I’ve often found that designer makers I like have studios at Cockpit Arts; Sarah Hillman, Sian Zeng and Billy Lloyd to name just a few. So their Summer Open Studios event is always a very exciting prospect indeed.
The Holborn Open Studio was last weekend and the Deptford Open Studio is this weekend (from Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th June). 60 designer makers will offer a rare glimpse behind the scenes into their (sadly, probably tidied up) workspaces and the chance to buy direct.
(Guitar maker, Alex Bishop.)
As a fan of the creative working space, this is like honey to a bee for me. But it’s not just me – Mary Portas paid a visit to the Holborn studios this weekend and she said: “I love Cockpit Arts. More people should rock down there. Stunning talent… I like shopping this way. It feels like a wonderful, spirited, creative environment. We are at the heart of great talent and community spirit – I think that’s very British.” Well if it’s good enough for Mary Portas…
With textiles designers, silversmiths, potters, printers, glass artists and a man who makes guitars all working shoulder to shoulder, what really struck me about Cockpit Arts was the diversity of creative talent and the opportunity for cross-fertilisation of ideas.
I get very excited about inspiration that can leap across disciplines, and I can’t think of a place where that’s more likely to happen. Most studios are shared and Cockpit really try to take the time to find pairings that will result in the sharing of ideas and skills, and perhaps even collaboration.
(Emma of Thornback & Peel)
As well as offering space, Cockpit Arts is the UK’s only business incubator for designer-makers, helping them to increase profits while developing creatively, and it seems to work – average profits increase at 25% above the rate of inflation every year.
(Glass artist Sue King)
The Open Studios at Deptford this weekend will include workshops, exhibitions and yummy food from the Hand Made Food Cafe. The studios are open late on Friday (6pm-9pm) and from 11am – 6pm on Saturday and Sunday – and entry is free. The address is 18-22 Creekside, London, SE8 3DZ, which is not as far away as it sounds – Deptford is just one stop from London Bridge on the tube or you can hop on the DLR.
Many thanks to Jamie Trounce and Josie Ballin for the photography.
Further reading for the especially geeky: