Each year, the Craft Council settles in the sun-drenched halls of Somerset House for a weekend-long sprawling celebration of contemporary craft and design. Bringing together the work of over 400 artists, Collect features a carefully curated collection of pieces from 40 international galleries spanning ceramics, metalwork, textiles, furniture and jewellery design.

Mark your calendars for March 1st to 3rd (this weekend!) as we unveil some of the event's highlights...

Showcased for the first time in the UK, the exhibition features the two shortlisted artists to receive the ‘Special Mention’ acknowledgement for the 2023 edition of the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize. Among them is Japanese artist Moe Watanabe, presenting a strikingly simple wooden box.

Crafted from walnut sourced from the Tohoku region of Japan, the bark is meticulously stripped and moulded into a seamless box, demonstrating a remarkable mastery and reverence for the material. The edges of the bark overlap and are delicately stitched together, maintaining the integrity of the material while showcasing its purity of form.

Peering over the wooden box from across the room is ​​Dominique Zinkpè’s The Watchers. An assemblage of intricately detailed, wooden statuettes, carved from individual pieces of solid wood and placed within a wooden frame, crafted from an old canoe.

Rooted in the Yoruba tradition, which suggests that twins hold special significance and powers, each figurine pays homage to the practice of creating an Ibéji doll in the event of a twin's passing in infancy, symbolising the soul of the departed in tangible form to ensure its continued care on earth. Each statuette is uniquely carved, then hand-painted with washes of pink and orange, a subtle yet profound reminder of the uniqueness of every individual.

In another room, Divya Sharma's monumental textile work hangs from a lofty beam. Bursting with hues of vibrant orange, ochre, deep purple, and turquoise, Divya employs tufting and embroidery techniques to depict the colourful house fronts she recalls from her childhood. Through every meticulously crafted stitch, Divya weaves a narrative of her personal journey as a migrant, cherishing the “slowing down of things” to beautifully illuminate her cultural heritage and the Tamil diaspora.

Attached to the textiles is a clay moulded figurine of her mother’s face, whom she affectionately refers to as her "biggest critic," adding a layer of familial depth to her artistic expression.

Park Sung-wook is known for blurring the lines between art, craft and ceramics in South Korea. In his wall installation series, Pyeon, the artist has developed monochrome palettes to depict abstract ceramic paintings using Buncheong (a traditional technique where you simply dip your clay vessel in a white slip clay). These ceramic “paintings” are constructed from thousands of tiny ceramic fragments, each dipped in a traditional white slip, producing a delicate clay palette.

Discover more at craftscouncil.org.uk...