Celebrating 20 years in Business - Cockpit Arts

Posted by Sally Lees on

         Cockpit Arts Design excellence logo

Two years after I started up my Business in the North of England I decided to move to London. The new millenium was a great time for new beginnings so I applied for a place at Cockpit Arts in Holborn, Central London and was invited to take a studio amongst the wealth of talent there. I moved my studio down in July 2000 and have been at Cockpit Arts eversince!


Luckily at that point in my career I qualified for funding from the Clerkenwell Green Association, now renamed Craft Central, which provided half of my rent at Cockpit for one year. This really helped as I had discovered that studio rent in London was at least three times as much as the rent on the studio I had in the North!

   cockpit arts show 2017 

Cockpit Arts is a wonderful place to work. It provides invaluable business support with seminars given by industry experts and tailored advice with a designated business advisor for one to one meetings. The bi-annual open studios are also a great opportuity to sell your work to a section of the public who love contemporary craft and meet buyers from stores, galleries and members of the press plus a few celebrities now and then. The Open studios are also a perfect platform to test new products on an audience who are real lovers of contemporary craft.

To date I have shown at over 40 shows at both sites, at Holborn and most recently Deptford where I moved my studio to in February 2014


One excellent aspect of Cockpit Arts Studios spaces are the diverse wealth of disciplines and the talent here. Sharing a studio can be fun but more importantly can allow you to share your knowledge and sometimes tools and equipment with other studio holders. There is always someone to help you figure things out when you need to talk things over on a day to day basis.


I have made friends with many of the designer makers I have met and shared with over the years and currently rent space in a shared studio with talented Leather Sellers Award winner Charles Laurie.

Charlie Laurie leather workers

A big thanks to everyone who has supported me during my 20 years in business, especially my loyal customers who have bought and promoted my work.

Come along and visit us at the next Cockpit Arts Open studios in June 2018. The Holborn show is 8th, 9th and 10th June and in Deptford 15th, 16th and 17th of June. Come and visit me at Deptford in Studio 301!

Lots of photographs by Jaime Trounce of the Cockpit Shows can be viewed on Flickr

From the top, Cockpit Arts Holborn and Cockpit logo.

Left to right: Jewellery bench in my studio in Deptford, Cockpit Arts Flyers. Photographs by Sally Lees.

Left to right: Deptford Open Studios 2017, Clients at Deptford Open Studios 2017 Photographs by Jaime Trounce

Middle photograph: Mary Portas Photographs by Jaime Trounce

Left to right:  Friends and customers at Cockpit, Cockpit Summer Open Studios 2012. Photographs by Jaime Trounce

Left to right: Cufflinks display, Speaking to a customer at Deptford Open Studios.Photographs by Jaime Trounce


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