Artisans and History at the London Design Festival

London Design Festival ….. one of the most important fixtures in the Design World calender. Two districts significant for their rapid and relatively recent reputation as centres for innovative design are the Shoreditch Triangle and Clerkenwell Design Quarter.

In close proximity to each other both areas were the focus of slum clearance in the nineteenth century becoming largely industrial combining skilled craftsmanship with the poorest workers engaged in the sweated trades.

Shoreditch was renowned as the centre of the furniture trade; cabinet makers; upholsterers; French polishers and all the associated peripheral trades of that industry.

In latter years the beautiful SCP showroom has been at the heart of the Shoreditch Triangle showcasing new and established talent in design. Established in Curtain Road by Sheridan Oakley in 1985 in a building originally a cabinet makers and then by the early twentieth century an upholsterer’s.  SCP’s commitment to support British manufacture brings the story of furniture design in Shoreditch full circle into the twenty-first century.

Rivington Street described by Niklaus Pevsner as a good example of ‘authentic and varied nineteenth century industrial building’ is home to many designers amidst the iron pillars and remaining wall cranes that provide a very distinct character to this part of Shoreditch.

Lee Broom  London Design Festival 2012

Lee Broom
London Design Festival 2012

Walk along Old Street towards the City to find  Clerkenwell Design Quarter in a district which became the centre for workers in precious metals,  wanting to practice their craft outside the restriction of the City. Rising as the heart of the watch and clock manufacturing in London the district became almost entirely industrialised during the latter part of the nineteenth century.

Reviving the tradition for bespoke jewellery design and silversmiths in the Clerkenwell Design Quarter is the Goldsmiths Centre in Britton Street designed by John Lyall architects and incorporating the conversion of a Grade II Listed Victorian Board School.

Goldsmiths Centre Eagle Yard Clerkenwell

Goldsmiths Centre Eagle Yard Clerkenwell

Illustrating print in its most skillful and innovative form is the Imprint Exhibition at Craft Central. Showcasing jewellery, ceramics, textiles and prints in the Gallery at 33-35 St. John’s Square.

Also on Thursday 19th September is the opportunity to visit jewellery designers at their benches within the Craft Central studios.


Join me with Creative Clerkenwell during London Design Festival and discover the warehouses behind the design studios of Shoreditch, the French Polishers Beer Strike, ghosts of the Old Nichol and see inside contemporary artisan studios.

Cornwell House and Pennybank Chambers

Cornwell House and Pennybank Chambers

This Year’s Robin

Blog has been sadly lacking in posts for a few weeks. Due to LondonKillsMe being out exhibiting at open studios for Christmas. More on this to follow for those who may be interested.

In the meantime ‘This Year’s Robin’ has proved very popular and will be gracing many overmantles for the festive season.

All Saints churches

1 November is All Saints Day. We have discovered many more All Saints churches in London than All Souls. Would be very interested to be told of any that have been overlooked.

All Saints Margaret Street W1;  All Saints Shoreditch; All Saints Poplarwhich gives name to the DLR station; All Saints Peckham;  All Saints Blackheath; All Saints Camden now Greek Orthodox; All Saints Fulham; All Sants’ South Wimbledon; All Saints Notting Hill; All Saints Battersea Park; All Saints Islington; All Saints Highgate; All Saints Finchley; All Saints Leyton; All Saints Clapham Park;  All Saints and St Stephen Walworth; All Saints West Ham; All Saints Plaistow; All Saints Baptist Church Forest Gate; All Saints Leyton; All Saints New Eltham;

The church in the picture on the right is All Saints Church, Shooters Hill rebuilt 1957 near to the LondonKillsMe studio.

There was until 1909 an All Saints in Gordon Square, St Pancras which became a memorial hall 1909 and destroyed by bombing 1940. All Saints St John’s Wood closed 1974. All Saints Paddington closed 1919. All Saints Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge now a Russian Orthodox church since the 1950s. All Saints Lower Marsh demolished early 20th century to make way for extension of Waterloo Station. The original dedication for Chelsea Old Church was All Saints. All Saints Rotherhithe destroyed during Second World War. All Saints Mile End New Town closed 1951 demolished 1955.