The Great British Sewing Bee, The Great Pottery Throw Down and The Great British Bakeoff have been runaway favourites for all of us over the years. During - and since -  lockdown, more and more Brits have been tuning in, inspired to craft something from scratch themselves. With online tutorials on YouTube and Etsy DIY kits getting record hits, crafting has never been more glam. Yet some things are best left to the professionals. With the Cockpit Arts Summer Festival just around the corner, we’ll have a rare opportunity to see makers in action in their own studios. Over 2-4 July, Deptford’s Open Studios will house over 150 of its textiles, ceramics, homeware makers and more. It will be the ideal place to find that bespoke item, lovingly made by hands you’ll have fist bumped (if even?), to live uniquely in your home. We’ve chosen 5 makers who stood out with their use of innovative and sustainable methods here below:

Miniature steampunk inspired robot sculptures? We immediately fell in love with these little rebels. Meet Anu Bankole who creates these futuristic designs using resourced leftover leather cuttings, and leather salvaged from landfills.

3-D printing can sometimes look a bit ropey, but Nico Conti offers us ceramics through this technique that are so unique and designed to play with natural light, the beaded detail has us looking twice. “After months of isolation this show is my first step towards normality and I cannot wait to welcome all of you," Nico shared with us.

Forget paintings. Vicky Cowin’s handwoven textile art pieces take wall hangings to a whole new level. We were drawn to the beautiful textures and triangular patterns, making her 3D pieces come to life. 

Summer has officially arrived (well, sometimes!) and many of us want to recreate the natural experience inside our homes. Amanda Ross brings us closer to the flora, printing her homeware collection using actual plants rather than paintbrushes. “After 18 months of begging botanical cuttings from my Cockpit Community and lovely followers it will be wonderful to see some new and familiar faces and plan some new artworks, in person! Face to face conversations usually lead to new and exciting things in the craft world,” Amanda shares.

Bold jewellery pieces are what we’re hankering for now that we can dress up not only for ourselves but for dinners out. The signature aesthetic of our final maker Jo Hayes Ward is best viewed in person, as she shares the same sentiment "I design jewellery that catches the light and comes alive when you wear it, so trying my pieces on is the best way to experience that magic." Bonus is she guarantees gold that is either recycled or fair trade, and all items are custom-made to fit you, making your purchase truly unique.

Why shop mass when you can support local artisans - make sure to visit this weekend and check out the full schedule and maker list here: