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Exhibitions

Cockpit Open Studios 2022

TDE selects five up-and-coming makers to watch.

Bloomsbury, London: 25-27 Nov 2022
Deptford, London: 2-4 Dec 2022

By TDE Editorial Team / 15th November 2022
Eleanor Lakelin in her studio at Cockpit Arts Deptford COURTESY: Eleanor Lakelin / PHOTOGRAPH: Ope Odueyungbo

Eleanor Lakelin in her studio at Cockpit Arts Deptford
COURTESY: Eleanor Lakelin / PHOTOGRAPH: Ope Odueyungbo

PERFECTLY TIME FOR pre-Christmas browsing, London’s largest craft studios complex, Cockpit Arts, is running two Open Studios events over the next fortnight. For those who have never been, these studios, home to over 160 makers, are London’s prime incubator of craft talent.

Eleanor Lakelin, ‘Black Calyx II’, 2022 COURTESY: Eleanor Lakelin & Sarah Myerscough Gallery

Eleanor Lakelin, ‘Black Calyx II’, 2022
COURTESY: Eleanor Lakelin & Sarah Myerscough Gallery

It is here, in the Deptford branch, that wood sculptor Eleanor Lakelin, a 2022 Loewe Craft Prize Finalist, has her studio, and, in the Holborn branch, that ceramicist Lucille Lewin makes her extraordinary ceramic pieces.

Lucille Lewin, ‘A Soft Journey’ from Second Nature Series, 2021 COURTESY: Lucille Lewin / PHOTOGRAPH: James Campion

Lucille Lewin, ‘A Soft Journey’ from Second Nature Series, 2021
COURTESY: Lucille Lewin / PHOTOGRAPH: James Campion

Discovery is the chief pleasure. Visitors will find people at the start of their careers, alongside recognised makers putting the finishing touches to pieces destined for museums. We have chosen five up-and-coming makers – the stars of tomorrow. Catch them while you can!

Alicia Rowbotham COURTESY: Alicia Rowbotham

Alicia Rowbotham
COURTESY: Alicia Rowbotham

Castro Smith (jewellery)
Castro Smith, from the North of England, started out training as a printmaker and painter, but switched course and enrolled on an engraving apprenticeship. He now works as a seal engraver and jeweller, working mainly on bespoke commissions, as well as selling through a number of outlets, including Dover Street Market.

Castro Smith, ‘Anatomical Heart Ring’, made to order COURTESY: Castro Smith

Castro Smith, ‘Anatomical Heart Ring’, made to order
COURTESY: Castro Smith

He has won multiple awards including Apprentice of the Year 2017 at St James’s Palace; the Craft and Design Gold Award; the Goldsmiths Special Council Award; the Podolsky Award and the Theo Fennel Award. His imagination is full of creatures and nature. He now makes all his own tools and combines European with Japanese techniques, learned from master metal workers in Japan.

Castro Smith, ‘Phoenix Ring’, made to order COURTESY: Castro Smith

Castro Smith, ‘Phoenix Ring’, made to order
COURTESY: Castro Smith

Tim Martin (ceramics)
Tim Martin is represented by fine art gallery, Cavaliero Finn. He constructs unique and elegant ceramic sculptures and vessels that are inspired by his background in architecture and design. In 2019, Tim was one of 21 selected artists at ‘Fresh’ in the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent, UK.

Tim Martin, ‘Boulders and Danish Summers’ exhibition, 2020 COURTESY: Tim Martin

Tim Martin, ‘Boulders and Danish Summers’ exhibition, 2020
COURTESY: Tim Martin

Since then he’s been awarded three international residencies: the International Ceramics Studio at Kecskemét, Hungary (2020), the Guldagergaard Residency at the International Ceramic Research Center, Denmark (2020) and the JCI International Research Residency at Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, China (2021).

Tim Martin, ‘Cloud Storm’, 2020 COURTESY: Tim Martin

Tim Martin, ‘Cloud Storm’, 2020
COURTESY: Tim Martin

Alicia Rowbotham (textiles)
Alicia Rowbotham graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2019 with a First-Class Honours degree. She combines established traditional textile methods – such as hand weaving, passementerie and embroidery – with leather working and metal work, to create unique, excellently crafted textiles, artworks and objects for contemporary spaces. Alicia has been commended for her material innovation – using waste materials from the textile industry in all of her studio collections and private client works.

Alicia Rowbotham, ‘Waste Not Want Not’, 2019 COURTESY: Alicia Rowbotham

Alicia Rowbotham, ‘Waste Not Want Not’, 2019
COURTESY: Alicia Rowbotham

Joy BC (jewellery)
Joy BC (Joy Bonfield – Colombara) is an artist and goldsmith working predominantly in noble metals and bronze. A graduate of both the Glasgow School of Art and the RCA, she was awarded the TF overall excellence prize and the MARZEE International graduate prize at the RCA. Joy’s work is both wearable artwork and miniature sculpture.

Joy BC, ‘Medusa Comb’, 2021 COURTESY: Joy BC

Joy BC, ‘Medusa Comb’, 2021
COURTESY: Joy BC

Although her techniques are ancient, her work challenges pre-existing notions of precious materials and ingrained ideals of western female bodies in sculpture. The artist plays with mythologies and re-examines our fascination with the ‘Classical’. Her work is currently owned by an international clientele of private collectors and she has been commissioned to create pieces for museums both in the UK and across the globe.

Joy BC, ‘Deconstructed Portrait’, 2021 COURTESY: Joy BC

Joy BC, ‘Deconstructed Portrait’, 2021
COURTESY: Joy BC

Leah Jensen (ceramics)
Leah Jensen obtained a BA in Contemporary Crafts in 2014 from Falmouth University. A year later she was selected to be part of the Craft Council’s Hot House Programme. Her technique of hand-carving clay vessels according to a geometrical analysis of Renaissance paintings, is extraordinary. Once she has hand-built her vessel, she applies images of a painting onto the unfired clay surface.

Leah Jensen, ‘Saint Francis of Assisi Preaching to the Birds’, 2020 COURTESY: Leah Jensen / PHOTOGRAPH: Robert Chadwick

Leah Jensen, ‘Saint Francis of Assisi Preaching to the Birds’, 2020
COURTESY: Leah Jensen / PHOTOGRAPH: Robert Chadwick

Leah explains “I then use pins to pick out points within that painting which I feel are key to the layout – they might be facial features, negative space created by limbs, or the corners of buildings.” Once the paper and pins are removed, she is left with a network of pinholes, which she joins to create her carvings. The meditative nature of her process gives her works a remarkable poise, while the hidden narrative which has given rise to the pattern provides a sense of mystery. She has exhibited widely.

Cockpit Open Studios

Bloomsbury: 25-27 November
Friday, Saturday & Sunday 12-6pm

Deptford: 2-4 December
Friday 12-8pm, Saturday & Sunday 12-6pm

By TDE Editorial Team
Article by TDE Editorial Team
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