The Crafts Council is an independent UK organisation funded by the Arts Council of England, dedicated to the promotion of contemporary crafts. Established in 1971, it aims to increase public awareness of the applied arts and encourage high standards amongst craftspeople.


The Crafts Council Gallery in London is Britain's largest craft exhibition space. Exhibitions are staged throughout the year, some of which tour nationally and internationally. The work shown may be from any craft discipline, and from any time in history although the emphasis is placed on contemporary work.


Education is an important part of the Craft Council's work. Educational programmes accompany all exhibitions. These include events such as lectures, seminars, study days, workshops, gallery talks, demonstrations, drop-in sessions and other interactive activities. They have educational programmes tailored to schools, families, craftspeople and the general public.

The Crafts Council Collection

The Crafts Council Collection began in 1972. The first objects in the Collection date from the time of the British Potters' Exhibition, when work by such potters as Bernard Leach, Hans Coper and Lucie Rie were acquired. It is a collection of work by artists living in England, Wales and Scotland, intended for public exhibition.

The Collection holds more than 1200 objects from every craft discipline including:

  • ceramics
  • glasswork
  • metalwork
  • jewellery
  • furniture
  • textiles
  • wood
  • baskets
  • automata
  • calligraphy
  • lettering
  • bookbinding
  • It includes work by many internationally renowned craftspeople, as well as younger and less well known makers. The Collection is available to a wide audience through the Loans Service and through Collection Touring Exhibitions. It can also be viewed on the interactive database Photostore at the Crafts Council's headquarters in Islington.

    The London premises also provide a specialist Reference Library and the National Register of Makers which contains contact information for over 4000 UK craftspeople. Photostore contains over 40,000 images of craft objects. The National Register of Makers is a particularly important aspect of the Craft Council's service for craftspeople, as it guides potential clients to the maker who can best fulfil their requirements.

    Resource Centre Opening Hours

      Tuesday - Saturday 11.00 - 5.45 and Sunday 2.00 - 5.45

    Crafts Council Gallery Shop

      44a Pentonville Road Islington London N1 9BY 020 7806 2559

    Crafts, the Council's bi-monthly magazine, is well respected as the only journal in Britain to provide coverage of all craft forms. To subscribe, call +44 (0) 20 7806 2542 or fax +44 (0) 20 7837 0858

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