Martina Margetts


  • Martina Margetts
  • Area

    School of Arts & Humanities


    Senior Tutor

  • Martina Margetts is Senior Tutor in Critical & Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art in London and a leading international specialist in craft. Her research interests concern the meanings and practices of contemporary craft and design in global and social contexts.

  • Biography

  • Martina Margetts read History at Bristol University, followed by a Diploma year at the Study Centre for the Fine and Decorative Arts at the Victoria and Albert Museum and a Certificate in Periodical Journalism at the London College of Printing. She was Editor of Crafts magazine for nine years and a senior member of staff at the Crafts Council during the 1980s. Her books include International Crafts (Thames and Hudson, 1991), Michael Rowe (Lund Humphries, 2003) and Tord Boontje (Rizzoli USA, 2007). She has curated major international touring exhibitions including The Raw and the Cooked: New Work in Clay in Britain (MOMA, Oxford and Barbican, London, 1993; with Alison Britton); Objects of Our Time (Crafts Council, 1996) and Only Human (Crafts Council, 1999). She was a crafts adviser to Arts Council England from 1999 to 2007 and is on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Modern Craft and of Craft Research

    She lectures, curates and writes internationally and was a judge and conference speaker at the 2009 International Crafts Biennale in South Korea. In 2010 she undertook her first research visit to Brazil, which resulted in the major conference at the RCA in January 2011 entitled Brazil – The Cultural Contemporary. She curated Time Machines: Daniel Weil and the art of design for the Design Museum in 2014 and continues to contribute widely to international conferences and research seminars. 

    Recent keynote lectures in London include the 2013 Peter Dormer Lecture at the Royal College of Art, the Crafts Council’s Make:Shift conference 2014, the University of Westminster’s Craft in the Expanded Field conference 2014 and Post-Craft at the ICA 2015. Chapters will be published in two ceramics anthologies in 2016.

    Show more
  • External collaborations

  • Martina Margetts works as adviser, curator, writer, lecturer and competition judge on the crafts with public organisations, museums and higher education institutions in the UK and worldwide, including Arts Council England, Crafts Council, British Council, Australia Council, American Craft Museum (now Museum of Art and Design, New York), Japan Foundation, Cheongiu Biennale, South Korea.  

  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Selected Books and Book Chapters

    • (2007) Tord Boontje, New York: Rizzoli
    • (2007) ‘Critical Essay’ in: Foreign Bodies: Christoph Zellweger, Spain: Actar
    • (2005) Chapter in: Re:Form – Contemporary Swedish Crafts, Stockholm: Arvinius Forlag
    • (2003) Michael Rowe, Farnham: Lund Humphries
    • (2003) ‘Foreword', in: Kyoko Kumai, Denbighshire: Telos Publishing
    • (2001) ‘Norway’s decorative arts museum collections’, in: Innkjopt 1995-2000, Oslo: Forlaget Press
    • (1994) ‘Introduction’ Fiber Art Japan, Japan: Shinshindo
    • (1991) International Crafts, London: Thames and Hudson
    • (1984) ‘Applied Arts and Architecture’, in: Art Within Reach, London: Thames and Hudson

    Selected Exhibition Publications

    • (2013) ‘The Lie of the Land’, Setting the Scene: new landscape in craft, Crafts Study Centre, University of the Creative Arts
    • (2011–12) ‘Journey to an Unknown Destination’, 60|40 collective, Gustavsberg Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden
    • (2011-12) ‘Actions Not Words’, The Power of Making, Victoria and Albert Museum
    • (2011) ‘From Leach to Etsy: forty years of craft', Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London
    • (2010) ‘Flux’, European Ceramic Context Biennale, Bornholm, Denmark
    • (2009) ‘Harmony and Counterpoint’, Romilly Saumarez Smith: Bookbindings, Victoria and Albert Museum
    • (2006) The Forest of Karakusa: Tord Boontje and arabesque, Shiseido, Tokyo
    • (2005) Interface: international contemporary art textiles, Scottish Gallery/Ruthin Craft Centre
    • (2002) Brennpunkt Bergen (ceramics), Norway
    • (1999-2000) Only Human, an exhibition about body and soul, Crafts Council
    • (1999) Emma Woffenden, National Glass Centre, Sunderland
    • (1998-9) Peter Collingwood, Master Weaver, The Minories and International Tour
    • (1998) No Picnic: Contemporary Designer Makers, Crafts Council
    • (1998) Embody: New Figurative Glass, Northern Centre for Contemporary Arts
    • (1998) Beyond Material, The New Crafts of the 90's, Oriel Mostyn
    • (1996) Objects of Our Time, Crafts Council
    • (1996) Recycling: Forms for the Next Century, Craftspace Touring/Crafts Council
    • (1994) 2010: Textiles and New Technology, Crafts Council
    • (1993) The Chemistry Set: Colouring and Patination in Metals, Southern Arts
    • (1993) The Raw and the Cooked: New Work in Clay in Britain, MOMA, Oxford and Barbican Art Gallery, London
    • (1993) A Vision of the Crafts, Crafts Council
    • (1993) The Eloquent Vessel: Michael Rowe, Museum fur Angewandte Kunst, Cologne
    • (1991) Configura: Themes of European Applied Arts, Erfurt, East Germany
    • (1988) Contemporary British Crafts, Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto and tour
    • (1985) Fast Forward, New Directions in British Ceramics, ICA London
    • (1979) 55 Pots, Orchard Gallery, Londonderry, Northern Ireland    


    • (2014) Daniel Weil: the art of design, Design Museum, London
    • (1999-2000) Only Human: An international exhibition about body and soul, Crafts Council
    • (1997) The British are Coming, SOFA, Miami and Indigo Gallery, Boca Raton USA
    • (1996/7) Objects of Our Time, Crafts Council, London and international tour
    • (1993) The Raw and the Cooked: New works in clay in Britain, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford and international tour (co-curated with Alison Britton)
    • (1993) In Our Hands, Miniature Textiles, Nagoya Trade and Industry Centre, Japan
    • (1993) 25 Years in Covent Garden, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
    • (1990) British Design, Mitsukoshi Gallery, Tokyo
    • (1990) Contemporary British Crafts, Miharudo Gallery, Tokyo

Selected work