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Open House This Weekend

Open House – Makers, Making & Machines Sat 21st & Sun 22nd : “Workshops In Action” tour - every 60 mins (11am-4pm) BloQs is getting ready to welcome you on what promises to be a day of bustle and activity in our manufacturing workshops. Watch machines at work, see people making, have lunch, get making yourself and learn about how this exciting part of our city is chan ...

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Open House

Open House is an exciting chance to glimpse behind the scenes of so much that is usually off limits. But for a weekend in September its playtime in London and Building BloQs is taking part. Why not find out what happens in our busy industrial workshop? BloQs is an open access workspace where professional makers can find all they need to fabricate and make. There are workspaces ...

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Smashing it for Metal Workers

The workshop facilities at BloQs are now so much better as a massive influx of new machines joins an array of new workspaces. Metal Working at BloQs just got easy. There’s been metal working at BloQs for a several years but nothing like this. Now there is a comprehensive metal fabrication facility that means many jobs are a walk in the park and many things are possible for the ...

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In Gear – BloQs Engineering Just Got Serious

A brand-new department has joined family of facilities in the Building BloQs workshop. From raw analogue power to the digital cutting-edge, Engineering now offers makers a wealth of new opportunities. With its fresh paintwork and bank of well-oiled machines, Engineering marks a step change in what BloQs Members are able to do. The complexity of products that its now possible t ...

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Uncontainable talent

MadeAt – BloQs’ fabrication arm – in collaboration with Periscope Architects, has been appointed by Volker Fitzpatrick to design, fabricate and install a cycle shelter for the new Meridian Water Station.Informed by our local industrial legacy, a shipping container was chosen as a ‘shell’. This is the first of many modules planned, hopefully lots top-quality work for members. ...

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We need a CNC Machinist

We are a growing and energetic social enterprise with a mission to power makers. As a tight-knit team, we are looking for a like-minded person to join us as a CNC Programmer/Operator/Quoter. This is a project-basis role and, as the business grows, it’s expected to become a full-time position. There are opportunities for an individual wanting to start their own business alo ...

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BloQ And Tackle

The workshop is alive with activity right now, there are so many more machines and improvements its truly exciting. Our new Biesse Rover K 4-Axis flatbed CNC machine is probably being winched in as you read this. And you metal workers especially are going to love your new fab shop! ...

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First Thursdays Arrive at BloQs Cafe

We are excited to announce the arrival of First Thursdays at the BloQs Cafe. Each month we will be exhibiting local emerging artists and hosting a Private View of their work in the BloQs Cafe. We'd love to see you on the 3rd of May from 6PM for a launch event to welcome artist Mathilda Oosthuizen. About Mathilda Oosthuizen, First Thursday Bones and breakable, lines are walka ...

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More than a workshop

In 2012 we were a bunch of soon-to-be-homeless housemates standing in a leaky Enfield shed. We didn't have friends in high places or broadsheet support. We had our skills, a bit of a vision and some very interesting years ahead. Building BloQs started with seven makers, craftsmen and artists. We had several thrifty, happy years cohabiting in a north London live-work space call ...

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Part of the furniture

Part of the furniture Kent & London is a bespoke designer and maker of handmade furniture and kitchens. It’s a brand that prides itself on producing products that are ‘Well Made in England.’ The company had outgrown their existing workshop and needed a cost-effective way forward. They approached Made At for a solution. Made At offered flexible, competitively priced, Lond ...

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Window shopping

Window shopping Production company Seven Six approached Made At to manufacture and install a beautiful and complex window display, designed by Sarah Illenberger and commissioned for Selfridges. Providing design support and project management, Made At brought together a multidisciplinary team of skilled makers to work across woodwork, metalwork and textiles departments at Buil ...

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Women At Work: Then And Now

Women at Work: Then and Now, Enfield Making History, is a Heritage Lottery Funded project. It is delivered by ACAVA, an educational arts charity and Building BloQs open access workshops with Rachael Nee as artist-in-residence. The project is researching women’s work in industry from conscription in 1916 to the present and reflecting on this for the future. Enfield has a rich ...

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CBY - Design Studio

In 2013, sculptor and carpenter Sam Kennedy met multi-skilled maker James Gilpin at a shared workshop in London. After becoming friends - and consistently helping one another out on their projects - the two decided it made sense to team up as Commissioned By You. As their business grew and more complex commissions were won, the pair sought a workshop to rent with more space, h ...

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How'd you build that chair, Liam?

Don’t ask an academic to explain how to make a chair, they’ll only write you an essay. No, really - you can download it here We’d like to say a fond farewell and a huge thanks to Liam Grace-Flood, a recent US grad who’s been a fixture at BloQs this summer. Liam’s traveling all over the world this year as a Watson fellow,  exploring how open access workshops make better things ...

