Make! – A season of contemporary craft in the Barbican Shop

Detail of origami lampshade by Kate Colin as part of her paper-folding workshop

17 Mar – 3 Jun 2018

The Barbican Shop today announces its first ever season of events, with a series of talks, installations and practical workshops on the theme of making and craftsmanship. Make!  - A season of contemporary craft in the Barbican Shop will run from 17 March to 3 June 2018, allowing visitors to explore traditional crafts with a contemporary twist, to meet the makers behind some of the shop’s favourite products, and to learn new craft skills in a range of workshops.

Curated by the Barbican’s retail team in partnership with Crafts magazine, the season seeks to challenge people’s perceptions of craft by showcasing contemporary makers who are celebrating craftsmanship and helping to redefine its meaning today with the growing popularity of the maker movement. The season will also continue the work of the Barbican Shop in supporting independent crafts talent, offering makers a platform to reveal the inspirations and techniques behind their work.  

Highlights of the programme include ring carving workshops with east London collective The Workbench, bike building demonstrations and a panel discussion by The Bicycle Academy, bookbinding workshops with experts from the London Centre for Book Arts, a paper lighting workshop with designer Kate Colin, weaving workshops and an installation from tapestry weaver Christabel Balfour, a craft walking tour with historian Chris Rogers, a series by maker Phil Cuttance on casting vases, and a stitching workshop by the Stitch School alongside an interactive stitching cloth installation in the Barbican Shop.

The Barbican is a leading international arts and learning centre, and much of the season will take place in the recently expanded Barbican Shop. Designed by RIBA Stirling Prize-winning practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, the 330 square metre shop is spread over two floors, providing room for events and programing that see the shop become an extension of the Barbican’s foyer spaces and a destination in its own right.

Make!  has been programmed in partnership with Crafts magazine. Published bi-monthly by the Crafts Council, the magazine has covered the most exciting developments in the world of contemporary craft over the past four and a half decades.

Jo Davis, Head of Retail at the Barbican, said: “We are incredibly excited to launch Make! - our first season of events in the Barbican Shop. We have curated a diverse selection of makers, representing a wide range of disciplines from weaving to bike frame making, and are looking forward to showcasing each of their crafts. This is an opportunity to watch the ‘making’ process happen, as well as a chance to take part, learn something new and walk away with a beautifully unique handmade product.”

Grant Gibson, Editor of Crafts magazine, said: “There's absolutely no doubt that craft has undergone a renaissance in recent years, capturing the public's imagination. And we're delighted to be joining forces with the Barbican to showcase some of the UK's best creative talent this spring. I think visitors will be surprised and delighted.”

The Barbican Shop will also showcase selected leading makers as part of a display co-curated by Crafts magazine, including Irina RazumovskayaVictoria Andrew, Alan Oliver and more to be announced via the Barbican website, alongside products available to buy from makers involved in the season’s events.

Programme information:

The programme for Make! is as follows, with tickets available via from 7 February for Barbican Members and from 9 February for the general public (details on becoming a Barbican Member can be found at

Craft walking tour
Sat 17 Mar, 10.30am - 12.00pm and 2.00pm - 3.30pm

Beginning and ending at the Barbican Shop on Level G of the Barbican Centre, a 90 minute walking tour discovering the history of making in the Square Mile’s architecture with historian, writer and lecturer Chris Rogers (author of How to Read London – a crash course in London architecture).

The A-Z Supper Cloth with Stitch-School
Sat 17 Mar to Sun 25 Mar (Mon to Sat: 10.00am - 9.00pm, Sun: 10.00am - 8.00pm)
Barbican Shop

An interactive installation by Stitch-School in the Barbican Shop consisting of a large, communal stitching cloth that will be open for anyone to add their own contribution to by following printed patterns on the cloth.

Embroidery Workshop with Stitch-School
Thu 22 Mar, 4.00pm - 6.00pm
Sun 25 Mar, 10.30am - 12.30pm and 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Barbican Shop

An embroidery workshop in the Barbican Shop with Stitch-School founders Melanie Bowles and Aimee Betts, allowing participants to learn the alphabet of stitching from the letters A to Z.

Bike Building demonstration by The Bicycle Academy
Sun 1 Apr, 12.00pm - 5.00pm
Barbican Shop
Andrew Denham
from The Bicycle Academy will provide a series of demonstrations throughout the day on how to build a bicycle frame. The Bicycle Academy specialises in teaching framebuilding and providing courses for novices, enthusiasts and professionals. The Bicycle Academy also design and produce a range of framebuilding tools and offer fully equipped workshop hire for enthusiast builders.

Bookbinding workshops with London Centre For Book Arts
Sun 8 Apr, 10.30am - 12.30pm and 1.00pm - 3.00pm (The 1.00pm workshop is a
Barbican Members event)
Barbican Shop
A workshop on the art of bookbinding with experts from the London Centre for Book Arts. Participants will learn the basics of bookbinding, how it can be done simply at home, variations on the pamphlet notebook, and will take home at least three distinct hand-made notebooks with their choice of materials. London Centre for Book Arts is an artist-run, open-access studio providing workshop programmes for the community and access to resources for artists and designers.

