This weekend is Open Studio Weekend at Thames-Side Studios – and you’re invited

Thames-Side Studios Open Weekend Poster

Summer is upon us and it’s time for the annual Open Studios weekend at the largest artists’ studio complex in Europe, Thames-Side Studios. Charlton-based author ANDREW DONKIN reports…


Still one of Charlton’s best kept secrets, Thames-Side Studios is home to over 500 artists, carpenters, print makers, jewellery makers, sculptors, leather workers, stained glass workers, landscape designers, photographers, wood workers, book binders, picture framers, clock makers and one graphic novelist. The list is almost as endless as Brexit.

Over the weekend of Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June from noon to 6pm each day, all sorts of creative types will be throwing open their doors to welcome you into their studios. It’s an opportunity to meet them, talk about what they do, and buy some fantastic pieces of art direct from their creator.

Thames-Side Studios is located next to the river, off from Warspite Road which is the road that runs towards the river from the Woolwich Road roundabout with the McDonald’s on it. The event is really family friendly with loads for kids to see and do.

There’s an exciting programme of events, demonstrations and activities taking place across the whole site including:

  • Hundreds of artists and creators studios open to the public.
  • Creative family workshops in the Education Space.
  • Print demonstrations and workshops in Thames-Side Print Studios
  • Chance to get your hands dirty with The London Sculpture Workshop.
  • Circus skills workshops from the fantastic Aircraft Circus Academy (2-6pm.)
  • Art on display in the Gallery and The Viewing Room.
  • Free screenings of Ray Richardson’s award-winning film “Our Side of the Water”.
  • Craft beer from Off-The-Wagon’s mobile beer factory.
  • Loads of grub options including vegetarian and vegan.

As if all that wasn’t enough (and I’m suggesting to you that it very much is
enough), street artist Rosie Woods will be painting a huge scale mural live during
the weekend.

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Meet Charlton-based graphic novel author at Thames-Side Studios

Andrew Donkin, Eoin Colfer and Giovanni Rigano
Prize guys: Andrew Donkin, Eoin Colfer and Giovanni Rigano. Andrew and Giovanni will be speaking next week

Last year, The Charlton Champion caught up with writer Andrew Donkin to talk about the success of his award-winning graphic novel, Illegal, about a boy’s epic journey to Europe.

Now he is holding a talk at Thames-Side Studios in Warspite Road on Thursday 17 January with illustrator Giovanni Rigano (above) to talk about the process involved in putting Illegal together, from their initial thoughts and ideas, location sketches and characterisation, through to storyboarding, final artwork and publication.

Giovanni will be flying in from Italy and drawing live during the talk. Individually customised copies by Giovanni will also be available on the evening.

Illegal, written by Andrew and Eoin Colfer and with artwork by Giovanni, won the Judges’ Special Award at the Children’s Books Ireland Awards in May, and the UK paperback edition was released in August. It is also curently nominated for the Carnigie Medal and Kate Greenaway Medal.

The talk, at 6pm, is free, but spaces are limited – contact Thames-Side Studios to book a place.

Illegal is available from Hive Books (pick up at Ottie and the Bea on Old Dover Road) and through


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It’s Thames-Side Studios Open Weekend this Saturday and Sunday

Thames-Side Studios flyer

It’s your chance to visit one of the area’s hidden gems this weekend – the Thames-Side Studios Open Weekend. Tucked away on the river at the Charlton/Woolwich border, it’s full of fascinating artists and you’ll definitely come out having discovered something new. But don’t just take my word for it….

Thames-Side Studios is the largest single-site studio provider in the UK. With nearly 500 studios we are home to an impressive array of artists, makers and designers, and this is a unique opportunity to meet them, talk about what they do, and to buy directly from their studios.

Painting and drawing, fashion design, carpentry, jewellery, millinery, photography, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and installation, tailoring, leather work, picture framing, stained glass making, writing, upholstery, illustration, shoe making, textiles, conservation and restoration, lutherie, graphic design, furniture making, film and video, skin care, architecture, wood working, laser cutting, clock making, product design, book binding, and much more.

It’s open from noon to 6pm on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June. Find out more at the Thames-Side Studios website.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.