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Tristan Cochrane - Designer

I had a wakeup call one day “I thought oh my god I'll be a fisherman for the rest of my life. I had stability and I had money in the bank, but I wanted a complete change.” Furniture designer, shop fitter, prop maker, sculptor - multi-skilled maker Tristan Cochrane came to the game relatively late. A fisherman for ten years, the Scotsman’s strong desire for change is one that ...

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Go Create. Laser Cutting boosts creativity and efficiency for makers.

Makers are establishing new businesses, diversifying their portfolios and increasing efficiency thanks to simple to use, start of the art laser cutting and engraving technology. From cutting acrylic signage to theatre and event props, adding delicate details to textiles and engraving top of a fine dining tables, laser cutting and engraving means greater efficiency and creativi ...

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Students + Graduates at Building BloQs

Building BloQs has, since opening in 2012, become a professional home for seasoned makers, many with heavyweight portfolios and long established client networks. But our open workshop in north London is equally perfect for makers in their early throws. It’s a time of year when a steady flow of students and grads join our ranks, so they can hone skills, continue their education ...

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HOAX - Theatre Makers

It’s a HOAX. Let’s Reimagine Rubbish. As a theatre and object maker, what really gets me going is reimagining familiar, forgotten and disregarded things.  That's probably why my favourite place in the whole of Building BloQs workshop is the off-cut bin by the wood burner. Among the piles of castaways, my inner scavenger comes out to play. Maybe I just love the idea that a pho ...

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Zana Agafonva - Fashion Design Student

A long journey ends, another begins  “I was looking for somewhere I could be. And think. And have the facilities to make a large collection in a short space of time. After looking around, I found Building BloQs.” Zana Agafonva arrived at Building BloQs in spring this year, ahead of her graduate collection fashion show at The Cass. In a short space of time, her awe-inspiring ...

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London Real Estate Forum - Message for The Mayor

“Making in this city is rich and deep-rooted. We can act as a gateway into understanding the richness that we celebrate” Addressing an audience at this week’s London Real Estate Forum, Al Parra, described the vision that underpins Building BloQs. Addressing City Hall directly, he urged that more support and creative thinking be deployed so organisations like ours can continue ...

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Dave Chamberlain - DWC Carpentry

Dave Chamberlain is DWC, a small, friendly, neighbourhood carpentry business that runs out of the Building BloQs workshop. Aside from a stint in Iraq serving with the UK army, Dave has - for his regulars and referrals - been north London’s go-to wood worker for 25 years. There's glass half full people and glass half empty people – I'm just happy I've got a glass says Dave. “I ...

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Offset Studios Props-Sets-Events-Arts

In 2016, Hebe George and Zekan Cemal came together. Hebe, a designer, and Zekan, a carpenter, were both working in the creative industries: designing and building sets for shows, events, productions and festivals. Their collaboration morphed into Offset Studios, a design and build company that has a lot going for it. A string of happy clients, a reliable pool of freelance frie ...

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Barnaby Reynolds - God is in the detail

Barnaby Reynolds is an award-winning designer with a forensic approach to detail. Not only has his work featured in the likes of Elle and Wallpaper magazines, past clients include Harrods, Arcadia and Vivienne Westwood. Barnaby’s name, his reputation and his designs have become synonymous with intricate, beautiful and enigmatic detail. As the architect Mies van der Rohe said, ...

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Zero Waste Workshop - Offset Warehouse

Hi, my name’s Charlie Ross and I founded an eco textiles company Offset Warehouse six years ago. We source and develop beautiful hand-crafted and ethically produced fabrics from around the world, and sell from one to hundreds of metres at affordable but fair prices. We’re the first company in the UK to sell a broad range of these fabrics exclusively - from hemp, to organic cott ...

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Great BloQs of Green

With Offset Warehouse coming to Building BloQs on Saturday morning (6th May) to talk about and create with sustainable textiles, we felt compelled to investigate the green credentials of our makers – and of Building BloQs itself. As many know, Building BloQs is scaling up towards the end of this year. We're moving to a space four times bigger on the other side of the canal her ...

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Stuart Watson talks blacksmithing in London

‘I thought, well, I’ve got nothing to lose’ Stuart talks blacksmithing in London and his time at the BloQs metal workshop. Some makers arrive at Building BloQs just as their freelance careers lift off. Others come to scratch a creative itch outside of the day job. But bespoke blacksmith Stuart Watson turned up here in 2012 because he was utterly out of options. A relative ve ...

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Stephanie Porter - Bridal Design

It's a partnership, a journey we go on together Stephanie Porter talks of her bridal design business and the BloQs Textile Studio. More than most maker industries, textiles is defined by its seasonality. In the lead up to spring, the Building BloQs’ London Textile Studio is on fire as designers and makers strive to get their new ranges ready. Wedding dress designer Stephanie ...

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Ollie Morrison - Designer Maker

A former pro mountain boarder, these days Ollie Morrisonis a little more risk-averse. A recent graduate of London’s Building Crafts College, the Devon-native is slowly and methodically establishing his career as a Designer Maker He's made some sacrifices to get here, so day-by-Pay-As-You-Go day, Ollie is using Building BloQs as a base to explore his craft, hone his skills, an ...

