Updated: May 24
Tucked away just off the A30 in a jumbled assortment of buildings, Krowji is Cornwall's largest creative hub. With a name that means shed or workshop in Cornish, it was founded in 2005 to provide studio and office space for creative businesses and is now home to more than 200 of them, ranging from painters and jewellers to ceramicists and web designers.
Krowji is part of the umbrella organisation Creative Kernow which also includes Cornwall Music Network, Carn to Cove and Open Studios. It originally occupied the splendidly decrepit old Redruth Grammar School but has now expanded into a purpose-built space thanks a £3.7 million grant from the European Development Fund.
Krowji throws open its doors twice a year for Open Studios and we were lucky enough to visit yesterday. It's a great opportunity to meet artists and makers and learn about their creative processes whether they're young, emerging talents or established artists such as Alasdair Lindsay. It's also the perfect opportunity to buy a unique Christmas present. Make sure you allow plenty of time as more than 50 studios are open this weekend and you'll want to explore them all.
The buildings themselves are absolutely fascinating too. The contrast between the state-of-the-art Percy Williams building and the old school is wonderful.
There's also plenty of festive inspiration to be found as the whole complex has been decorated for Christmas - think twinkling lights, ivy and paper chains.
At the heart of Krowji is The Melting Pot Cafe. With its eclectic decor and laid-back atmosphere, it's open to the public even when the studios aren't and is popular community venue, hosting a range of events throughout the year.
Open Studios continues today (Sunday, December 2) from 10am to 5pm. For more information visit http://www.krowji.org.uk/open-studios/