Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Behind the red door...

it's not a new version of the Shakin' Stevens classic but a brand spanking new Art and Craft gallery in the bowels of East Ham!

( that I've added that tune to your brain like a rock n roll loving earwig here's Shakin' Stevens for you though clicking on the video is optional...)

Situated near Central Park on the South Side of the High Street this beautifully formed ex medical glass components factory is the home of a very special place fronted by the lovely Canadian born Dolores.
Once I got over the one hour bus journey ( from Walthamstow on the 58 bus) I approached a cute little side street. On there is a small brick fronted Victorian factory with peaked roof tops, first floor stable doors like the ones you get in Amsterdam houses lined with hanging baskets and a big double door which is painted the brightest RED... hence the name "RED Door Studios".
I stepped through and entered a narrow outdoor corridor come café come indoor walled garden. As you continue down the skinny corridor you arrive into the main entrance of the building where I was  greeted by an upright piano, a few comfy sofas, DJ decks and lots of space to sit and make.
I love the communal feel and I'm told many parties have just sporadically happened due to the nature of the space. I think it will keep happening because it is a very special place.  It's not just an "Arty" space but what Dolores hopes it to be is a space where things happen and where people meet to make things happen!
Dolores took me on the grand tour and though still in the "renovation" stage it looks like it has a lot of potential. She truly is a lady with vision and determination!
She took me through a few rooms one of them to be the Café, the small but perfect studio office then to where a ceramics and multi discipline studio will be set up. As a ceramicist I was very impressed as not many spaces apart from schools have pottery studios so I am very pleased indeed that she will be offering this facility.
Upstairs there are a couple of tidy bright rooms, one of them being an artists studio and a jewellery studio which is still in the planning stage. It will have benches and will be adaptable to other similar disciplines for people to rent out and/or drop in to use tools, benches and all other facilities.
It really is a fantastic space and we hope that you'll be able to visit one day... though the bus trip may have seemed long the moment I walked through the door and was met by the welcoming and warm Dolores...well, the journey just seemed to be worth the slog! I definitely will be going back again and again!

If you fancy going there for some Christmas crafty cheer then have a look at their Face Book Page...there are a few craft workshops to choose from so go and make merry! Otherwise contact them via email: or call: 07515378548

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