Hall Hire Members' Area

London Craft Week

London Craft Week – The Gilded City


Our inaugural participation in London Craft Week on May 14th and 15th showcased 11 artists working with the ancient art of gilding. Held in our Hall, the exhibition featured contemporary paintings and sculptures by Yuki Aruga, Polly Bennett, and Ana Kazaroff, alongside experimental gilded patterns by Tony Roche and decorative craftwork by Ricky McPherson and Andy O'Connor. Demonstrating the versatility of gilding, the exhibition included Ann Bowen's paper-based lettering and illumination, and Jo Mabbutt's delicate hand gilding of antique lace.

The Gilded City also highlighted the breadth of current practices such as Emma Witter's electroplated oyster shell sculptures and Tuesday Riddell's revival of the nearly-lost tradition of Japanning. Additionally, the exhibition showcased the work of framer Derek Tanous, a third-generation master craftsman in frame making, restoration, and gilding.

Complementing the exhibition, a series of workshops were held. Ann Bowen taught abstract lettering and embossing with gilded enhancements, while Yuki Aruga offered an introduction to verre églomisé (glass gilding). Jo Mabbutt demonstrated the gilding of natural plant materials, and Polly Bennett guided participants in creating natural pigments foraged from the Thames shore, which were then used to produce medieval-style illuminations.

Continuous demonstrations by the artists ran throughout the two days, accompanied by regular tours highlighting all the decorative work in the Hall - marbling, woodgraining, gilding, stained glass, heraldry and trompe l'oeil.

We welcomed approximately 220 visitors, many of whom engaged positively with the demonstrators and volunteers. 

Overall, the event was an exciting opportunity for the Company to showcase the incredible talent of our members and the beauty of our Hall. With such enthusiastic participation and feedback, we eagerly anticipate a repeat of this enriching experience in 2025.