmen to launch the first in a series of new ‘Anticuus’ lighting collections in partnership with interior designer Louise East. Ash & Plumb create work inherently linked to place, particularly around Sussex where their workshop is based. Here they source their materials, working predominantly with green Oak sourced from trees that have fallen due to disease, decay or responsibly coppiced with a focus on timber unsuitable for commercial use. The pendants draw inspiration from ancient British and European vessels, their fractured and eroded rims pushing green woodworking to its limits, while the decorative stitch detailing acts as a compelling material contrast. The result is a group of highly characterful and versatile lights which draw on and celebrate the natural beauty of the wood, bringing the outside into our homes.