Wellbeing 05/05/2017

The New Craftsmen – A Home For All at London Craft Week

In this kitchen, we could talk and experiment, creating our own herb salts. The name of the room was "Gather", and represents the cooking ritual in the home.

The New Craftsmen have collaborated with Selfridges for London Craft Week to create A Home For All, a hidden gem of an installation in the department store’s lower ground floor.

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.


Lola Lely textiles in natural dyed material were laid out for visitors to relax, to the sound of bird song.

Visitors were invited to rest on hay beds with Lola Lely textiles, to the sounds of birds and watching the leafy shadow play.

Hay beds with a sound and light show

Simple but soothing – Rest area of A Home For All.

 


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.


Herb salt made at The New Craftmen's Our Home installation at Selfridges, London Craft Week May 2017

Black volcanic salt, cardamom, rose petals and fresh rosemary.

Rose petals, thyme, mustard seeds, fennel, turmeric, pepper, black peppercorns, rose pepper, bay leaves, juniper berries in jars for mixing with salt for herb salt rubs

A beautiful selection of spices and herbs to add to either pink Himalayan salt, volcanic black salt or sea salt.


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!


Lola Lely textiles featured in New Craftsmen installation at Selfridges, London Craft Week 2017

Hand dyed textiles in earthy colours.

Green, yellow, pink and more natural hues, naturally dyed.

Colourful hand dyed textiles.


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.


Pause, Play, Gather, Nature - our home rituals and activities for feeling good.

Cleanse your preferred ritual by pouring water on it. (Wish I’d asked why these didn’t quite match the rooms’ ritual names).

Notes of appreciation

Thank you!


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

 

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