Winter Market Calendar: Your Gift Buying Agenda
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Don’t tell anyone, but we’ve lost our marbles. Having spent the last few days researching every winter market in London, we now go to bed with the images of satin-tasselled pillows, hand-painted maracas and artisanal glass butt plugs imprinted on our eyelids.
All we can think about are markets, fleas, salvage yards and craft-sales; of friendly makers with that look of quietly smug satisfaction in their eyes. The least you can do is read this feature and maybe go along to one for a bit?
Weekend of November 23-25th
The ceramics takeover continues with Peckham's Kiln Rooms opening the doors to their two sites (Bellenden Road and Copeland Park Studios) and putting on a Christmas sale. The work of 90 up-and-coming artists and designers will be on sale giving you the chance to grab a handmade gift or buy yourself a lovely new bowl.
The Scandimarket is popping up to show us how the Nordics do the whole Christmas market thing and it's very possible it'll be better than us. Nestled between the Finnish and Norwegian churches on Albion Street, stalls will fill the street with an eclectic mishmash of Scandi design to peruse and purchase including candles, crafts, and ceramics.
SoLo are not about to miss out on the Christmas madness. What is it you want? Throws? Pots? Candles? Earrings? Prints? The immense feeling that you're giving cash to local makers and independent tradespeople? They've got all of that with around 30 traders at their events along with cider and live music.
They have two events this winter: one at St Barnabas Parish Hall in Dulwich on November 24th; the other in Balham Bowls Club on December 8th. Both are very similar in nature.
Peckham Flea Market (NOT to be confused with Peckham Salvage Yard even though it's very, very similar) is bringing some vintage clothing, furniture, found objects, jewellery, art work, prints and crafts to Peckham Springs and this is their Christmas special. You know the deal - some stuff will be nice, some not so nice, but it's a free thing and there will also be a bar, music and food.
Weekend of December 1st-2nd
If you were crazy enough to miss out on last year's Etsy Made Local extravaganza at Tooting Tram and Social, pen this one in the diary immediately. For it... is... back! Over 30 talented local designers and makers will be selling their handmade products with leather goods, colourful enamelware, organic skincare, ceramics and jewellery representing. Also starring mulled wine and Christmas music.
This is Peckham's largest vintage market with all the treasures, oddities, salvaged home decor and bargains you could reasonably wish for - and entry is free. Fifty handpicked traders selling 20th century furniture, records, salvaged French homeware, antique luggage, vintage clothes, curiosities, textiles, kitchenalia and more. Sift through the junk and find yourself a bargain - or that broken art deco lamp your mum has always wanted.
Weekend of December 8th-9th
In some respects, Turning Earth are the refined, thinking man's choice in the ceramics game, and they're putting on two big events at their two studios on November 23rd-24th (Hoxton) and December 8th-9th (Walthamstow). Along with the 150 makers on show, they've got Climpsons on the coffee; Pavilion Cafe on the Sri Lankan grub; and live music coming from Balkan Klezma band The Turbans. Add in spiced hot drinks and mince pies and this sounds like more than a mere market.
For the more arty tip, here we have a huge art market spread across four floors at Rich Mix. What kind of items can you expect to see? Art prints, ceramics, zines and independent publications, illustration, photography, jewellery, sewn items, comics, custom tees, home-made cassettes, screen prints, records... and artists' books. Plenty then.
While plenty of winter markets have the broad theme of 'things people have made which you can buy', the House of Illustration's event is, you won't be surprised to hear, all about illustration. Over 100 hand-picked stalls will fill up their house so, by the end of this, you'll have seen all the illustrated prints, books, ceramics and graphic design to last you a lifetime. Or until next Christmas.
Spread across four floors at Rich Mix, 90 new-wave craft stalls will be stocked up with all the top dogs of the ceramics and DIY world. You can purchase a pot, vase or some wacky art sculptures and get ready for a wonderful unwrapping moment come December 25th. Alternatively, if you don't celebrate Christmas or only enjoy buying stuff for yourself, you can obviously do that too.
Weekend of 15th-16th and 22nd-23rd
The Hackney Flea Market really comes into its own at this time of year. They're putting on what feels like hundreds of markets - but is in fact only two - just in time for that last-minute panic buy of that vintage straw hat that will really suit your dad. Abney Hall will be full to the brim of vintage vendors and affordable flea market finds: 20th century furniture, records, salvaged French homeware, textiles, kitschenalia, Danish decor, lamps, lighting and bric-a-brac. Markets happen on the weekends of 15th & 16th and 22nd & 23rd.