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Digital + Analogue - brothers in arms

For 40 years Hollywood has churned out films depicting the classic struggle of man and machine. I think we’ve been subtly conditioned to see the rise of machines as something to fear. In the news too, whenever machines edge out a human workforce we get a little nervous about where it’s all headed. But at Building BloQs, we don’t see man and machine, or manual and automated, as ...

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Rob Quirk + Quirk Cycles

‘Your steel bike will outlive you’ I don’t want people to see my bike design as rarified or made with blood and tears, the work of an artisan. I want people putting my bikes to task: taking them on adventures, racing the weekend and not being scared of using it. As a discipline, frame building is on its way back up after a generation of decline. “People moved away from steel ...

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Knotch.Design

“Allow the material to speak as part of the design, a piece is the sum of its parts, so you need to start with the right parts” The last six months have been something of a whirlwind for furniture making duo Knotch Design, one of the youngest businesses working out of BloQs. Established in the summer of 2016, the professional partnership between Noah Kay and Ben Hooper may be ...

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Angelika Chilikova - from starting again to overnight success

“Elegant, playful, happy – for me there are different emotions through the darkness of black.” Garment designer Angelika Chilikova has, in just under two decades, had at least two careers. Her first and original career started alongside her fashion designer mum at Kino, a renowned Greek fashion house, which she would later join as Design Director. At a young age, Angelika fou ...

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Joe Buckingham - The Gentleman Blacksmith, Talks Making

‘I love it: I got in and couldn't get out’ “Sometimes, if I’m driving round the countryside or walking round town I can say ‘made that’, ‘made that’. It’s a great feeling to know you’ve contributed to the world around you.” Joe Buckingham is The Gentleman Blacksmith. Or vice versa. Skilled in metalwork, design, and woodwork, Joe has 15 years' experience, a mighty portfolio, a ...

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Sadiq Khan - Mayor of London visits Building BloQs

Last week we were rather chuffed to welcome the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan for a visit to Building BloQs. The Mayor was in Edmonton to see Meridian Water starting to take shape - Enfield Council’s £6bn regeneration site which will see the delivery of 10,000 new homes and 6,700 jobs. Visiting BloQs, the Mayor was given a tour of the workshop by Al Parra. Meeting members and ...

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Flexible and affordable studio space for fashion students + graduates

Renting a professionally equipped fashion studio by the day, week or month helps fashion students and graduates affordably deliver their collections and develop their future careers in the industry. Fashion students and graduates are seeing the benefits of having a textile studio that’s available on a flexible, pay-as-you-go basis in London, instead of relying on cramped unive ...

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The ideal workshop for freelance metalworkers

For London’s freelance metalworkers, open workshops offer an appealing combination of affordable access to professional kit and a network of contacts and opportunities. In a city where workshop space is increasingly limited and expensive, these spaces provide a solution. In his third decade blacksmithing in London, Stuart Watson has seen first hand how the city has changed - “ ...

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A flexible textile studio for designers

Renting a professionally equipped textile studio by the day, week or month allows designers to affordably deliver their pieces and collections in line with the seasonality of the industry. More and more designers are seeing the benefits of having a flexibly accessible textile studio in London rather than fork out for the costs of renting and maintaining their own permanent spa ...

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Juan Junca + BloQs Residency at New London Architecture's WRK/LDN Exhibition

Member Juan Junca and Building BloQs have been in residence at the New London Architecture's WRK/LDN exhibition which explores the changing patterns of work in the city. Set up in a window off Tottenham Court Road, Juan has been making a new dining chair design and settee from solid walnut. Read his interview and see him in action on the NLA's blog: Originally published on htt ...

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Hole & Corner Feature

Originally published in Hole&Corner Magazine Making Space: Building BloQs — In the last of our features on London making spaces, we talk about purpose, collaborative values and the power of community with Al Parra – one of the four founders of Building BloQs in Enfield, set to become the largest open access making workshop in Europe…  When and why was Building BloQs s ...

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The Key to Britain’s Recovery - The Guardian

I’ve found the key to Britain’s recovery: an orange shed in Shanktown - Aditya Chakrabortty A return visit to the Building Bloqs initiative – in a suburb best known for stabbings and mini-riots – shows what social enterprises can do with proper support Originally published in The Guardian by Aditya Chakrabortty on 29th March 2016 Journalists are like pigeons: they all floc ...

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The Big Orange Shed

The big orange shed that holds the key to Britain’s economic recovery Originally published in The Guardian by Aditya Chakrabortty on 6th January 2015, Illustration by Matt Kenyon Social enterprise start-ups like Building Bloqs are exactly what our broken economy needs. But politicians, bankers and investors must play ball. On an industrial estate on the northernmost outski ...

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