I skipped along to a new exhibition at the V&A this weekend. I can barely resist any exhibition, let alone one with the promise of craft objects on display (and with free admission). Power of Making (6 September 2011 – 2 January 2012) is a joint exhibition by the V&A and Crafts Council, exploring how we use making to solve problems, express ideas and shape the world.

For many people, making is critical for survival. For others, it is a chosen vocation: a way of thinking, inventing and innovating. And for some it is simply a delight to be able to shape a material and say ‘I made that’.

Daniel Charny, Guest Curator

The exhibition itself is a great idea to bring crafts to the forefront and highlight maker’s skills – if only the room were larger. I found the pieces cram packed together, so, rather than each object on display getting the focus it deserved, I felt I was at a rather fancy jumble sale.

To cater to the vast audience passing through the free exhibition doors, the range of objects and crafts seemed vast. Jumping from dry stone walling, to prosthetic suits, to Fantastic Mr Fox puppets. Hopefully, visitors will be inspired by one or two crafts, then seek out more information on them specifically, and hunt out specialised exhibitions where the history, beauty and skill of a specific craft object can be languished in.

Power of Making Suit

Michael Rea - Prosthetic suit for Stephen Hawking with Japanese Steel. (c) Contemporary Art Museum Virginia Beach.

I found myself very drawn to the older crafts with a fading history, partly forgotten. Embroidery, quilting, dry stone walling and saddlery, all stirred me in some small way. Inspired, I think I shall start simply and dig out my knitting needles.

– Miss C x

Power of Making Saddle

Dressage saddle, © Barnsby Saddlery