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Stumbling into Aladdin’s cave

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Have you ever dreamed of finding a cornucopia: a crazy, dusty junk shop piled high with curiosities, where you could spend a happy hour rummaging and delving, drawn by the possibility of discovering a gem, a gorgeous mysterious object that you would treasure forever?Elementree Studios

Last week, as I made my way home from a friend’s in the late afternoon/early evening, I passed a turning I’ve walked past countless times and noticed an A-board, hanging baskets and crates of items out on the street. Intrigued, I went to investigate and found a series of workshops, open to the public, where artists and craftspeople are taking waste materials and turning them into art, furniture and household items.

Choppa White and the other occupants of Elementree Studios rummage through skips to collect bits of industrial machinery, pieces of wood and metal, and refashion them into tables, cupboards, frames for mirrors, boxes…

Choppa’s workshop is a sight to behold. Everywhere I looked, something else surprising caught my eye: a trumpet, a shop window model, wooden index card drawers, a dog curled up asleep on an armchair… Choppa loves to turn something unwanted into something cherished and ‘the quirkier, the better’.

Somehow it added to my sense of magic when I asked Choppa how long Elementree Studios had been there and he told me ‘nine years’. How is it possible that I’ve never found this place before?

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  • Ohh .. this place is in Brighton too, isn’t it? Another reason to go live there. It looks fantastic.

  • Yep. Come and check it out. 🙂

  • Sara Wolff

    I want the big HEAL sign!

  • You’re not the only one, Sara. There’s a post on their FB page from someone who wants it too. 🙂 I wonder if it came from Heal’s Furniture Store.

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  • Nettles32

    I love Elementree Studio,and inspirational and sexy Choppa. But it seems The Powers That Be in the form of TESCO who owns the sight have given then notice to quit,despite being good tenants.Sad to see it all locked and bolted.
    Shame on the Corporates.
    I do hope Choppa et all find suitable premises and continue their recycling wonderments.
    Sniffa xxx

    • Yeah, I’m Friends with Elementree Studios on Facebook and was saddened to see that. Like you, I hope they find a new home soon.

  • Anil

    Saddened to see Elementree forced out. I walked past them every day for the last two years, and there was always something different, creative, vibrant going on.

    • Yes, it was a lovely place. It’s great see things that are about to go to landfill get diverted to upcycling. Keep up the good work Choppa!