Sunday, 20 May 2007

Cockpit Arts

Tucked away down Creekside, between Jones Furniture Hire and a scaffolder's yard is Cockpit Arts, one of the secret delights of Deptford. Cockpit Arts is a registered charity which supports 'designer-makers' and helps them to set up successful businesses. As well as providing studio space, the organisation also runs courses aimed at helping designers to establish and run their business successfully. It has two centres - one in Holborn and one in Deptford, and organises an open studios weekend at each site twice a year.

I always look forward to it avidly - it's a great opportunity to see some fantastic designers at work, from textiles through stained glass windows to guitar makers - and also offers a chance to buy unusual gifts. One of the weekends is always November/December time, so perfect for christmas presents! The studios are a cut above the normal artist's garret-style space; they are beautifully clean, always look freshly painted, and because the building is an old 60s office block, the light from the huge windows is ideal. My photographer friend who accompanied me was fair salivating at the thought of having studio space like that!

Well the bad news is that you've just missed the summer open weekend at Deptford - but there's still time to catch the Holborn studios which are opening at the end of the month. All the designers will do commissions anyway, so it's worth having a browse of the directory if you are looking for something special. My particular recommendation is Katie Adams' London skyline tableware - Katie used to be based in Deptford but is now at the Holborn site, so if you like her stuff, don't miss the Holborn weekend!

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