Thames-Side Studios’ Open Studios returns this Saturday

Thames-Side Studios
Open Studios four years ago – the annual event is now back once again (photo
© Thames-Side Studios)

Thames-Side Studios is opening its doors to the public again this Saturday for Open Studios – its first in three years.

It’s easy to miss, but the complex by the river, on the Charlton-Woolwich border, is the UK’s biggest site for artists, makers and designers, with over 550 studios. Saturday will be your chance to meet them and buy their wares.

You’ll be able to see painting, drawing, fashion design, carpentry, photography, print making, picture framing, stained glass making, graphic design, film and video and much more besides.

The complex is next to Faraday Works – the old Siemens factory due for redevelopment – while you can also see the Royal Iris, the abandoned Mersey ferry rusting away next to the studios.

Thames-Side Studios is on Warspite Road SE18 5NR and on the Thames Path. Open Studios runs this Saturday, June 25, from noon to 6pm.


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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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