Where to find Christmas craft and handmade presents:10 of the best craft markets and shows in London

From Cockpit Arts in Deptford to the Royal College of art Christmas Fete, find gifts to treasure at London’s festive designer-maker shows. 

What better Christmas present than the handmade and special? London is the capital of craft, with significant numbers of makers beavering away in their workshops, mostly hidden from public view.

Some work in their own homes, but many are conveniently located together in groupings of studio workshops.

This is the time of year when they throw open their doors to the public, offering an amazing variety of beautifully designed, handmade objects. They also lay on a range of other activities from workshops to demonstrations of their skills, often with mince pies and glühwein thrown in.

COCKPIT ARTS, DEPTFORD

18-22 Creekside SE8; Friday December 2, 11am to 9pm; Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4, 11am to 6pm; Friday free, weekends £3

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Eleanor Pritchard’s Canasta blanket, 100 per cent wool, £250 at Cockpit Arts, Deptford

Cockpit houses makers of all manner of interior goodies and jewellery. It’s great for textiles, including Eleanor Pritchard’s minimalist throws, Catarina Riccabona’s blankets and throws, Maria Sigma’s undyed cushions, throws, rugs and runners and Majeda Clarke’s ethereal cashmere scarves. There’s silver by Adele Brereton, plus maker stars such as glass artist Shelley James, wood turner Eleanor Lakelin and still-life ceramicist Katharine Morling.

ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART CHRISTMAS FÊTE

Jay Mews entrance, Kensington Gore, SW7; Friday to Sunday December 9 to 11, noon to 8pm

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Eleanor Pritchard’s Canasta blanket, 100 per cent wool, £250 at Cockpit Arts, Deptford

Up to 100 RCA art and design students take part in this annual event selling a variety of experimental designs with prices from £1 to £600, including concrete planters by Kezia Regan and Mediterranean blue glass bowls and vases by Rezzan Hasoglu. On Sunday December 11, from 2-6pm is Parents and Children Afternoon, where children of all ages can join in with free festive workshops.

KATE MALONE

Balls Pond Road Studios, 8b Culford Mews, N1; Saturday and Sunday December 3-4, 11am to 7pm

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Celebrated ceramic artist Kate Malone

Here’s a chance to buy pieces by celebrated ceramic artist and judge of the BBC’s Great Pottery Throw Down, Kate Malone. Her bone china mugs start at £15 and she is launching The Stage of Pots, a limited edition of prints of paper cuts, from £80. Also find Andrew Logan’s glass jewellery and Rich Miller’s stoneware pots from £15.

PULLENS YARDS 

Clements, Iliffe & Peacock Yards, SE17; Friday December 2, 6.30pm to 9pm; December 3 and 4, 11am to 6pm

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Katie Spragg's Blue Honey Bees

The three historic yards of Clements, Iliffe and Peacock have a Victorian Christmas feel, with ceramics such as beautiful handmade mugs by Billy Lloyd, striking vessels by Daniel Reynolds, delicate ceramic landscapes as well as functional tableware by Katie Spragg and sculptural installations by Natasha Daintry.

SELVEDGE MAKERS’ FAIR 

St Augustine’s Church Hall, Langdon Park Road, N6; Saturday December 3, 11am 

 

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Blankets from £195, Mourne Textiles

Selvedge Fair includes wonderful blankets and cushions by Mourne Textiles, geometrically patterned cushions by Annaloom and also Louisa Loakes, plus wooden platters by Dot and Cross. Tea and cakes will be served round the corner in the Selvedge store, at 162 Archway Road.

WORKSHOP CHRISTMAS SALE

Christ Church Centre, 263 Barry Road, Dulwich SE22; Saturday December 3, 10am to 4pm. Free

This one-day maker clearance sale includes framed embroideries by Linda Miller, colourful half-price crockery by Rob Turner, and hand-printed linen cushions, lampshades and scarves by Trisha Needham.

WALLACE SEWELL 

24 Lloyd Baker Street (at corner with Amwell Street), WC1; Monday Dec 5, 6pm to 9pm; Tuesday to Friday December 6-9, 10.30am to 5.30pm; Saturday December 10, 11am to 6pm

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Cushions, £45 each, at Wallace Sewell in WC1

These renowned textile designers offer massive reductions on interiors products and fashion accessories. One-off Shetland wool cushions start at £35, lambswool throws are priced from £70, and there’s a wide choice of scarves priced from £20.

VANGUARD

Vanguard Court, 35-38 Peckham Road, Camberwell SE5; Friday to Sunday December 2-4, 10am to 6pm

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Chris Keenan's monochrome beakers

Part of Camberwell Open Studios, Vanguard produces ceramics, including Chris Keenan’s tableware, Carina Ciscato’s vessels and Sun Kim’s vases.

LONDON GLASSBLOWING 

62-66 Bermondsey Street, SE1; now until Christmas Eve; Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm, Sundays 11am to 5pm

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Glassware by respected artist Peter Layton at London Glassblowing

Find the prettiest glass pieces by Peter Layton, Louis Thompson, Hanne Enemark, Cathryn Shilling and others, including tea lights and Christmas decorations. Book a workshop space for £50 to make your own Christmas bauble.

CLOCKWORK STUDIOS

Part of Camberwell Open Studios, 38 Southwell Road SE5; Friday December 11, 6pm to 9pm; December 12 and 13, 11am to 6pm

Home to several ceramicists including Dan Kelly, Rafael Atencia and Sian Jones, and textile artist Victoria Richards, maker of Jon Snow’s best socks and ties.


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