May events diary

May is a great month to visit modern glass and lighting exhibitions, the Sanderson design show, and the Dulwich Festival
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Victorian greenhouse: A Garden Within Doors at the Geffrye Museum
© Jayne Lloyd/Geffrye Museum
Victorian greenhouse: A Garden Within Doors at the Geffrye Museum

A Garden Within Doors – East London

Starved for garden space, what would we Londoners do without our pot plants? Cue for a visit (admission free) to the Geffrye Museum to see A Garden Within Doors (until 15 July). This green and gentle show looks at flowers and plants in the home over 400 years, with beautiful displays in all the Museum’s period rooms. But the main focus is the 19th century (1800-1914) when indoor gardening increased dramatically. Outside, the Museum has staged an 18th century “auricular theatre”. There is also a “null pyramid” based on a drawing in The Amateur’s Flower Garden (1878) by horticultural writer Shirley Hibberd. Thursday 20 May, 6-8pm: an open evening with talks and workshops on a garden theme, indoor and out. Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, E2; 020 7739 9893;

Primrose Hill Fete

The Primrose Hill Fete is on Sunday 23 May, 2010, and promises to be a fabulous event with something for all the family, with fairground rides, a famous Bubble man, a fancy dress competition, live music and great food. Many popular Primrose Hill businesses have taken market stalls and the friends of Primrose Hill will offer crafts, food and face painting for kids.

From 11am-5pm, the fete will occupy half of the street from The Queens Pub to the Post Office. Primrose Hill, NW1 3NA. Nearest tube: Chalk Farm.

Essence collection by Luca Nichetto for Bosa
Essence collection by Luca Nichetto for Bosa at Vessel Gallery

The Essence collection at Vessel Gallery

You can always rely on Nadia Demetriou Ladas, at Vessel Gallery for beautiful glass and ceramics. Her new show does not disappoint. It displays a varied collection by designer Luca Nichetto in partnership with two of Italy’s most dynamic craft companies. These are Bosa, who do large scale ceramics, and Venini, the leader in blown Venetian art glass (who also created the new work at Waddesdon, see below). You can also see work by other international designers, including Jaime Hayon, Ricardi Schweiser, Nienke Klunder and Sam Baron. Until 30 May.
Vessel, 114 Kensington Park Road, W11; 020 7727 8001;

Glass Experiences at Waddesdon Manor

Lovers of modern design should wing their way to Waddesdon this summer to catch a show by the Campana brothers, the internationally-acclaimed Brazilian design duo, famous for their chairs made from unusual materials, such as timber and carpet offcuts, rope, and even soft toys. Now they are doing lighting, with an assembly called Glass Experiences filling a new contemporary art gallery – the Coach House - with dramatic glowing pieces in mysterious shapes and wonderful glass, plus hand-woven wicker.

Detail of Esperanca chandelier by the Campana brothers at Waddesdon Manor
© Barbara Chandler
Detail of Esperanca chandelier by the Campana brothers at Waddesdon Manor
The designers themselves installed their work which was created in Venice with the Murano glass studio of Venini. The lighting falls into three groups. The first is a unique and large chandelier (displayed as wall-mounted halves) “stitched” from multi-coloured glass fragments, literally rescued from the workshops rejects. Then there is a series of white bulbous pendants studded with little glass figures, based on the fabric folk-dolls made by Brazilian women to sell on the street. One of these also hangs inside the house. Finally – and the most striking and original – seven huge and mysterious light “cocoons” hang on ropes, made in Brazil from glass and woven rattan, shaped over iron frames. They evoke sea creatures, insects or even subterranean caves. This show runs until 31 October, and work is for sale through the Albion Gallery, SW11; It coincides with a new book on the Campanas, published by Albion and Rizzoli.
Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury, Bucks;

Dulwich Open Studios

Havelock Walk is a mews in the heart of Forest Hill, SE23, with some of the oldest local buildings in the area. It has become the live-work hub of a thriving creative community. These artists (20 of them), including painters, sculptures, and makers of glass and ceramics, will open their studios to the public on the weekends of 8/9 May, and 15/16 May. The local Dulwich Festival ( is on the same dates.
For more details, call 07950 267017;

Very Sanderson Exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum
Very Sanderson exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum

Very Sanderson

This delightful show continues at the Fashion & Textile Museum until 13 June, celebrating 150 years of English decoration. Workshops include interior design on Saturday 8 May, with two sessions, morning or afternoon (£60); textile design on Saturday 29 May (£50 including materials); customise your own pashmina on Saturday 22 May in the afternoon (£55 including pashmina and screen printing). A talk by Christopher Vane Percy on recreating colour schemes from historic buildings is on Friday 15 May, 6.30-8pm (£12/£9 concessions). Museum admission prices are £6.50; concessions £3.50; children under 12, free.
Fashion & Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1; 020 7407 8664;

Liberty sewing classes

These are on Saturdays 8 and 29 May (learn to sew); and 22 May (millinery). Demand is heavy, but courses start again in the autumn.
Liberty, Great Marlborough Street, W1; 020 7734 1234;

Handmade at Fortnum’s

On show until 11 June , with textiles, glass, silverwork and wood, at prices from £50.
Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, W1; 0845 300 1707;

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