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  • Kaja Upelj, Otherworldly Bodies (detail), 2018. Photo: Ester Segarra / British Glass Biennial

15 craft exhibitions to see in the UK this September

From a labyrinth in London to Stoke's celebration of ceramics

​Here’s our edit of the best craft shows happening across the nation this month. To discover more of September’s highlights, check out the latest issue of Crafts magazine. 

Zoe Preece, MATERIAL PRESENCE, 2018. Photo: Dewi Lloyd

British Ceramics Biennial

The BCB returns for its 10th year with a festival celebrating contemporary ceramics from across the world. Explore an exciting range of exhibitions and events taking place across Stoke-on-Trent and read V&A director Tristram Hunt’s assessment of the history, present and future of ceramics in the city in the new issue of Crafts.

7 September – 13 October at various locations, Stoke-on-Trent. 

Loud and Clear 

This exhibition presents a diverse selection of work by glass artists working in the UK, selected by the National Glass Centre – ranging from eye-popping sculpture to floating panels etched with photographs. 

31 August – 27 October at New Brewery Arts, Cirencester. 

Shoulder to the Wheel

Three makers have been asked to re-make the wheel – literally – for this exhibition curated by Crafts columnist Glenn Adamson. Wheelwright Greg Rowland, furniture designer-maker Gareth Neal and materials expert Zoe Laughlin offer creative responses to a wagon wheel. 

10 September – 14 December at the Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham. 

IN ITS FAMILIARITY, GOLDEN, GRAYSON PERRY, 2015. PHOTO: © GRAYSON PERRY

Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry

It’s your last chance to discover fictional heroine Julie Cope, as this Crafts Council touring exhibition makes its final stop in Scotland. Huge tapestries, an installation and an audio track tell the tragic tale of Perry’s everywoman. Catch it while you can. 

Until 2 November at Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh.

Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things

The major touring exhibition of work by the ceramic artist and those who have inspired her is now in Norwich, following its successful debut at the Hepworth Wakefield (see our feature in Crafts issue 276). 

Until 15 December at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich.

NGC21

The National Glass Centre is marking its 21st year with exhibitions at several Sunderland locations, celebrating the contributions of artists who have supported the centre. Look out for work by Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova, Bertil Vallien and Ann Wolff.

Until 15 September at the National Glass Centre, Sunderland.

Piero D'Angelo, Grow Your Own Garments, 2018. Photo: Courtesy the artist

Biodesign Here Now

What is biodesign? Put simply, it’s harnessing nature to create innovative materials – from plant-root textiles to ‘leather’ grown by bacteria. This show at Open Cell studios offers a first taste of the future-focused field. Learn more in the latest issue of Crafts

19 – 21 September at Open Cell, London. 

Blanc de Chine: A Continuous Conversation 

Featuring a broad span of contemporary and historic ceramics, this display brings together pieces in blanc de chine – a fine white porcelain from Dehua, China – created by both Chinese and European makers. 

5 September – 10 May 2020 at the V&A, London. 

 Stella Benjamin: Weaver

A solo exhibition of Benjamin’s rugs – made using sheep and goat-hair wool yarns dyed by Benjamin herself, then woven on a Navajo-style loom – comes to the rural farmstead of Kestle Barton. 

14 September – 2 November at Kestle Barton, Cornwall. 

Plate, Duncan Grant, 1913-14. Photo: © The Estate of Duncan Grant

Post-Impressionist Living: The Omega Workshop

With over 200 pieces on show, the largest display of work in three decades by the avant-garde design studio comes to Charleston, the Bloomsbury Group’s bohemian farmhouse in the East Sussex countryside. 

14 September – 19 January 2020 at Charleston, East Sussex. 

The Art of Gathering

Every piece featured in the New Craftsman’s multi-disciplinary group exhibition was created using found objects or natural materials – from gorse and seaweed used by Forest + Found to dyed textiles, to willow wands woven into an installation by Annemarie O’Sullivan. 

14 September – 12 October at the New Craftsman, St Ives.

British Glass Bienniale

The BGB returns to Stourbridge’s historic glass quarter with a show of work by more than 70 artists, chosen by an expert panel of makers. The show offers an overview of Britain’s contemporary glass scene, covering everything from the traditional to the experimental. 

Until 23 September at The Glasshouse, Stourbridge. 

Camille Walala, Walala Lounge, 2019. Photo: courtesy LDF

London Design Festival 

The annual celebration of design returns to the capital for another whirlwind of exhibitions and events. This year’s LDF highlights include a giant labyrinth outside Westminster Cathedral, dramatic sculptural seating made from scaffolding in Finsbury Avenue Square, and eye-popping street furniture on South Molton Street. 

14–22 September at various London locations. 

Heallreaf 3

No, that’s not a typo – ‘heallreaf’ is an Anglo Saxon word for a tapestry hung in a public place. This exhibition of woven tapestries by 40 international artists opens in Nottingham before a second showing at Espacio Gallery in London (15 – 26 October). 

 – 21 September at Surface Gallery, Nottingham.

Exploring Silver: Form, Pattern & Texture

David Mellor Hathersage in the Peak District is mounting a celebration of silversmithing, showcasing work made between the 1930s and the present from the Sheffield Assay Office collection. 

Until 3 October at David Mellor Hathersage, Peak District.

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