As part of our St James’s Series for London Craft Week, we are providing insider access to some of the experts involved in curating the 300 Objects Exhibition on neighbouring Regent Street. Discover their role in helping to create the largest showcase that London Craft Week has hosted to date, their top picks from the St James’s Series and how craft has inspired and shaped their lives. We spoke to acclaimed interior and product designer Martin Brudnizki about his craft journey, from a childhood in Sweden to living in London. Read his Q&A below.
What drew you to the 300 Objects Exhibition?
For me, London Craft Week has always been one of the more interesting events. Understanding and learning about how things are made and seeing the craft up close is one of the best bits about being an interior designer.
What is your stand-out piece from the Exhibition?
The Paul Clifford eglomise panels. I worked with Paul for Annabel’s and know how talented he is. These works seem to combine Robert Adam with an Art Deco feel which is really quite wonderful.
What is your favourite / go-to craft brand in the St James’s Series?
I love Lock and Co for their hats.
What makes British craftsmanship so unique and how does the exhibition reflect this?
Seeing how some processes haven’t changed for centuries yet we still find ways to reinterpret craft.
What first drew you to a love of craft and design?
I think it was my mother. She used to take me to a department store in Stockholm called Svensk Tenn which is like an Aladdin’s cave of good design.
What is it about London that you think makes it an inspiring place for craftspeople?
The people, the culture, the history, the architecture. Everything.
Do you have any advice for someone keen to learn more about craft? Favourite books, artists or points of inspiration?
Always ask questions. If you see something in a shop – ask how it was made. If you read about an interesting technique – find out more about it. You need a very enquiring as well as creative and practical mind to understand craft.
If you were able to take one of your pieces of work with you to a desert island, which one would you choose?
I think the Ardmore vase. Not only beautiful but practical.
Who or what is your biggest influence?
Hard to name just one. My mother was a designer and so the house was very beautiful while my father was an engineer and I learnt a lot of practical things from him. They gave me a good grounding.
You can also discover another guest curator’s Q&A here. Read how Alice Fisher balances craft and style and learn about her favourite London influences. There is plenty of activity taking place this autumn to shine a light on the culture of craft in your city during London Craft Week. For the best brand events celebrating craftsmanship in St James’s, read here, or to discover the latest public art and craft exhibitions taking place, read here.