Cockpit Craft Garden Official Opening


Join us for the official opening of London’s first Craft Garden, designed by award-winning furniture designer Sebastian Cox.

On Thursday 20 2024, Cockpit will celebrate the opening of the garden and the unveiling of a new public art installation during the Cockpit Craft Garden Party as part of London Craft Week.

The new craft garden is part of Cockpit’s £3.24 million redevelopment of our Deptford studios, designed by Cooke Fawcett Architects. The garden was partially funded by a crowdfunding campaign held in spring 2023.

Previously a run-down and unused yard, the craft garden is the reimagining of a neglected enclosed space which has been reconfigured to create a craft-inspired urban oasis in the heart of bustling Deptford. Landscaped by environmentalist and designer Sebastian Cox, the garden reflects the development of the area from pre-industrial to post-urban, inspired by the flora and fauna of Deptford Creek and the waterways and wetlands which characterised the local geography. Many of the plants in the garden have a functional use for craft, such as Willow (Salix Purpurea) used in basketry, Madder (Rubia tinctorum) used in natural dyes, and Flax (Linum usitatissimum) used to create linen.

‘Head, Heart, Hand’ mural unveiled

As part of the Deptford development, a major new public artwork was commissioned, which will also be unveiled on 15 May 2024. Head, Heart, Hand, designed by Cockpit-based artist and designer Amber Khokhar, celebrates stories and characters from the local area in 1,300 hand-glazed tiles. Measuring a huge 21 metres wide and 3.5 metres high, the mural spans the whole of the Cockpit’s façade outside the craft garden.

Nearly 100 different hand-drawn illustrations celebrate local people and events, while a second series of tiles reads ‘Head, Heart, Hand’ in the 40+ languages most heard in Deptford’s streets, from Bengali and Yoruba to Polish and Scots Gaelic.

The tiles have been hand-glazed and manufactured by specialists Craven Dunnill Jackfield, based in historic Ironbridge Gorge, whose other projects range from the Palace of Westminster and Parliament House Melbourne to Kings Cross Tunnel and Studio Voltaire.

Craft inspired by nature at Cockpit Craft Garden Party

Cockpit is well-established as the UK’s leading maker studios, supporting 170+ independent creative businesses across the spectrum of craft. Many of our makers are leaders in sustainable craft, utilising natural materials in their practice, devising techniques to eliminate waste during production or even utilising waste itself to create new products.

As part of the Craft Garden Party, visitors will have the opportunity to experience demonstrations by a selection of makers working sustainably and whose practices are inspired by gardens and nature. Demonstrations will take place in the newly expanded and refurbished ground floor.

Tickets for the Garden Party are £15 and can be purchased here.