For The National Festival of Making 2018 in Blackburn we worked with local Manufacturers to create a series of public workshops for the festival weekend.
The ‘Make with the Manufacturer’ project saw us visiting factories ranging manufacturers of toilet paper to bakers of cakes.
By working with these businesses as well as researching endangered crafts from the “Radcliffe Red List” we created and hosted 8 workshops which introduced visitors to traditional craft processes.
With the majority of Makers Dozen being Manchester School of Art graduates, we returned to the Art school to take part in their Legacy 2 Alumni Exhibition.
This was the perfect opportunity to launch our “Unfinished” project. We explored the idea of what we consider to be “finished” in our work. For example, at what point is a project or an object finished? and can we challenge that idea?
Many of us took this opportunity to pick up older, “unfinished” projects and explore the concept of how it can be finished or if it needs to be finished?
This exhibition was our first step into this project which we aim to continue over other events and in our personal practices.
Manchester School of Art Exhibition Summary:
Taking place in the School's contemporary Benzie Building gallery spaces, Legacy captures the evolution of art and design practices beyond graduation from across a variety of disciplines and generations.
This exhibition also provides the perfect opportunity for current and prospective art and design students to take inspiration from those that have already progressed into exciting creative careers following their time at the School.
Makers Dozen have fallen in love with making again. After a long and enjoyable period of facilitating public engagement, Makers Dozen have decided to spend some time developing each of their own practices. Makers Dozen is made up of 12 very different makers who all produce work in different ways, within different disciplines. Making and researching together is integral to the Collective’s development which centers around material exploration.
Helping one another in this making process through regular meet ups and crit style sessions, the Makers have developed multiple bodies of work which are all at varying stages of completion. This exhibition is an insight into their practice based Collective and an opportunity to see how each member currently works when they make. This process driven and quick fire project has generated responses from each maker based purely on what they are currently enjoying or already working on.
Culminating in an exhibition at Marketplace Studios Project Space, Stockport Marketplace, in March 2017 this exhibition is fun and inviting. New work alongside work in progress will give the public insight into these making practices but this time. In this exhibition Makers Dozen will engage with the public, not through workshops but through their own work.
In-Source was an extensive project which included various workshops and public engagement opportunities and culminated in an exhibition at Made North galley in Sheffield over March-April 2016.
Original write up:
‘In-source’ is a six month project by Makers Dozen and invited guests, with the premise of looking closer at the qualities of each others’ work and to consider these qualities for use within their own practice. During this period of learning, play, and appropriation, events have been held across a range of platforms - from markets to forests to craft fairs. The public have been invited to contribute to and shape the project along the way, through an engagement programme reflecting the makers’ working methods and processes. This March ‘In-Source’ will take a reflective period in the form of a residency and exhibition at Made North’s gallery space. This time in Sheffield will offer the chance for the public to come and continue making and engaging in a live show that they can influence the outcome of.
Makers Dozen’s current project is focused around an evaluative process of working together, making links with each other’s practices and utilising the skills we have within our group. This process has aided our reflection both during and after experiences of making. In-Source has offered both the Makers Dozen and the Public the opportunity to communicate through objects and materials across different engagement tasks and workshop activities. This exhibition is a midway point for the project, an opportunity to take stock of what we have achieved, further work with the public, and continue to produce work with each other.
Communication has been key to this project but as material led practitioners, makers, and designers, how we communicate has taken on many different forms. This project has become rooted in our time spent as a group. Relationships built between makers have led to exciting a broadminded work being produced. By exposing our practices to each other and “in-Sourcing” sections of our processes or designs to another member, we have had to communicate clearly. Although not formally a collaborative project, this working methodology has encourage combined working, self-reflective making and highlighted how important communication is to being creative.
This communication is not only vital within the group but also as a tool for working with the public. Through different workshops, working with venues such as the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair and the Art Carbooty, we have ‘Outsourced’ parts of the production to non-practitioners and engaged people through our working and thinking methods. This has offered opportunities for the Dozen to learn from the public, an exchange between makers and non makers, enabling us to think outside the box!
Made North is the perfect home for Makers Dozen, it's foundations are embedded in one of the country's manufacturing powerhouses and the gallery has strong connections with an exiting new generation of independent makers, designers and manufacturers. Makers Dozen aim to provide a framework for further exchange to happen during our time in Sheffield, and we invite all people to come and take part, to make with us, and most importantly to experience an exchange of ideas where everyone will benefit.
BLACKPOOL ART CARBOOTY
As a part of our long running In-Sourse project, we took part in the Blackpool Art Carbooty.
The Makers ran a workshop which invited members of the public to come and build toy cars and fill in an MOT form based on their experience.
In late 2015 Makers Dozen took part in the Altrincham Market as a part of our In-Source project.
Our market stall was a mix of current and past makers work for sale as well as a spoon making workshop.
For The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair we created a workshop in collaboration with the in-development Pilcrow Pub to coincide with our overarching In-Source project.
The workshop invited members of the public to come and help us make 1000 beer tokens using 3 different craft processes.
For the first Cup North coffee festival in 2014, Makers Dozen were invited to create an exhibition. We decided to use 100s of pink and grey coffee cups which came into our possession and see what we could do with them.
Each maker approached the brief differently and the result was a celebration of what would have otherwise been a bunch of forgotten cups.
For the Manchester Free For Arts Festival 2014 Makers Dozen collaborated with art collective Mid Conversation for an exhibition called Addition/Reduction:
Makers Dozen and Mid Conversation
The 5 ways of manufacturing; reduction, addition, growth, construction, and manipulation. The production of any man made form will fit into one or more of these categories. The focus has been on reduction and addition as opposites presenting the biggest challenge as well as a broad scope for invention. Makers Dozen and Mid Conversation explore reduction and addition, through concept, material experimentation, challenging each other, and traditional ways of working. Engaging and interacting with materials and each other in new ways, expanding the realms of their practice.
Reduction has been explored through a series of collaborative intuitive workshops, as well as individually. Reducing the material palate, as well as bonding agents and reducing the material itself.
Addition was introduced as constraints were added and taken away, allowing certain materials to be bonded to eachother as well as exploring ways in which addition takes place and certain materials and processes be added to one another.