Jump to navigation

Crafts Council

Home // About Us // Press // The Crafts Council and The New Craftsmen present Nature Lab

The Crafts Council and The New Craftsmen present Nature Lab

An immersive installation of contemporary British craft at Design Miami/ Basel

Nature Lab showing at Design Miami/ Basel from 14 – 19 June 2016 is an immersive experience telling the story of nature transformed by six British craft talents. It is the first presentation at this prestigious fair by the Crafts Council and The New Craftsmen

The installation will be shown in a Design Curio, a new exhibition platform at Design Miami / Basel. Each maker has developed radical new techniques to transform such everyday substances as wood, sand, salt, clay, flowers and ice into objects of wonder.

The six makers in Nature Lab are Eleanor Lakelin; Emily Gardiner; Jochen Holz; Joseph Harrington; Marcin Rusak; and Marlène Huissoud. In the installation, designed by Gitta Gschwendtner, wild, encroaching nature is transmuted by skilled hands and ingenious minds into elemental objects that emerge from the darkness to conjure wonder and intrigue. A laboratory of nature will present what looks like insect glass, flower fossils and ice caught at the moment of melting. The laboratory will include:

  • Marlène Huissoud who  manipulates bee resin using traditional Venetian, glassblowing and engraving methods to create an unexpected material with glass-like translucence
  • Marcin Rusak who suspends flowers in black resin to create a material that captures the ephemerality, beauty and subtlety of the natural world.
  • Emily Gardiner whose sculptural ceramics radiate with life force as organic forms unfurl or push wildly from their encasements.  

Nature Lab is the first showcase within A Future Made – a partnership between the Crafts Council, The New Craftsmen, Craft Scotland and Ruthin Craft Centre aimed at raising the profile of British craft via international design fairs.  A Future Made is a two-year international programme funded by Arts Council England and Arts Council Wales, as well as being supported by the GREAT Britain campaign which will showcase up to 30 makers over that time. To date 14 makers have been selected to take part in this programme in 2016.

Close to 200 makers applied to be a part of A Future Made, with the selection of 14 made by a high profile and knowledgeable panel spanning design, craft, fashion, and architecture and interior design. 

The selection panel for A Future Made was: Mark Eley (Eley Kishimoto); Max Fraser; Catherine Lock (The New Craftsmen); Ambra Medda; Jonathan Reed; Beverley Rider; and Annie Warburton (Crafts Council).


“Contemporary British craft has always attracted the attention of a pool of international collectors.  Now, with increased desire in the art and design worlds for work that speaks of materiality and provenance, we’re on the cusp of strong projected growth in demand.  The Crafts Council is proud to be showing this group of exceptional makers as part of Design Miami/ Basel’s Curio programme, bringing the skill and ingenuity of British craft to a new international audience.”  -- Annie Warburton, Creative Director, Crafts Council

“I am very happy that the Crafts Council selected my work to be shown as part of A Future Made. The Nature Lab will show how we have used natural materials to challenge the perception of what craft is and how it can be made in a sustainable way.” -- Marlène Huissoud, maker for A Future Made

“Being part of a curated show at Design Miami/Basel is a fantastic opportunity to place my work in front of the most design literate and discerning audiences possible.  It is already informing increasingly ambitious iterations of my work and I will look forward to presenting them in June enormously.” Eleanor Lakelin, maker for A Future Made

“Design Miami showcases the work of the most exceptional 20th & 21st century designers & has established the careers of a number of British designers & makers through its existence.  It was a fitting location to present the work of a select group of highly skilled makers looking to build their international profiles.  The New Craftsmen are thrilled to be playing a part in presenting their work in a dynamic and immersive way as part of the Design Curio strand.” Natalie Melton, Managing Director, The New Craftsmen

“The immersive experience of Nature Lab at Design Miami/ Basel is the first of many opportunities for presenting British craft through our programme: A Future Made. We are delighted to be able to provide international showcasing for artists whose work displays the best of British skill, design and innovation.” -- Beverley Rider, A Future Made panel Chair and Trustee of the British Crafts Council

High res images 

For further information and images about A Future Made please contact Sara Khan at the press office on +44 (0) 20 7806 2518 or s_khan@craftscouncil.org.uk

For press tickets and visiting information please click here 

- Ends –

About a Future Made

  • The makers selected to date for A Future Made are as follows: Andrea Walsh; Edmond Byrne; Eleanor Lakelin; Emily Gardiner; Jochen Holz; Joseph Harrington; Juli Bolaños-Durman; Juliette Bigley; Marcin Rusak; Marlène Huissoud; Nicola Tassie; Shelly James; and  Simone Brewster.
  • A Future Made has been possible through funding from Arts Council England’s International Showcasing fund.

About Design Miami/ Basel

  • Design Miami/ is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design. For more information, please visit www.designmiami.com.
  • Design Curio is Design Miami’s  new exhibition platform which invites designers, curators, and gallerists to present cabinets of curiosity throughout the fair. Each Curio will reveal a total environment of objects, textures, artifacts and ideas that challenge and contextualize familiar design narratives.

About The GREAT Britain Campaign

  • The GREAT Britain campaign is the Government’s ambitious international marketing campaign to showcase the very best of what our nation has to offer and active in over 144 countries. 
  • The campaign brings together the work of UK Trade & Investment, VisitBritain, British Council, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and other government departments as well as hundreds of private sector companies. 

About the Crafts Council 

  • Founded in 1971 and incorporated by Royal Charter, the Crafts Council is Britain’s national agency for contemporary craft.  Through exhibitions, publications and curating the national Collection, we champion the UK’s foremost makers and present contemporary craft in new ways, challenging perceptions of what craft is and can be.   
  • The Crafts Council is supported using public funding by Arts Council England. 

About The New Craftsmen

  • The New Craftsmen curates, commissions & sells unique contemporary objects that are rooted in craftsmanship & narrative.  Based in an Arts & Crafts Atelier in Mayfair, it has worked with over 100 makers since its inception in 2012 attracting praise for its unique aesthetic and discerning eye for craft talent.

About Craft Scotland

  • Craft Scotland work to unite, inspire and champion craft in Scotland by creating opportunities for Scottish makers to exhibit, sell and promote their work, and for the public to see, purchase and learn about craft. 

Ruthin Craft Centre

  • Ruthin Craft Centre is a craft centre in the historic, market town of Ruthin north Wales. Ruthin Craft Centre is revenue funded by the Arts Council of Wales and is part of Denbighshire County Council.