Crafty Christmas gifts

From designer art to quirky seconds, shop for something different at London's open workshops.
Walk in the Park cushion
Michelle Mason's Walk in the Park cushion (£45) at Hidden Art
Looking for hand-crafted gifts this Christmas that won't break the bank? London's open workshops are mostly run by the designer/makers themselves and allow you to know the story of a product before you buy, giving a present a bit of extra meaning.

There are cutting-edge new designs on sale alongside ends of ranges and seconds. The venues are busy and full of Christmas atmosphere, and there are refreshments on hand.

Here are our favourite open workshops for you to explore:


Silverware and jewellery.
Olivier foyer, National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 ( November 8 to January 9, Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 10.30pm; Sunday noon to 6pm (closed December 19).


Silver, ceramics and prints, including contemporary silver by Chien-Wei Chang and Heather O'Connor, as well as unusual functional tableware by Kaori Tatebayashi and Kiki ceramics.
401½ Wandsworth Road, SW8. November 20 to 21, 11am to 4pm (

Screen-printed lamp shades
Maxine Sutton's bespoke screenprinted shades (small £75) at MADE10

The Chocolate Factory

Ceramics and fine art.
Farleigh Place, Stoke Newington, N16. November 27 to 28.


Ceramics and domestic textiles. Corn Exchange, Church Street, Brighton. From November 19 to 21, 11am to 5pm. Admission £6. Under-14s free (

Cockpit Arts

Cockpit is spread over two sites. Both venues are home to a wide range of makers producing everything from homeware to jewellery. Wall hangings made from old books by Francisca Prieto, silver by Maya Selway and Ndidi Ekubia and subtly coloured ceramics by Louisa Taylor.
Cockpit Arts: Holborn - Northington Street, WC1. November 26 to 28, Friday 11am to 9pm; weekend 11am to 6pm.
Cockpit Arts: Deptford - 18-22 Creekside, SE8. December 3 to 5, Friday 11am to 9pm; weekend 11am to 6pm. Joint ticket £5, or £3 Deptford only. Under-15s free. ( makerdifference).

Mirage bowl
Mirage bowl by Peter Layton at London Glassblowing (£505)

Aaronson Noon Glass Studio

Ornate hand-blown glass at bargain basement prices. Vases, scent bottles, baubles, paperweights, candlesticks, bowls etc from £1 to £75 (with up to 75 per cent off).
Roxby Place (end of Rickett Street), SW6. November 28, December 3 to 5, 11am to 5pm (020 7610 1900/3344;

East London Design Show

A medley of furnishings and accessories with makers from Hackney, Seattle, Sydney and Paris. A number of Hidden Art members are taking part. A sustainable giftwrapping service by Barley Massey of Fabrications, children's workshops and the chance to make a giant paper chain.
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street. December 3, noon to 8pm; December 4 to 5, 10am to 6pm. Admission: £5, concessions £3, accompanied under-15s free (020 8510 9069;

Vanguard Court Open

The place for beautiful functional ceramics, especially pieces by Chris Keenan and Carina Ciscato. Wooden spoons by Nic Webb. 36-38 Peckham Road, SE5. December 3 to 5, 11am to 5pm (020 7701 2940).

Drinks cabinet
Ian Spencer Casa Jay drinks cabinet (£7,000) at Pullens Yards

London Glass Works

Colourful vessels, plates and lights by leading glass blowers. Lots of bargains as well as the chance to see glass blowing demonstrations.
Unit 15, Forest Trading Estate, Priestly Way, E17. December 4, 10am to 7pm; December 5, 11am to 6pm (020 8531 0088).

Pullens Yards

Characterful yards used as backdrop in the recent film The King's Speech. Furniture, ceramics, photography and silver. Intriguing storage by Ian Spencer and jewellery by Hidemi Asano.
Clements Yard, Iliffe Yard and Peacock Yard, Iliffe and Crampton Streets, SE17. December 4 to 5, 11am to 6pm.

Selvedge Christmas Fair

Most of the makers work with textiles. Amusing figures by Lauren van Helmond.
St Augustine of Canterbury Highgate, St Augustine's Vicarage, Langdon Park Road, N6. December 4, 11am to 5pm. Tickets £2.50, redeemable against any purchase over £20 in the Selvedge shop. Children free.

Wallace Sewell

Woven throws, cushions, tea cosies and scarves in striking colours and modernist patterns.
24 Lloyd Baker St (at Corner with Amwell St), London WC1. December 7 to 11, Tuesday to Friday 10.30am to 5.30pm; Saturday 11am to 6pm (

Magpie pot
At MADE10, Christiane Kersten and Alison Milner's Magpie pot (£26)

The Workshop Christmas Sale

Mix of fashion and homeware. Great woven accessories by Muskett and Muzzullo, colourful cushions by Trish Needham, glass by Michael Ruh.
Thomas More Hall, 116a Lordship Lane, SE22. December 11, 10am to 5pm. Admission £2 for charity (

Clockwork Studios

Ceramics, millinery and textiles, especially colourful work by Victoria Richards and Dawn Dupree.
38 Southwell Road, London SE5. December 11 to 14, noon to 5pm (

Wimbledon Art Studios

For fine art.
November 25 to 26, 2pm to 10pm; November 28 to 29, 11am to 6pm. Riverside Road, SW17 (020 8947 1183;

London Glassblowing

Hand-blown glass by seven makers including gallery pieces at a 10 per cent discount, plus seconds. Enjoy demonstrations of glass blowing, with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.
62-66 Bermondsey Street, SE1. November 26 to December 5. Monday to Saturday 10am to 5.30pm; Thursdays till 8pm; Sundays 11am to 4pm (020 7403 2800; londonglassblowing.

Made in Clerkenwell

Spread over two buildings, Craft Central is the traditional home of jewellery and silversmithing. Great silver by Ane Christensen, appealing ceramics by Helen Beard, graphic cushions by Charel Mullen and lots of contemporary jewellery. Craft Central, 21 Clerkenwell Green and 33-35 St John's Square, EC1. November 26, noon to 8pm; November 27 to 28, noon to 6pm. Admission: £2.50 per person, under-16s free (020 7251 0276;

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