London Design Week, 16th-24th Sep


London Design Week is finally upon us – the best time of the year to explore some of the work of London’s best architects, artists, designers and retailers. Over the duration of this week long festival, parts of London have been adorned in large scale creative installations, events and exhibitions.

Looking out for something to visit? Some of our very own Blackhorse Workshop residents will be showcasing their work as part of the Design Festival.

MARC WOOD STUDIO: Come and join lighting designer Marc Wood on Thurs 21st September from 8pm at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, for a private view of the new Pleated Crystal Collection where there will be a mixture of pendant lights, floor standing lamps and desk lamps, made from Czech blown crystal glass. The night will be his official studio launch, which marks the beginning of his company officially so it is a big night all round and we have some exclusive free tickets to give away.

A printable version of the ticket to show attendants at the door can be downloaded here – admittance is only one ticket holder with one guest.

FLYNN TALBOT at the V&A Museum: An immersive, coloured light experience called Reflection Room made by former Blackhorse Member Flynn Talbot, will be the first London Design Festival installation to be housed in the V&A Museum’s Prince Consort Gallery.

The 35m long gallery has been transformed with orange lighting tubes that have been installed at one end of the gallery and blue lighting at the opposite end, making the entire space flood in a gradient of colour. One not to miss.


TIM SUMMERS DESIGNThe Wobbly Peyote designed and made by Tim Summers will be making an appearance as part of Cass Starters at SCP where students of The Cass were briefed by SCP to create small, simple, attractive and easily-shipped domestic products. After graduating, with the help of the London Met Accelerator (The University’s Student Enterprise Programme), they created Cass Starters was a series of individual Kickstarter campaigns, launched in October 2016 all of which were successfully funded, with some of the products now in full production.

A stand of the products of the Cass Starters designers will feature at SCP for the whole week and customers will have the opportunity to purchase these products through SCP.

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SIDESHOW: Architecture is a big part of design week as well and in the last few years, London has had an increasing number of pop-up spaces and installations dotted around the city. In a piece, discovering and celebrating designs that make London a more fun place to be, Time Out London have featured Sideshow along with Villa Walala in Broadgate’s Exchange Square and Modified Social Benches at the Southbank Centre as places to visit this Design Week.

On Saturday, Sideshow will be hosting a Musical Mobiles Workshop where multi-disciplinary artist and designer Lola Lely will guide people in creating a beautiful sculptural object using an assortment of materials, and how to combine colour, shape and texture to create a finished mobile that responds to it’s environment – perfect to display in your own home or give away as a gift. More info and booking here.

Sideshow opening times for LDF are Mon – Fri 9.30am-11am, Sat 10am-2pm, Bar open Thurs & Fri 6.30-11pm.



DARKDOOM: A Graphic Installation of foliage named GREEN ROOM will be at Old Shoreditch station, launching the new collection of planters. Join them on Tuesday 19th from 6pm-10pm for drinks and dancing, sitting amongst the leaves, browsing the mini Darkroom pop-up shop and enjoying a coffee at the relaxing festival pitstop.

Co-founder of Darkroom Rhonda Drakeford, will be hosting a workshop at Sideshow next month in making your own stylish chopping board. Details and tickets can be found here.



Do try to pop along to some of these and there is an array of other things to see across London. It’s weeks like this that give people the opportunity to salute the creativity in London and remind us of the incredible the talent around this vibrant city we live in.


Join us for Open House Weekend

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We are delighted to be a part of Open House London this year.

Open House celebrates London’s architectural wonders across the city, by giving free access museums, churches, public buildings and private houses that would usually be closed to the public. Over the course of the weekend, people can go on guided walks, tours and take part in activities, learning something new about some of London’s most beautifully built buildings.

Not only will the Workshop be opening it’s doors for Open House but so will SIDESHOW this year.

Architect Mathew Leung from the Turner Prize winning  collective Assemble will be hosting a tour of the Workshop and its recent developments at 2pm. Click here to book.  You’ll get to hear directly from Mathew about its initial stages to the development of the project and how the extension has responded to the ever-growing needs of the workshop and it’s facilities to it’s 800+ members.


Meanwhile, over at SIDESHOW ehk! architects who designed the ‘stage set’ that forms the backdrop of SIDESHOW, will be running a workshop making your very own paper cut diorama stage set of Walthamstow’s industrial past and bright future. In their design for SIDESHOW, they drew on the area’s industrial past and the skyline that this produced and are fascinated by how the buildings that form the backdrop to our lives can tell a story about the way we live through time. Tickets can be booked here.

The Workshop and SIDESHOW will be open to visitors from 10am to 4pm.

For more about Open House and other intriguing places to search out, visit:

And We’re Live!


