The ground floor showroom is Britain's largest gallery for contemporary crafts and its opening exhibition Beyond the Dovetail (until November 10) attempts a wide-ranging and brave survey on what differentiates craft from art.
A recurring problem, seen in this first show, is "how practical does an object have to be to qualify as craftwork?" The Crafts Council has to define its boundaries too.
On show is a fascinating half thatched roof and a collection of David Drew's baskets. The council promotes baskets but leaves thatching to the Rural Development Agency.
The Claremont is open daily except Mondays and is free. Two doors away is the Medici Society. Textile designers are at work in the reborn St James's.