It'll come as no surprise to hear that the UK's craft scene has received a wealth of positive publicity over the past couple of years. The general attitude towards crafting has seen a huge shift, and now skilled makers are becoming celebrated and championed, just as they should be.
For the Woman's Hour Craft Prize, BBC Radio 4, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Crafts Council have joined forces, announcing 12 makers as finalists in with a chance of winning £10,000.
From huge, handwoven willow structures, darned high-street hoodies and bespoke bicycles, to unfired clay installations, futuristic glass figures, and jewellery made with 18th-century pins found in the mud of the river Thames, the finalists explore issues ranging from our consumer culture, to the decline of UK manufacturing, and geo-politics.
The 12 finalists – Laura Ellen Bacon, Alison Britton, Neil Brownsword, Lin Cheung, Phoebe Cummings, Caren Hartley, Peter Marigold, Celia Pym, Romilly Saumarez Smith, Andrea Walsh, Emma Woffenden and Laura Youngson Coll – were selected over the course of eight selection panels by 29 expert judges.
Their works will feature in a Woman’s Hour Craft Prize exhibition at the V&A from Thursday 7 September 2017 to Monday 5 February 2018, followed by a UK-wide tour.
The winner will be selected by Rosy Greenlees (Executive Director, Crafts Council), Tristram Hunt (Director of the V&A), and Martha Kearney (BBC journalist and broadcaster), and announced in a live broadcasted ceremony from the V&A on Wednesday 8 November 2017. For more information visit www.vam.ac.uk.
All images courtesy of V&A | Main image: Chris Proctor