On Wednesday, we opened the doors to SIDESHOW and we celebrated in style.

Thank you to everyone who came to help us kick of this new project with a bang! Our thanks goes also out to Cllr Clare Coghill Leader of Waltham Forest Council and Matthew Weiner from U+I for their kind and encouraging words. Thank you to Wheel Up Sound System and Mbilla Arts Group for entertaining us with the and providing some foot popping beats which definitely help set the vibe for the evening. We of course also want to thank Victory Gin, Wildcard Brewery and MyPie for the delicious food and chilled beverages on what was a lovely summer’s evening for a party!

And you! Thank you for marking this occasion with us and for always supporting everything we do.

Want to relive last night and see if you can spot yourself in some of our other photographs? Head on over to


Photos © Simon Way

Slide back the doors…

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It’s amazing to see how with bagfuls of energy, enthusiasm and an imaginative frame of mind, a place can be transformed. We can’t wait for you to see the colourful change to a small former car park opposite Blackhorse Road tube.

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Our brand new installation: SIDESHOW opens this Thursday 17th August with its incredible giant marble run, a fantastic interactive exhibition installation and a new outpost for Wood St Coffee, not to mention just what’s needed – a bar open every Thursday and Friday night.

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So come down and see it for yourself. Sign up to our mailing list to hear all the events we’ve got coming up and spread the word!

Walthamstow Garden Party


What a weekend! The Walthamstow Garden Party was an absolute hoot this year. We had the pleasure of being able to join other wonderful teams and makers including Sylva Ceramics in the Be Magnificent craft marquee for the Be Magnificent Art Trail.


This year’s making tent was inspired by the art school curriculum taught in the 1950s and 1960s, focusing on practical craft making skills. The entire programme is part of the summer-long event ‘Be Magnificent: Walthamstow School of Art 957-1967′.


We helped children create and assemble a ‘Blackhorse Pegasus’ a kinetic toy inspired by the mythical legend of Pegasus – a winged horse, that was designed by our very own workshop wizards, Rob Shaer and Toby Poolman. We took the children through the different stages of bending metal with a sheet metal folder. drilling and hammering names, fixing nuts and bolts to attach the wings, before transforming wire to become support to allow the toy to fly.


We had a lot of fun and made almost 160 Pegasus toys in total. It definitely got us geared up and excited for the kids holiday club workshops we will be running over the summer with Make Stuff Club, full of activities to keep the kids crafty over the summer holiday.
Want to know more? Click here for details and for booking.

SIDESHOW Comes to Town

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We’re excited to announce that we’re building a brand new summer installation in partnership with specialist regeneration company U+I to celebrate the maker culture of Walthamstow .

SIDESHOW will be situated on the original site (opposite Blackhorse Road tube) of the Associated Equipment Company, whose prototypes inspired the design of London’s iconic Routemaster bus.

Opening on the 16th August and running until the end of December , the space will host a series of workshops, exhibitions and a giant interactive marble run, built from salvaged London bus components!

Coffee wizards Wood St Coffee will be running a coffee pop up during the day, and a bar on Thursday and Friday evenings.

Sign up to the mailing list and find out more at


New Designers 2017


Championing the design industry, design education, design consumers and the next wave of graduate designers, the New Designers exhibition last week brought 3,000 of the best design graduate talent from leading design courses across the UK. The show allows visitors to buy new products and commission or recruit the newest designers in the industry.


New Designers also likes to stay involved with the progress of all of it’s exhibiting designers in a segment they call One Year On.  This year, Blackhorse Workshop member Tim Summers was among the selected line up showcasing his Suber Collection, a group of products made from layers of cork.

“I got involved with New Designers, One Year On through exposure from the Crafts Council Hothouse scheme. The organisers had seen my profile on the Crafts Council Directory and invited me to apply. I hadn’t previously exhibited at New Designers when I graduated but I had heard good things about One Year On and thought it would be a good goal to work towards as the year progressed.”


Talking about how New Designers helped his career Tim tells us, “In the run up to the show the Curator of the One Year section Rhianna Lingham and her team, along with event partners The Design Trust and the events PR company Colman Getty all offered huge amounts of helpful advice in preparing for the event. There was a preparation day with presentations from previous exhibitors on their experiences, Patricia Van Der Akker from The Design Trust offered advice on things like targeting the right markets and pricing and Yeshen Venema gave tips on photographing work. There were also 2 webinars that participants could subscribe to for further tips and advice. As an exhibitor its a great opportunity to meet press, trade and general public and its a great opportunity to practice talking about your work and presenting yourself.”


