• In June we had the pleasure of hosting an event at a fifteenth-century tithe barn in Pevensey, East Sussex for our community of artist-designer-makers, curators, journalists, interior designers, and friends. Over the course of the day, in between enjoying the sunshine and sumptuous food, we listened to a series of discussions between our artists and critics, on a broad range of topics. The topics included the role of community in making, artistic legacies, the shifting landscape of digital fabrication and craft, the significance of sustainable forestry and conservation, and the preservation of the environment for generations to come. We are pleased to be able to release the films of these fascinating, educational discussions, which offer an insight into the inner lives and workings of our artists. We do hope you enjoy this rare glimpse into the realms of artistic vision and inspiration. 
    We are grateful to our discussion hosts for their thought-provoking questions and for generously donating their time to help bring this special event to life: Grant Gibson, Caroline Roux, Corinne Julius, and Emma Crichton-Miller.
    We would also like to thank our truly wonderful artist-designer-makers, who so eloquently describe their vision, processes, and lives amidst producing their inspiring work: Eleanor Lakelin, Adi Toch, Luke Fuller, Gareth Neal, Jonathan Keep, Nic Webb, Peter Marigold, Wycliffe Stutchbury, Marc Fish, and John Makepeace OBE. 



    ’The time is ripe for a big shift in people’s understanding… There is this interest in nature… and in improving the environment. There is nothing more joyful than looking after trees.’

    John Makepeace, OBE


  • Sarah Myerscough and Nic Webb introduce us to The Tithe Barn

    Join Sarah Myerscough and artist-designer-maker Nic Webb as they take us around the installation at the fifteenth-century Peelings Manor Barn, showcasing the fantastic works produced by our artists for Masterpiece London 2022. Together, they discuss the individual pieces on display, the fantastic setting, and touch upon some of the major themes that arise over the course of the day. 
  • Community and the role of Place in Contemporary Design and Art Practices

    Chair: Grant Gibson / Panelists: Luke Fuller, Eleanor Lakelin, Adi Toch

    In this discussion, Grant Gibson, host of the Material Matters podcast, is joined by Adi Toch, Eleanor Lakelin, and Luke Fuller to illuminate the topic of craft and community as integral to their respective practices. The artists reflect on themes such as place and placelessness, the Anthropocene and humanity’s ongoing communion with nature, and working in isolation from wider communities during the Covid-19 Pandemic and the impacts of this on their works.  

  • Disruptions of Beauty and Value in Contemporary Craft

    Chair : Corinne Julius / Panelists : Marc Fish, Peter Marigold. Wycliffe Stutchbury, Nic Webb

    Corinne Julius, critic and journalist, speaks with Nic Webb, Peter Marigold, Wycliffe Stuchbury, and Marc Fish about the place of contemporary craft in art history. Together, the artists consider their places as artist-designer-makers and the overall validity of these labels, ruminate on the intrinsic value of works of design and their positions as ‘heirlooms’ or ‘luxury’ items, their desires for their works to be situated within a wider design legacy and the echoes of historical design in their practices, and the intersection of beauty and form with functionality. 

  • The Forthcoming Object: Crafting through Digital Technologies

    Jonathan Keep, Gareth Neal and Annie Warburton

    Annie Warburton, CEO of Cockpit Arts, is joined by Jonathan Keep and Gareth Neal, makers at the forefront of utilising digital technology to enhance their craft practices. Questions are raised about the nature and validity of the ‘hand-crafted’ object in relation to those made by machines, the importance of the ‘maker/designer’ distinction, and the necessity of a thorough understanding of and grounding in materials prior to undertaking an innovative approach to craft. 