Ring Carving workshops with The Workbench London
Fri 13 Apr, 4.00pm - 6.00pm (
Barbican Members event)
Sat 14 Apr, 10.30am - 12.30pm
Sun 15 Apr, 10.30am - 12.30pm
Barbican Shop

Participants can learn to carve their own silver ring from jeweller’s wax, which will then be cast into solid silver by The Workbench following the workshop, professionally polished, and delivered back to them. The Workbench is an east London collective established in 2014 that run original, fun and creative jewellery craft nights.

Upholstery installation by Second Sitters
Mon 16 Apr to Mon 22 Apr (
Mon to Sat: 10.00am - 9.00pm, Sun: 10.00am - 8.00pm)
Barbican Shop

A showcase of the three chairs that were upholstered as part of Second Sitters vs SCP, a live upholstery performance that took place at the Geffrye Museum in May 2017. Based in east London, Second Sitters is Hannah Stanton and Jude Dennis, both practicing upholsterers. Together they promote independent UK and international upholsterers through publications, collaborative working and exhibitions. SCP is a London based manufacturer of contemporary furniture, accessories, lighting and textiles established by Sheridan Coakley in 1985, guided by the idea that design can transform the world around us.

Paper Folding workshops with Kate Colin
Fri 20 Apr, 2.00pm - 5.30pm
Sat 21 Apr, 10.30pm - 2.00pm and 3.00pm - 6.30pm
Barbican Shop

Participants can learn how to transform a flat piece of paper into amazing three dimensional forms, and the process of folding their own unique lamp shade to take home. Kate Colin is a Glasgow based designer/maker who works with paper to create handmade, sculptural lighting with a focus on colour and geometric form.

100 Mugs installation by Milo Made Ceramics
Mon 23 Apr to Tue 1 May (
Mon to Sat: 10.00am – 9.00pm, Sun: 10.00am - 8.00pm)
Barbican Shop

An installation in the Barbican Shop, showcasing the 100 Mugs project by east London’s Milo Made Ceramics. Run by ceramicist Milo Liren Mckeand, the project aims to investigate how form and function varies across handmade items.

On Bike Building: A panel discussion
Thu 3 May, 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Frobisher Auditorium 1, Barbican Centre

A panel discussion hosted by Andrew Denham of The Bicycle Academy and featuring five of London’s best known bespoke bike frame builders - Adeline O'Moreau from Mecredi Bikes, Caren Hartley from Hartley Cycles, Matthew McDonough from Talbot Frameworks, Matthew Sowter from Saffron Bikes, and Tom Donhou from Donhou Bikes. The panellists will talk about how the business and craft of bike building has changed in recent years, including the fresh appreciation for handmade, personalised frames following the revival of craft and increasing popularity of cycling. The discussion will also look at how the builders’ previous academic studies and interests have shaped their bike designs, and will conclude with a post-talk Q&A session.

Bike building installations by Caren Hartley and Isen Workshop
Thu 3 May to Tue 8 May (Mon to Sat: 10.00am – 9.00pm, Sun: 10.00am - 8.00pm)
Barbican Shop

Show bikes by Caren Hartley of Hartley Cycles and Isen Workshop will be displayed in the Barbican Shop following the On Bike Building: A panel discussion event on 3 May. From a small workshop in south London, award-winning frame builder Caren Hartley creates bespoke steel and stainless steel bicycles and will be displaying her Copper Leaf Light Tourer bike. And Isen Workshop (a newly launched collaboration between Caren Hartley and Matt McDonough of Talbot Frameworks) will be displaying their Isen All Season Road bicycle, designed in line with their ethos of creating beautiful, handmade bikes that incorporate new technologies into traditional frame building.

NSEPS (Not So Expanded Polystyrene) workshops with Silo Studio
Sat 5 May, 10.00am - 1.00pm, 11.30am - 2.30pm, 2.00pm to 5.00pm
Barbican Shop

Coming from backgrounds in engineering and design, Silo Studio is the design collaboration of Attua Aparicio Torinos and Oscar Lessing, who formed the partnership while studying on the Design Products course at the Royal College of Art, London. Their work mixes craft and technology, looking at how industrial processes and materials can shape design, and they will demonstrating their NSEPS (Not So Expanded Polystyrene) manufacturing process in a series of workshops where participants can make their own objects to take home. (Silo Studio will also be showcasing a selection of their unique pieces in the Barbican Shop from 2 April to 15 April).

Weaving demonstration by Christabel Balfour (London Craft Week event)
Wed 9 May to Sun 13 May (Mon to Sat: 10am – 9pm, Sun: 10am - 8pm)
Barbican Shop

As part of London Craft Week, south London based tapestry weaver Christabel Balfour will be weaving a whole rug in the Barbican Shop over a period of five days. The completed rug will be displayed in the shop until Sunday 20 May. For her rug, Christabel will be taking inspiration from Yto Barrada’s exhibition in Barbican’s Curve, Agadir (7 Feb to 20 May 2018); drawing from Barrada’s multimedia practice, Moroccan textile traditions and the Brutalist architecture of both Agadir and the Barbican itself.