You can see what else took place on social media by searching the hashtag #ND17 and follow Tim’s story and other designers who showcased in the One Year On category by searching the hashtag#OYOMakerSpotlight.Visit his website at:


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We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with William Morris Big Local to run a pilot holiday club for kids aged 8-13. We’ll be launching it at next week’s Walthamstow Garden Party where we’ll running workshops on Saturday and Sunday to make the ‘Blackhorse Pegasus’ – a winged mechanical push along horse toy. Who knew that was what you were missing from your toy box?!

The  MAKE STUFF holiday club will then continue on Wednesday’s throughout August, with workshops run by specialists from the workshop making everything from samba drums to salvaged scrap fortresses!

Each workshop costs £5 and is bookable on our website. Priority booking available for residents of William Morris Ward. So give yourself a holiday and send the kids to us!

Click here to find out more

Melody Maker

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When composer and artist Daren Banarsё first picked up a toy melodica, he was hooked. It only cost him £20, it was easy to play, and so small he could take it anywhere. The former lecturer at Goldsmiths College who has written music for hundreds of adverts and TV productions, including The Apprentice and Top Gear, but decided to devote a few years to the melodica and see if he could discover its full potential.

At first it was great fun, and quite a novelty to be playing a toy instrument to a high standard. But it had its drawbacks. You couldn’t play fast melodies without some of the notes dropping out, and the tone was so shrill, I felt sorry for anyone sitting next to me. But perhaps worse of all, I found it difficult to be taken seriously at music sessions when I pulled out a bright plastic instrument which was ultimately designed to appeal to kids.”

Because of this, Banarsё was ready for a professional melodica, but there wasn’t anything out there, so that’s when he thought about making one. He’d heard of 3D printing, but it was something he knew nothing about.

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I began the journey by getting some lessons in CAD software. Once I’d covered the basics, I took my melodica apart, and bit by bit recreated it within a 3D environment. And once it existed in virtual reality, I could make all the changes I needed to create my dream instrument. I wanted something that sounded as good as any other professional instrument, with a clear tone. I also wanted it to look a bit special, something I could be proud of.”

He ended up with the design for one large section, a type of frame which was 40cm long and had 32 small keys that slotted into it. He bought a Flashforge Creator Pro with the idea that he’d print the 40cm long frame in sections, and glue them together. After printing out some of the keys, it soon became clear that the accuracy wasn’t sufficient for building a melodica.

Instead, I decided to get it all printed in Nylon 12 as I’d heard they were strong and flexible. There was one potential problem though – melodicas need to be airtight and watertight, and Nylon 12 is quite porous. I got around this by coating it in a few layers of acrylic sealant, before finishing it with paint and varnish. Once assembled, I could see that I had the right material. It was strong and light, and looked great with a layer of acrylic paint.

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Once it was all working properly, it was time to turn it into an organic looking instrument that would look at home in a professional environment so he carefully shaped some wood to fit on top of the black keys, and added extra material in areas to give the instrument a traditional feel. He also stripped the ivory from some old piano keys to recreate the touch of a quality instrument.

Banarsё is now currently taking the project even further by experimenting with alternative materials. In his quest for perfection, he redesigned the instrument to take handmade Italian reeds, similar to the ones you’d find in an accordion, with a sweet timbre.

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The Workshop has been helpful for the current process of this project as Banarsё has been making use of the wood workshop, building cases out of various timbers, so he can see the effect each wood has on the tone quality and projection. It was the development on the melodica itself that brought Banarsё to Blackhorse.  After starting a research MA in London when looking around for a place to make some prototype instruments, he soon realised he was in the wrong environment.

“Rather than going to lectures and writing essays, I needed direct access to a fully equipped workshop, where I could try things out as soon as I thought of them. So I decided to ditch uni and join Blackhorse, where there is always someone on hand to get advice from and there seems to be at least one specialist in every creative arena.  As well as that, there’s a great community here, and I can get inspired by just strolling around the workshop.”

There has been a lot of trial and error involved, and he admitted that the process can get quite frustrating sometimes. But at the same time he also admits that nothing beats the feeling of being able to turn up at music sessions or recording, with his very own, homemade dream instrument!

An Insider’s Guide

How do you explain Blackhorse Workshop in a single image? This is how! We love this new illustration by Joe Prytherch ( which has been created for the upcoming exhibition in Vienna at the Architekturzentrum all about Assemble. So if you happen to be over there, or feel like an excuse for a trip its running from 1st June -11 September. POST_JP_Bench SpaceIt’s a drawing you could spend hours looking at, which we probably will…Below are some extracts showing our bench space and machine room, not to mention the new café!POST_JP_Machine Shop Posters will be available to buy in Vienna, and we’re hoping for a re-print…watch this space!