Grants, opportunities and awards for craft and design - 2016 could be your year!

Resolved to invest in your creative future in the New Year? Dreaming of taking your business to the next level and looking for mentoring and support? You could be in luck in 2016, but you better act fast - these opportunities all end in January.

Tools can be enigmatic - functional, specific, strangely named. Saddlery tools - co-opted for fine leather work -  are no exception; is that a stitching fork or a pricking iron? Groover, channeller or creaser?

Tools can be enigmatic - functional, specific, strangely named. Saddlery tools - co-opted for fine leather work -  are no exception; is that a stitching fork or a pricking iron? Groover, channeller or creaser?

Our old alma mater, Cockpit Arts has linked up with a number of Livery Companies to offer studios and business support to talented designer-makers. This January, the Leathersellers' Company are looking for up to six designer-makers who want to develop new work using leather - we sincerely hope that some previous Designer Courses students will apply…

If fabric is more your forte, Cockpit Arts / The Clothworkers’ Foundation Awards will assist weavers ‘with an entrepreneurial spirit’ - with access to looms and equipment, as well as studio space and business advice.

Check out both Cockpit Arts opportunities here - from January 2016.

Continuing the textiles theme, the Textile Society has a wide number of awards on offer, ranging from student bursaries to professional development bursaries for makers, curators and writers about related subjects.

Textile Society bursaries and awards - deadline January 22 2016

Scholarships of up to £18,000 are available from The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust. Championing craft in all its forms, QEST funds further study, training and practical experience for craftspeople, and has recently added Apprenticeships to its repertoire. Katherine Pogson, the founder of Designer Courses received her Scholarship in 2011 and has loved becoming part of the QEST family - her tip? Write a very carefully thought-out proposal, and be prepared to be interviewed by a table full of Royal Warrant Holders!  

QEST scholarships - deadline January 25 2016

The Heritage Crafts Association may conjure up a slightly dusty image, but that could not be further from the truth. A dynamic community of highly skilled crafts people with a passion for keeping skills alive, they offer a sheaf of awards including training bursaries and apprenticeships, nominations for volunteers, trainers, Maker of the Year and more...

Heritage Craft Awards - deadline January 8 2016

A pick of the best designer markets this December

The Season of open studios and Christmas Fairs is well and truly upon us, so we thought we’d give you a taster of some of our favourite London pre-Christmas haunts and gatherings, to whet your appetite for thoughtful design, away from the horrible High street.

Our old alma mater, Cockpit Arts in Holborn had their Winter Open Studios in November, but don’t forget their spacious sister act in Deptford featuring a selected showcase by our favourite design journo Dominic Lutyens, @dominicLut plus considered fashion and accessories from the lovely Jasmine Carey of Deco 22, wonderful turned wood pieces by maker-du-jour, Eleanor Lakelin and fabulous illustrated homeware from my old friends Lush Designs.

Cockpit Arts Winter Open Studios 2016

Cockpit Arts Winter Open Studios 2016

Designers doing interesting things with leather to look out for: 
Tania Clarke-Hall  - beautiful and unusual leather jewellery, Mark Tallowin - handbag maker and knife-smith extraordinaire, and rising star Fflur Cadwaladr Owen  - recent RCA graduate & Leathersellers company award winner.

COCKPIT ARTS Deptford
18-22 Creekside, London, SE8 3DZ
3 - 6 Dec Thurs 6 – 9pm, Fri, Sat & Sun 11am – 6pm, £3 entry.

If you’re heading East, try The Shoreditch ChristmasTriangle  every Thursday in December, and The London Artisan Market at the Old Truman Brewery every Sunday, celebrating independent producers of all kinds.

Or, if your'e in the City, catch the Ray and Charles Eames show at The Barbican before heading to the Christmas market, hosting a mix of makers, vintage, designer and food throughout December,  Friday - Sunday from 12.  
Happy hunting!

Festive gathering at Livingstone studio, November 21

Livingstone Studio has a special festive opening this Saturday, showcasing a selection of work from resident designers Tomoko Yamanaka and Katherine Pogson, alongside their long-standing contributors.

Livingstone Studio, hampstead

Livingstone Studio, hampstead

Tomoko produces a unique collection of knitwear in British produced alpaca and dresses and coats in cashmere. Katherine creates bespoke handmade objects spanning fashion, interiors and product design, using leather as her primary material. For the gallery she has made exquisitely crafted handbags and a selection of boxes. 

Also on show will be work by:
Raag - double-sided padded coats in silk and fine cotton,  Daniela Gregis - iconic jackets and dresses in cashmere and wool,  Aenne Cordsen - one-off garments with superb cut and finish,  Ian Batten - chic and quirky soft tailoring,  Jurgen Lehl - effortless elegance in luxury fabrics, plus hand-thrown pottery,  & k a v a l, a young Japanese design company. Gillian Osband’s cashmere sweaters and fingerless mittens add character and colour

Livingstone Studio
36 New End Square
London NW3 1LS
12am-6pm