The Papered Parlour


Written by Onjuli Datta
19 Monday 19th July 2010


A few weeks ago Don’t Panic ran an events feature on the Papered Parlour, one of London’s favourite art hubs. Since then they’ve secured a win for Barclays Small Business Award, a £50 000 package set to send them even higher in the arts scene.
Starting out as an artist isn’t easy, and that’s something that Claire Heafford and Louise Hall, minds behind The Papered Parlour, understand well. Leaving art school pushed them both together to join forces and create a collection of photography and artwork – the profits of which they invested in opening the Parlour.
First opened in 2009, the Papered Parlour is comprised of two low cost, open plan studio spaces in Clapham Common, South London. It works as a home from home, where creative types from all over London can gather to teach, learn, and create. Over 300 people came along to the opening and since then The Papered Parlour has continuously run weekly workshops in dressmaking, knitting, millinery, silversmithing, screen printing, photography and quilting, drawing the UK’s top artists and designers straight into the local community’s centre.
Now, after winning the Barclays Small Business Award, it seems that the only way is up. The competition was decided by public vote and grants Claire and Louise £50 000 to continue with their work and improve the studio further. It’s refreshing to see such a vibrant, enthusiastic approach to the arts. They really have taken the nature of creativity and made it something their own, as their declaration of Independence dictates: “We hold these truths to be self evident; tea, cake and the pursuit of craft...”
Find out more about the Papered Parlour at


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