We’re on the move! New London venues East & West in 2018

As 2017 slides to it’s close, Designer Courses is planning for a brighter New Year, and branching out with two new locations for 2018.

December marks the start of this fresh direction, with the first weekend at our new venue in the heart of Hoxton’s creative quarter, and a new programme of short courses to match.

The Archivist Gallery has a canalside location between Haggerston and Hoxton Overground stations

The Archivist Gallery has a canalside location between Haggerston and Hoxton Overground stations

We will be in residence at The Archivist for our regular weekend ‘masterclasses’, hosting a series of sociable Sunday taster sessions, and we have some new evening courses to talk about, too.

The Archivist’s Gallery  is a creative mixture of gallery, shop and space for events, with a bar/café right next door. Just three minutes from Haggerston Overground or a stroll down the canal path from Shoreditch Park, Kingsland Road or London Fields, in a bright canal-side location with a constant buzz of artistic traffic. We are looking forward to contributing our mellow craft vibe to this creative mix! Click here the full list of courses at The Archivist.  

From May 2018 we will also be running a series of short courses at The Artworkers Guild  in Queen Square, Bloomsbury.  This moves takes us back to our old stamping ground around Holborn and Russell Square. Designer Courses began life back in 2005 when founder Katherine Pogson was based at Cockpit Arts, Holborn.  Though her studio has moved on, she still retains many links with Cockpit Arts, through mentoring young design businesses connected to The Prince’s Trust, collaborating with creative colleagues and exhibiting at events such as the Winter Open studios and London Craft Week.

The programme at Queen Square will include glove-making, decorative and couture leather techniques including gilding and embroidery, alongside a Summer School and evening courses for Autumn/Winter.

Look out for the full schedule in our December newsletter, or email us for a sneak preview of dates!

All I want is a craft show in Bloomsbury…

Here’s our round-up of contemporary craft events this Spring in London and surrounds, loosely themed by materials:

Leather (amongst other things)
Our very own Katherine Pogson will be giving a free talk about her new work (a collision of anthropology and lepidoptery - anthrodoptery?) at 4.30pm on Friday 29 April at Made London: BloomsburyThis is a pared down, table-top selling event, showcasing over 100 exceptional makers across all media in a beautiful and characterful setting.  
Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, WC1H 9SN. 29 April - 1 May.

The fabulous and funky Institute of Making has its next public event on Thursday 28 April, 6:30pm - 8:00pm.  Learn how to make your own Pigments, Paints and PrintsThese always book out within minutes, so be ready!
Booking opens April 7 at 7pm.

The “shape-shifting nature of the light on the hills.” How the silversmithing and jewellery work of Pamela Rawnsley reflects the Welsh landscape in all its moods. Curator talk with object-handling. 
The Goldsmith’s Centre, 42 Britton Street, London EC1M 5AD. 7 April.

Ceramic Art London 2016.

Elke Sada, Panurus Biarmicus (Hallstattpiece), 2014

Elke Sada, Panurus Biarmicus (Hallstattpiece), 2014

A new venue for this popular show, now in its twelfth year. Great chance to peek inside the impressive UAL ‘flagship’ builing. 88 ceramic artists covering every aspect from functional wares to sculptural pieces, with talks, demos and more...
Central St. Martin’s, Granary Square Building, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA. 8 - 10 April

Poly Pigment showcases playful embroidered textiles and whimsical concrete jewellery by emerging designers Rhiannon Palmer and Zuzana Lalikova.
Craft Central, 21 Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DX. 11-17 April

London Craft Week  - a bewilderingly rich array of exhibitions, demonstrations, workshop tours, films and talks - spanning jewellery, fashion, product design, textiles and luxury goods - all under the contested title of ‘craft’. Workshop highlights: kinetic sculpture, concrete-making and painting Persian miniatures.
3-7 May 2016

LFW Accessories edit 2016

In a rainy and cold week, London seemed to have a case of the blues with strong turquoise, cobalt and aqua prominent among the off-stage accessories sported by the fashionistas and blogging wannabes posing outside venues.

Rubik's Cubism: Anya Hindmarch

Rubik's Cubism: Anya Hindmarch

Colour blocking is still a big story, with our very own Anya Hindmarch giving it a new flick of the wrist with a clever, Rubik’s cube inspired collection featuring panels of coloured squares in homage to the retro puzzle. The humorous, statement bag was further mined at Sophia Webster with speech-bubble shaped clutches sporting wise-cracks such as “To die for” and “Talk is cheap”.

Structured bags and boxy over-sized totes continue to dominate some collections, opening the show in blush and black at Christopher Kane.

We warmed to the home-spun, punky feel of newcomer Carianne Moore’s bowlers and backpacks with crackle-paint and over-stitched edges - a DIY aesthetic that chimes well with the Designer Course ethos (see the Leather Fashion Accessories weekend).

The showcase from the latest clutch of MA graduates at LCF Fashion Artefact is usually a strong showing of artisan ingenuity and leather-love. Our favourites this year were Thais Cipoletta with her articulated spine-like strap structures and immaculate hand-stitching, and the delicate copper and artex colour story by Gaia Marcattilj - check out the whole crop at Showtime

Poignantly, there was a dusting of appliqueéd and cut-out stars through a number of collections - Eddie Harrop, Agnelle perhaps in honour of the passing of the Starman earlier this year...


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.

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