Exceptional British Craft - Furniture, Homewares & Gifts

Common Parts: A Furniture Collection by Sue Skeen for The New Craftsmen

COMMON PARTS is a new furniture collection designed by Sue Skeen in partnership with The New Craftsmen integrating the traditional skills of makers from the British Isles, from leather-workers and mosaicists, to rushers and lacquerists. Together our joint ambition was to develop a collection of timeless designs which would encourage individuality and happily co-exist with the customer’s own furniture.

Shop the collection

Comprising 5 separate designs, entitled PLANK, STUMPY, TRUNK, STICK, and PEGGY – all 5 shapes are produced in the British Isles; the benches and tables by bespoke furniture makers Inglis Hall in Sussex, and the chair by Sitting Firm Chair makers in Coventry. Drawing on our network of specialist makers, collaborators include paint and lacquer specialist Pedro da Costa Felgueiras, leather worker Otis Ingrams, rush weaver Felicity Irons, and mosaicist Giulia Manzoni in collaboration with JW Restoration.

Discover the Makers


On Saturday 16 September The New Craftsmen’s Mayfair space will be transformed into the COMMON PARTS Canteen – bringing our brand new COMMON PARTS Collection to life. We invite guests to sit, eat, drink, converse, listen, play and debate in our week-long series of events and happenings, crafted especially for London Design Festival 2017.

As well as providing an opportunity to try-out the collection, the canteen will showcase a stimulating lineup of speakers, curated by cultural thought-maker Penelope Sacorafou, Fox&Squirrel. Our friendly hub will be open to all on the LDF design trail, offering light refreshments, games and activities, and a forum for the exchange of ideas and gossip.

COMMON PARTS programme

A complimentary programme of events during London Design Festival 2017
to celebrate the launch of our new furniture range

The week will be distilled down to daily themes that represent the core values of this furniture range: Provenance, Materiality, Individuality, Community, and Utility. Further, each day will tackle these themes creatively and at times in an abstract manner in order to establish a truly authentic space for reflection, knowledge and research that will inspire LDF 2017 audiences.

10:00am – Provenance, a Craft Story
Giles Rhys – Jones, CMO of What3Words, tackles provenance, a prime feature in the story of craft. In a world that is increasingly connected and documented how can craftsmen safeguard their local story from over-exposure?
Click to see more on our Facebook page

2:30pm – Place. Source. Inspiration
Inspired by the works of English poet John Clare, The New Craftsmen is documenting the romance of England in the 21st century. We’d like to highlight the unique, obscure, and hyper-local origins of craftsmanship.
We invite the public to join us in the COMMON PARTS Canteen to write about and discuss special places.

4:30pm – Creatives Stand up for Inspiration!
A collection of authors, craftsmen, artists and musicians take to the soapbox and unveil their sources of inspiration, in the hope of safeguarding 0000000these from outside threats. Members of the public are invited to join-in.

10:00am – Canopy, Design in Nature
Jack Cooke, author of The Tree Climber’s Guide, describes the smell and texture of leaves and bark of the trees of London, as well as the astonishing view of the city from their tops.

2:30pm – Materials Me, You, Us
How do materials shape social judgments and first impressions? In a collage workshop with The New Craftsmen’s Jo Waterhouse, we investigate how our choice of furnishings shape the homeness of the space we inhabit, and in return how people looking-in interpret this.

4:30pm – Beauty Will Save the World
Creative practitioners and members of the public are invited to respond to Dostoevsky’s quote Beauty Will Save the World. Author Alan Moore and curator Cassie Beadle will launch the evening’s soapbox talks.

10:00am – One Man’s Story: Commissioner and Craftsman
Rob Penn, author of It’s All About the Bike and The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees, shares his personal experiences as a commissioner of craft and his impressions of a craftsman’s studio.

2:30pm – Let the Meaning Choose the Word
In the run up to COMMON PARTS, The New Craftsmen has been playing with words. And so, we invite the public to play words games with us. Incomplete poems and short stories will be left on tables for members of the audience to interpret and to complete as they deem fit.

4:30pm – Poetry Jam
An afternoon of poetry curated by rising star Sarah Roselle. Featured works will tackle the definition of individuality. Members of the public interested in participating can apply by emailing [email protected]

10am – Invisible, a London design community
Michael Krzyzanowski, furniture historian and observer of London, challenges our ways of seeing and experiencing design in our quotidian routines by introducing us to our city’s invisible design communities.

2:30pm – To Manifest a Manifesto
In a digitised world, the handmade has become a tool for marketeers to evoke emotions of nostalgia for a way of life that was less connected. The education system plays into this by increasingly steering away from teaching pure skills. The New Craftsmen invites practitioners and members of the public to write the beginnings of an art, crafts and design manifesto that will shape the curriculum for future students. We want future graduates to live a sustainable life through making, one that is not manipulated by photographic filters and punchy copy. Craftsman, Michael Ruh will lead the debate.

4:30pm – Soapbox, a Loud London Story
The New Craftsmen is a stone’s throw away from the famous Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, Britain’s last great open air oratory site. Often written off as a realm of cranks and fanatics, oral historian and creative producer Laura Mitchinson challenges this perception by bringing to life the unique atmosphere of Hyde Park itself including the cut and thrust of face to face debate, the eccentric performances and the chaotic soundscapes in a series of audio tours and visuals that will be presented in the Common Parts Canteen.

10am – Wasteful Use
Sickened by the sight of food waste, Rob Wilson alongside food waste campaigner Tristram Stuart, brew award winning beer using unsold loaves of bread. In his talk, Rob tells us how a break away idea has the potential to become a logical way of life.

2:30pm – Building the Future
The Common Parts Canteen is a stone’s throw away from Claredon Flats built by The Improved Industrial Dwellings Company, founded in 1863. Inspired by the ethos of the company we invite architects, designers and the public to have their say in the design of cooperative housing for the 21st century.

4:30pm – Function(s) and Space(s)
The true integration of different functions in times and space is key to success. The New Craftsmen invites the public to discuss this aspect of utility.

Download the Common Parts programme and speaker bios below:

COMMON PARTS Programme      COMMON PARTS Speaker Bios

Visit & Connect


16–23 Sept 2017 (closed Sunday 17 Sept)
10am – 6pm (8pm Monday 18 Sept)

The New Craftsmen, Mayfair
Refreshments will be served.
The canteen will be open to all, however spaces are limited
and the need to queue may arise.

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