Six Of The Best Christmas Open Houses

Christmas Open Houses are back, and this year we’re spoilt for choice. Starting next weekend, 54 venues open their doors during selected times in the run up to the festive period. Whether you’re after handmade presents for loved ones, cards for friends, unique decorations for your own Christmas tree, or just a nosey round some local houses and studios, this is the perfect time of year to take advantage of the creativity our city has to offer. You can browse the digital brochure here, but if you’re not sure where to start, here are six recommendations.

Atelier 51, 51 Providence Place, Brighton BN1 4GE
This lovely little shop, a hidden gem tucked away near London Road, is open all year selling prints, originals and other handcrafted items. On the first weekend, Friday 24th through to Sunday 26th, you’ll have the chance to go behind the scenes, look around the adjoining studios and chat to some of the artists.

Christmas Boutique, Cross Street Workshop, 14b Cross St, Hove BN3 1AJ
This studio is filled with craft-based gifts. With badges, purses, tins, and handmade paper on offer, we think it could be just the place to grab some great stocking filler gifts. While you’re there, do take time to admire Emily Warren’s gorgeous papier-mâché animal heads.

99 Ditchling Rise, Brighton, BN1 4QP
This house offers a comprehensively varied array of designers and makers, even by the usual standards of open houses – with jewellery, beauty products, clothing and fabrics, pottery, cards, bags and more. We particularly recommend checking out the work of Hannah Forward, a nationally renowned printmaker.

83a Montgomery Street, Hove BN3 5DB
Proper Copper Design is a newcomer to Open Houses, and this metalworking studio promises a fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into the production of their rather stunning range of luxury copper homewares.

229 Studio, 229 Kings Road Arches, Brighton BN1 1NB
This place is top of the list for ceramic gifts, Ken Eardley’s work being a perennial favourite with us. His brightly coloured, hand-painted stylish leaf and flower motifs make his pieces the sort of gifts you may well buy for friends but end up keeping for yourself.

Surf and Turf, 38 Braemore Road, Hove BN3 4HB
With 25 participating artists, and even a special late night midweek shopping date on the calendar (Tues Dec 5th), this fashion-tinged house clearly means business. And with some unusual treats on offer, including felted versions of iconic album covers by self-styled Vincent van Cloth, and mixed media Star Wars themed pieces by Sebastian Dewing, this promises to be a fun place for a browse.

Christmas Open Houses, November 25th – December 10th 2017
Opening times and dates vary – check the brochure for details on each venue

Images by Hannah Forward, Rhoda K Baker (Atelier 51) and Ken Eardley

Features 9 months old

Peter James Field

Peter did a degree in world art history and anthropology, before spending three years in the Japanese countryside teaching English at village schools. For the past eleven years he has worked as a freelance illustrator.

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