Even if you think you know London, the extent of the city’s diverse and dynamic manufacturing scene can come as a surprise. This fascinating new book, which features specially commissioned photography, provides an intriguing glimpse behind the doors of businesses as varied as ballet-shoe makers, underground salad growers, furniture designers, tincan producers, distilleries and Britain’s last glass-eye maker.
Walking through London’s busy streets, you would find it difficult to imagine that the city’s 32 boroughs contain around 4000 manufacturers, making everything from paint, neon signs and tailored denim, to chocolates, wigs, taps and propellers. While creating world-class goods and nourishing the economy, these businesses – whether sole traders or large companies – are having to deal with familiar challenges such as rising rents and trying to keep developers at bay.
MADE IN LONDON features 50 unique businesses, from luxury heritage brands to pioneering companies and producers meeting humdrum daily needs. Arranged into themed chapters including ‘Clothing & Shoes’, ‘Metalwork’, ‘Furniture & Woodwork’ and ‘Food & Drink’, the businesses are evocatively and concisely described by journalist and editor Clare Dowdy. Carmel King’s superb photographs take us behind the scenes, capturing the energy, passion and skill of makers whose invaluable work is so often hidden from view.
In his introduction to the book, architect and urbanist Professor Mark Brearley, who is himself the proprietor of a long-established London manufacturer – tray and trolley maker Kaymet – explains that cities ‘are the home of innovation and enterprise, a great crucible of the new, and that includes making.’ MADE IN LONDON is a timely celebration of the essential but often underestimated contributions that London’s vibrant manufacturing scene makes to its creativity and vitality and to the wider economy.
Carmel King is a photographer who has spent more than a decade documenting craftspeople, heritage brands and independent businesses. Mark Brearley is Professor of Urbanism at London Metropolitan University, and until 2013 he worked for the Mayor of London as Head of Design for London at the Greater London Authority. Clare Dowdy is a freelance journalist, editor, copywriter and curator whose writing about design, architecture and manufacturing has appeared in numerous publications.
Publication: October 2022
Size: 29 x 22.5 cm
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4702-0 900
colour illustrations, 256 pages