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Studio News: Craft Central - The End of an Era

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Craft Central The Forge East London


It is with a heavy heart that I received news this week that my studio building, and one of the UK's long established craft organisations Craft Central, will be closing their doors permanently on the 29th February 2024. 

Following Craft Central's move to The Forge in 2017 there has been a series of financial struggles, including the hard-hitting pandemic, which led to its closure. Read the full message from the Trustees here.

"The organisation has experienced extreme financial difficulties since moving from our building in Clerkenwell Green in 2017, which were further compounded by the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, rising costs, particularly utility bills, and a decline in funding for arts and crafts in the UK" Craft Central. 


Gina Pipet Craft Central The Forge


I have been a member of the CC community since 2016, a studio holder since 2019 and this end brings about a great personal sadness. Whilst this means an immediate loss of my studio and close community, it also sees a huge loss to the craft world. 

For over 50 years Craft Central successfully nurtured a collective community of artists, makers, designers and creatives of all disciplines. Their aim was to connect makers to a wider network, support businesses with valuable opportunities, exchange of ideas, collaborations and offer benefits from practical services and resources.

Alongside individual workspaces, both the Clerkenwell and Isle of Dogs locations came with impressive gallery spaces which provided unique opportunities for showing and selling your work, promoting yourself and your products.


Craft Central Makers Market flyer by Gina Pipet

Promotional design for Craft Central's Winter Market, by Gina Pipet.


Since my very first selling event at St. John's Square in Clerkenwell I have been involved in their annual Spring and Winter Marker's Markets, Open Studio events, Clerkenwell Design Week, London Craft Week and London Design Festival, as well as collaborative pop-up shops in their spaces. I have had the opportunity to work on several graphic design projects, as well as being part of their Graduate Support Programme, offering peer support and skill exchange though mentoring.


Craft Central Graduate Support Programme

New Graduates Almha McCartan and Morgan Amber (center) with Mentors Emily Jo Gibbs and Gina Pipet.


TLZ Movement Sew Sustainable Fair

TLZ Movement and Pipet Design at the Sew Sustainable Fair 2023


I have met countless fantastic people throughout the organisation. Many whom have remained in my close circuit of friends and creative network, and who I still share a coffee and a chat with today. 

I'm grateful to have been part of this maker-community, and touched by so many of you that have reached out with kind words and offers of help. Thank you!


Gina Pipet The Forge Craft Central

Makers' Market in The Gallery at The Forge


With the Notice of Closure giving just two weeks to vacate, I will be relocating my studio at The Forge to a temporary location. Unfortunately this means there will be no print workshops for the foreseeable, and a goodbye to the CC annual Christmas Maker's Market which was a fixture in many diaries.

Fear not, as I'm taking part in some exciting events in the coming months. The next one being a Sample & Seconds Sale on the 2nd March with Local Makers Market. Find out more here in our Events Diary.

Thank you for your continued support, and I hope to see many of you throughout the year.

Gina x

Watch our recent video filmed at The Forge.

Credit and thanks to fellow Studio holders David and Ben of Media Crews.


Craft Central Clerkenwell Green Association
Our Tybalt hankie, seen at large and promoted throughout Clerkenwell. 

Find out more about the wonderful work of Craft Central here.

This link may be closed down with the termination of trading on the 29th February 2024.





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