Weaving workshops with Christabel Balfour
Sun 13 May, 10.30am - 2.30pm
Sat 19 May, 10.30am - 2.30pm
Sun 20 May, 10.30am - 2.30pm
Fri 25 May, 2.00pm - 6.00pm
Sat 26 May, 10.30am - 2.30pm
Sun 27 May, 10.30am - 2.30pm
Barbican Shop

This four-hour class with Christabel Balfour will cover the basics of hand-weaving before building up to more advanced techniques to make a wall-hanging that can be taken home. Participants will learn how to set up and wrap their looms, create a fringe for their wall-hanging and start weaving, before moving on to building shapes, blending colours and creating texture with soumak and rya knotting.

Saffron Frameworks bike installation
Mon 21 May to Sun 27 May (Mon to Sat: 10.00am – 9.00pm, Sun: 10.00am - 8.00pm)
Barbican Shop
Saffron Frameworks
is a south-east London based frame builder with a passion for designing and creating beautiful but functional bicycles, and will be displaying a show bike in the Barbican Shop from 21 to 27 May.

Jesmonite installation and casting demonstrations by Phil Cuttance
Jesmonite installation from Mon 28 May to Sun 3 Jun, with demonstrations on Thu 31 May (5.00pm - 7.00pm) and Fri 1 Jun (5.00pm - 7.00pm)
Barbican Shop

Originally from New Zealand and now based in London, designer/maker Phil Cuttance will be demonstrating the art of casting stone objects and vases using Jesmonite Stone (an eco-friendly water based fine cement-like material), alongside an installation of large sculptural pieces.

Casting workshops with Phil Cuttance
Sat 2 Jun, 10.30am -12.30pm and 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Sun 3 Jun, 10.30am -12.30pm and 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Barbican Shop

Participants will learn how to cast a bud vase from Jesmonite Stone with designer/maker Phil Cuttance. They will choose from six different vase shapes, assemble their mould, and then mix and cast their own vase in a unique colour scheme.


Selected products available to buy from makers involved in the season’s events include :

Workbench Box by The Workbench
Silver ring £95, Gold ring £130, Wide Silver Ring £130, Silver Signet Ring £150, Wide Gold Ring £155
The first of its kind in the world, the Workbench Box makes it possible to carve custom rings at home. The box includes all costs involved in making a ring including silver or gold, UK postage for delivering the carved ring to The Workbench for polishing, and for polishing time in their workshop. The Workbench is an east London collective that will be running a series of ring carving workshops during the Barbican’s Make! season.

Herringbone Pen Pot by Phil Cuttance
Available in Brick, Blue, Taupe, and Yellow
A pen pot by London based designer/maker Phil Cuttance, who will be running a series of casting demonstrations and workshops during the Barbican’s Make! season. Each piece in the Herringbone range has been handmade in Phil Cuttance's London studio from Jesmonite, an eco-friendly water based fine cement-like material. 95mm tall x 100mm long x 55mm wide.

Herringbone Bud Vase by Phil Cuttance
Available in Brick, Blue, Taupe, and Yellow
A small bud vase by Phil Cuttance intended to be used as a stand-alone object or to display a single stem or small arrangement. Each piece in the Herringbone range has been handmade in Phil Cuttance's London studio from Jesmonite, an eco-friendly water based fine cement-like material. Approx. 130mm tall x 41mm diameter.

Making Books
Published by Pavilion Books
192 pages, hardback book
ISBN: 9781911216209
A modern, stylish and practical guide to the traditional craft of bookbinding, written by the founders of the London Centre for Book Arts. Accessible enough for complete beginners, while full of inspiration for those with more experience, this is the ultimate guide to making beautiful books by hand. A combination of practical and inspirational photography guides readers clearly through each stage of the process, showcases the unique results that can be achieved, and offers an exclusive peek into the workings of the authors' studio. The London Centre for Book Arts is an artist-run, open-access studio that will be running bookbinding workshops during the Barbican’s Make! season.


Notes to Editors

Barbican Shop :
Opening hours: Mon to Sat: 10am – 9pm, Sun: 10am - 8pm

Press Information
For further information, images or to arrange interviews, please contact:

John Kelly, Communications Assistant / / 0207 382 2389

About Crafts magazine
Crafts is a bi-monthly magazine offering an unparalleled insight into the changing nature of contemporary craft both in the UK and abroad. Each issue contains the latest news and reviews, alongside sumptuously illustrated features and challenging essays from some of the best writers around. The magazine is published by the Crafts Council, a charity which champions the UK’s foremost makers and presents contemporary craft in new ways through exhibitions, publications, education programmes, and curating the national Collection.