  • In venturing to Peelings Manor Barn, we decided to use the opportunity to connect the works of our makers with some of the intrinsic values that underpin their practices. These stunning images reflect objects and collections in conversation with human history and the natural world, reflecting a fluidity between form and function, between the hand-crafted and high-tech. 
    The serenity of John Makepeace’s Embrace Collection, sparkling with the golden light that emanates from Adi Toch’s golden mirrored works, against the rougher-hewn stone, concrete, and brick of the barn’s material exemplifies the ongoing dialogue between makers and the world around them - how will we interpret the materials we have been given? What does it mean to bring refinery into conversation with the understated, or prosaic? Further, as John Makepeace consistently asks, how can all of these materials be used well, and be used sustainably, creating objects that will stand the test of time and provide some indication to our future generations that we made the collective choice to preserve and conserve on their behalf. Adi’s work also asks questions around meaning - gold is the most precious and most valued, in all cultures, of the precious metals, and in shaping these unique objects, she creates timeless pieces that rest in space and push us towards an inner calm; enlightening yet abstract. 
    This in turns hearkens back to the simplicity of wood, that humble and ancient material, brought to new heights by exemplary pieces such as Nic Webb’s Kumo lighting collection, or his Roji table. In pushing a material to its very limits, what might humanity hope to achieve? Gareth Neal posits this with his Si02 vessels, made at the cutting edge of digital fabrication using the unexpected material of sand, using 3D-printing technology. In glancing at these images, we can gain some sense of the unknowable dynamic that is creative progress. The barn is but a step in ongoing, inevitable leaps forward. Similarly, Jonathan Keep programmes his algorithms into, onto, and through clay - another humble and ostensibly basic material, integrated into human history from our earliest ancestors. What does this contrasting clay - that of the barn against his, the clay of the machine against that of the hand - show about our commitment to certain materials?
    Luke Fuller’s clay differs - it is the clay of the Anthropocene, whereby nature is not merely part of the human story, but directly impacted by its unstoppable force. Nature and humans twine around each other and are shaped by each other, but ultimately pull in opposing directions. Textures and layers of meaning define these relationships, as they define the stages of Luke’s pieces, the stages of building a barn. We might also consider Wycliffe Stutchbury’s panelled, screens, made of salvaged wood - some from barn roofs much like the ones these pieces were displayedunder - in our pondering of the relationship between humanity and our environments. Repurposing the things which have come before us, to produce new meanings and alternative ways of being - surely this is the very core of human ingenuity and spirit. Meanwhile, Eleanor Lakelin revives a truly human history in her archaeological emblems, shaping horse chestnut burr into the refined forms of classical antiquity. We feel as though we are creating a legacy, active participants in the making of the world. 
    Peter Marigold’s Dodai bench, an homage to Japanese culture created in collaboration with the famed Hinoki Kougei studio, brings together traditions and ideals of the East come to join with those of the West in harmony, two different design traditions producing a piece attentive to material and form as much as function. Marc Fish similarly employs a tradition rooted in Japanese culture, in his innovative Mokume-gane and squid ink chair, melding materials to produce an heirloom of true luxury that transcends cultural boundaries. 
    What all of these artist-designer-makers share is a connection to the fundamentals of their craft and to humanity and the natural world. We hope that through the installation of these meaningful works, in an environment so closely aligned with those principles, these works are better understood in context. Perhaps this will springboard more discussions like those featured in the videos. 
  • Make Good: Rethinking Material Futures

    John Makepeace OBE & Emma Crichton-Miller
    Emma Crichton-Miller, Editor-in-Chief of the Design Edit, sits down for a one-on-one chat with John Makepeace OBE. They discuss John’s decade-old ‘MakeGood’ initiative, in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, as well as his ongoing commitment to sustainable forestry and conservation. The conversation offers a wider perspective on the major themes discussed by all of our artists, placing the responsibilities that makers have to their communities, their environments, and their materials into context. 
    This conversation was inspired by our fascinating webinar, ‘Seeing the Forest for the Trees,' and John's continuing work with the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the MakeGood initiative to promote sustainable forestry and British design. 

  • Thank you to everyone who made our event such a resounding success, pictured here are friends, artists, technicians, and our panel hosts. 

    Thank you also to Simon Skinner and the MediaBytes team behind the camera, whose dedication to producing this material is greatly appreciated.