January events diary

After the domesticity of Christmas, get stuck into the new year with our programme of events and outings
Ceramics by Katie Almond
Ceramics by Katie Almond (Designer Crafts at The Mall - Society of Designer Craftsmen)

Designer Crafts in The Mall


Every year, the Society of Designer Craftsmen kick starts the new year with a super show of new work from around 80 of Britain's finest makers. The range is wide and tempting: textiles, jewellery, furniture, ceramics, metal, glass and more. There is an in-show shop for an instant hit, or you can discuss commissions at leisure.

Simply wander and wonder at the beauty of the workmanship. New graduates such as Myung nam An with brightly coloured porcelain join faithful furniture makers such as Toby Winteringham, with silver by Brian Williamson and textiles by Susan Macarthur.

"Come and meet the next generation of designer makers," says Carol Naylor, chair of The Society of Designer Craftsmen, which is the oldest multi-craft society in Britain, founded in 1888 with Walter Crane as chair, and William Morris a leading member.

From 9-17 January; admission: £4 (includes catalogue); The Mall Galleries, The Mall, SW1; call 020 7930 6844; www.societyofdesignercraftsmen.org.uk

A group of much sought after 'May Avenue' design Clarice Cliff Art Deco pottery from 1931, with prices from £4000 to £11,000
A group of much sought after 'May Avenue' design Clarice Cliff Art Deco pottery from 1931, with prices from £4000 to £11,000 (Kensington Antiques Fair)

Kensington Art & Antiques Fair


This is the first fair of the season (7 - 10 January) with more than fifty specialist dealers from across Britain assembled at Kensington Town Hall.

They are bringing a broad range of antiques and decorative pieces - "with a strong emphasis on individual style and design," says organiser Caroline Penman. "You won't find these pieces on the High Street, and it's the perfect chance to personalise your home" she added.

Specialists in 20th century style and design are out in force, selling Art Deco furniture, original movie posters, ceramics, bronze sculpture and works of art. All exhibits are strictly vetted for quality and authenticity, with prices ranging from less than £50 to over £25,000.

Admission: £5; call 01825 744074; www.penman-fairs.co.uk

Royal College of Art


Late 19th century English chair in the shape of a shell
An unusual late 19th century English chair in the shape of a shell with ebonised legs and original casters (The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair)
See how next summer's graduates are shaping up at a "work in progress" show including fashion, textiles, photography, gold- and silver-smithing, metalwork and jewellery. Some of the work on display will be for sale or commission.

14-22 January; Kensington Gore, London SW7; 020 7590 4114; www.rca.ac.uk

The Winter Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair


Chinoiserie is the theme at this popular fair, which takes place three times a year. Find the foyer in the Battersea marquee filled with mainly British examples of this oriental style, particularly popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Shop for ceramics, textiles, wallpaper, japanned and lacquered furniture, tolework and other decorative pieces.

The PM Gallery
The PM Gallery where the show Beware of Embroidery will be held
January 19-24; The Marquee, Battersea Park, SW11; call 020 7616 9327; www.decorativefair.com

Pitzhanger Manor


Needlework gets a radical new image at Beware of Embroidery, a challenging display by five internationally-known contemporary textile artists, which runs from 15 January to 27 February. Themes are ambitious - they include politics, history, language, science and social comment.

This show is in the PM Gallery, the extension to Pitzhanger Manor, which Sir John Soane designed as his "dream house" at the very beginning of the 19th century. Entry is free.

Celebrating the Queen's coronation in 1953
How the capital celebrated the Queen's coronation in 1953 (Museum of London)
Recently restored, the house itself is well worth seeing.

Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, Ealing, W5; call 020 8567 1227; www.ealing.gov.uk/pmgalleryandhouse

Museum of London


Free fun for families includes "Let's decorate London". These half-hour sessions focus on the Queen's coronation in 1953, and how the capital celebrated with decorations and festivities.

Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 January at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm; 150 London Wall,. EC2; call: 020 7001 9844; www.museumoflondon.org.uk

Farewell to Christmas celebrations in the Geffrye Museum gardens
Farewell to Christmas celebrations in the Geffrye Museum gardens

Geffrye Museum


Say "farewell to Christmas" on Wednesday 6 January from 4-5pm. The Museum's traditional rituals include burning of the holly and the ivy, carol singing, stories of the Epiphany, and a taste of mulled wine. It takes place outside in the beautiful garden, so be sure to wrap up well.

More cosily inside, The Eco Home show runs until 7 February. You can meet the curator on Saturday 23 January at 2pm (repeated at 3.30pm) to explore and discuss themes, ideas and objects from the exhibition.

At a Saturday family workshop on 9 January, children aged five to 16 can create an unusual notebook using old postcards, record covers and books. From 10.30am to 12.30pm and from 2-4pm.

A workshop on Saturday 23 January is led by textile designer and author Ruth Singer. She will help you make a unique draught excluder from recycled fabrics. From 11am to 4.30pm. Cost of £25 includes all materials but not lunch.

136 Kingsland Road, E2; call 020 7739 9893; www.geffrye-museum.org.uk

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