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  • Emmet Kane, P.S., 2014. Photo: A Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design

15 craft exhibitions to see in the UK this August

From anarchic ceramics in Edinburgh to animated sculptures in Suffolk

We've trawled the nation to bring you our edit of the best craft shows happening this month. To discover more of August’s highlights, check out the latest issue of Crafts magazine. 

Nina Casson McGarva, Curled Over. Photo: IFG

International Festival of Glass / British Glass Biennale

The celebration of glass returns to Stourbridge’s historic glass quarter with a variety of exhibitions and events, including the Festival’s flagship show: the British Glass Biennale, featuring a diverse mix of over 80 artworks.

Festival: 23 – 26 August, across various venues, Stourbridge.
Biennale: 23 August – 28 September, at the Glasshouse, Stourbridge.

RE: Collected

Curated by the craft collector Roger Morris, this show of ceramics, furniture and baskets and more explores the pleasures of collecting everything from day-to-day objects to more rarefied pieces. 

3 August – 14 September, at the Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool.

Slipped

This group show of slipware – pottery decorated using coloured liquid clay – showcases ceramics by three modern masters of the historic medium: Dylan Bowen, Doug Fitch and Nigel Lambert.

Until 17 August, at the Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London.

Furniture by David Gates. Photo: Hauser & Wirth

David Gates: In Dialogue

Sculptural studio furniture by David Gates is paired with a selection of ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery and metal chosen by gallery director Jacqueline Moore and the artist to represent a fresh take on the concept of a 'cabinet of curiosities'.

17 August – 12 October, at Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton.

Summer of Ceramics

Doddington Hall is celebrating 300 years of collecting ceramics with a summer-long programme of exhibitions, tours, talks and demonstrations covering all things clay. 

Until 8 September, at Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire.

Origins: Interpreting My Sources

Peter Layton’s solo show at London Glassblowing presents new work by the veteran glass artist, created in response to landscapes and natural forms seen during his travels.

Until 31 August, at London Glassblowing.

Tatty Devine, Still Life Set. Photo: Crafts Council

Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine

Celebrating 20 years since the founding of jewellery brand Tatty Devine, this exhibition showcases their playful statement pieces. Catch Misshapes during its London debut, or at one of the stops of its nationwide tour.

Until 11 August at the Lethaby Gallery, London.

Andile Dylvane: Our Cultures In Constant Collaboration

Earthy hand-built vessels and bowls by South African ceramic artist Andile Dyalvane are now on show at the Leach Pottery – the result of his residency at Cornwall’s historic pottery hub. 

Until 11 Aug at the Leach Pottery, St Ives.

Clare Pattinson: Automata

Pattinson’s playful automata – moving mechanical sculptures made of wood and salvaged materials – are on display in the maker’s first solo exhibition.

2 August – 1 September, at Craftco, Southwold.

Stephen Bird in his studio. Photo: The Scottish Gallery

Kiln Gods

This solo show of irreverent ceramics by Australian potter Stephen Bird deals with some of his favourite anarchic themes and references his European heroes of the craft.

Until 24 August, at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh.

Basketry – Function & Ornament

This wide-ranging group show offers an overview of basket-making today, surveying current work by 30 makers from across the UK. These pieces range from the traditional to the modern, the sculptural to the functional.

Until 13 October at Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales.

Craft & Graft: Making Science Happen

What are the methods behind the latest biomedical advances? This unusual exhibition at Britain’s largest laboratory offers a glimpse at the often surprisingly hand-crafted tools and techniques behind the science. 

Until 30 November at The Francis Crick Institute, London.

Work by Wycliffe Stutchbury. Photo: Flow Gallery

Contours

This joint exhibition pairs mesmerising layered wood wall pieces by Wycliffe Stutchbury with minimalist vessels in lathe-turned oak by Fritz Baumann.

Until 7 September, at Flow Gallery, London.

John Barleycorn Must Die

This folklore-inspired exhibition brings together straw craft, glass, ceramics and sculpture by artist Matt Rowe with rustic research materials. Together, they reflect on the traditional story of John Barleycorn: the personification of barley.

Until 25 August, at New Brewery Arts, Cirencester.

Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design

The UK’s biggest annual selling exhibition of contemporary handmade furniture returns, offering examples from over 70 designer-maker workshops.

17 – 26 August, at Cheltenham College.

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