Late February and we are back round to this landmark in the British 'craft' calendar: Collect. Actually, it's right to acknowledge that Collect, isn't only significant in the British craft calendar, this 'art fair for contemporary objects', presented by The Crafts Council, is extremely important for craft internationally.
Standout galleries presented staggering objects by established names in wood, ceramics, glass and textiles. Of note, Sarah Meyerscough Gallery, Jaggedart London, Officine Saffi and one of my personal favourites this year, the Oxford Ceramic Gallery which showed a collection of work including pieces by Lucie Rie and works of combined media and talent by Julian Stair and Simone ten Hompel.
But, as I so often find, the really super interesting work comes when artists and makers are encouraged and enabled to break away from their usual practice and present something experimental and different. Up on the top floor of the Saatchi Gallery the Collect Open show held some really thoughtful, dynamic, interesting (Forest and Found's foray into large scale work - quilted wall hanging and four statement green oak and sweet chestnut pieces - were particularly beautiful) and, in the case of Mella Shaw's piece, tragic, heartbreaking work.