Until 9th June, visitors are welcomed through a Tolkienesque door into a mystical representation of Home. The space was divided into four rooms, representing four home rituals: Rest – Gather – Play – Cleanse. Somewhat eerie at first, I soon felt relaxed and immersed in this multi-sensory experience.
In the first room, I was invited to have a rest on hay beds with Lola Lely’s textiles, surrounded by bird song and shadow play on the walls. I quickly got into the spirit of it, enjoying the welcomed break from the hectic outside environment.
The next room represented Gather, and was my favourite space. With a farmhouse kitchen quality, visitors sat a large kitchen table to partake in edible crafts. The table was filled with a deliciously sensory array of herbs, spices and salts, which we could grind and mix as we pleased using beautiful wooden or stoneware pestle and mortars. The space encouraged interaction and discovery, and I came away feeling energised by the creative minds I met.
I moved on to the Play room, where a selection of colourful hand made and dyed textiles were laid out and hung on the walls. I’d love to come back when one of their Lola Lely textile workshops is running!
Having gone full circle, we were invited to Cleanse in the final stage of the experience. Here we chose a statue representing a home ritual to bless with water.
I’ve done a lot of analysis and soul searching the last month whilst setting up Chalk & Moss, looking at priorities in life and how to live well. (I’ll soon write a post on this blog about about results I’ve had from small tweaks in nutrition and habits.) Whilst The New Craftsmen’s House isn’t a direct depiction of my own home, which quite frankly is often a more chaotic and probably realistic family-of-four-dwelling, it without a doubt plants reminders of qualities and activities that are important in a home. We would all do well to repeat the mantra Rest – Gather – Play – Cleanse. Let’s try to remember to take a moment when we get home to look after ourselves and look inwards, to create food together with an inquisitive approach, to have a playful outlook, and avoid mental clutter.
There are craft workshops throughout the installation period, so do keep an eye on this schedule on The New Craftsmen’s website. There’s a small selection of hand crafted items on show outside the installation, and their store is just around the corner on North Row.
Find out what other treats are on during London Craft Week.
Photos by me, Anna Sjöström Walton