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Co-Creating Craft 2014 - heritage as a site for innovation

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The work on display here is the outcome of an international research project led by Falmouth University and Craftspace with Birmingham based partners; The Wesleyan Community Care Project and Soho House Museum in Handsworth and Dublin based partners Bealtaine Festival, Dublin Castle and the Office of Public Works.
The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through its Connected Communities Programme.
Research Questions
How does learning through craft, sharing, making and reflecting develop skills and creativity?
How can people work purposefully and enjoyably in the second half of life?
How can we create a sense of opportunity about the second half of life - to take stock, reskill, plan ahead, connect with others and live more healthily.
The project
Community participants aged 50+ in Birmingham and Dublin conducted a creative and skills exchange using online tools like skype. Each group used a heritage building, Soho House Museum and Dublin Castle, and their associated histories and collections as inspirational starting points.
Designer Maker Natalie Cole facilitated 8 creative sessions. We wanted to explore the potential for participants to craft together for pleasure and well-being, as well as making to sell as a social enterprise.
The Process
The Birmingham and Dublin groups began with a visit to Soho House Museum and Dublin Castle recording them through photographs and drawings. They then selected a motif, shape, pattern or theme from which to develop designs.
They combined hand making with cutting edge digital technology. Participants collaborated with Makernow a community digital fabrication lab at Falmouth University. Their drawings were made into digital files and sent to the lab and produced into components through laser cutting and digital milling machines.
For most participants, this project has enabled them to become digitally aware for the first time. They now have some knowledge of computer aided design and the possibilities of creating new tools, for example blocks for printing as well as components for products.
Makernow digital studio session www.makernow.co.uk

cocreatingcare.wordpress.com
www.craftspace.co.uk

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Co-Creating Craft 2014 - heritage as a site for innovation

  1. 1. Co-creating Craft Craftspace was the Community Co-Researcher working in partnership with the Wesleyan Community Care Project and Soho House Museum in Handsworth (Birmingham), Bealtaine Festival in Ireland and Makernow in Falmouth www.craftspace.co.uk An AHRC Connected Communities research project led by Falmouth University
  2. 2. Our key research questions: How does learning through craft, sharing, making and reflecting develop skills and creativity? Purposeful work: how can people work purposefully and enjoyably in the second half of life? Plan for life: how can we create a sense of opportunity about the second half of life - to take stock, reskill, plan ahead, connect with others and live more healthily. Our community participants in Birmingham and Dublin were aged 50+ In Birmingham the creative process was facilitated by designer maker Natalie Cole of Pottinger & Cole and the co-ordinator and community co-researcher was Deirdre Figueiredo, Director of Craftspace www.craftspace.co.uk
  3. 3. Visit to local heritage site Soho House Museum, home of industrialist Matthew Boulton
  4. 4. Heritage and place as starting points for inspiration & catalysts for innovation, Images taken by individuals on their visit
  5. 5. First session: visit to Soho House, introductions through telling a story about a personal object from home, intro to digital manufacture, video skype with Dublin group
  6. 6. Second session: Co-devised collaborative craft consequences in response to similar activity seen during skype call with Dublin at previous session. Five mins each and pass it on
  7. 7. Second session: Co-devised collaborative craft consequences in response to similar activity seen during skype call with Dublin at previous session. Five mins each and pass it on. People spontaneously helped each other if a technique was unfamiliar.
  8. 8. Gloria brought in knitting she did at home to show the group
  9. 9. Participants were invited to record their continuous reflections and thoughts on a table cloth – these were the starting thoughts
  10. 10. Participants were invited to record their continuous reflections and thoughts on a table cloth – these were the starting thoughts
  11. 11. From inspiration to re-invention
  12. 12. Gloria's design inspired by Soho House Museum wallpaper lasercut into fabric for applique
  13. 13. Shared discussion about the next stage of Gloria's appliqué
  14. 14. Wall paper from Soho House Museum inspires lasercut print blocks
  15. 15. Myrtle & Valerie debating embroidery techniques
  16. 16. Alex’s lamp inspired by foliage from Soho House Museum gardens, lasercut elements
  17. 17. From drawing to laser, participants have learnt new skills & ways of working
  18. 18. Viv's first experiments with components for brooches - how to take them further?
  19. 19. Viv’s brooches based on floor pattern in Soho House Museum - lasercut + hand
  20. 20. Participants from Dublin and Birmingham meet at fablab Makernow to learn new technology skills
  21. 21. The Crown Jewels of Dublin, stolen in 1907, co-created again by Margaret & Frances using a combination of lasercut elements & hand crochet
  22. 22. Margaret & Frances – hadn’t met before & decided to co-create and share skills
  23. 23. Noreen and Hester problem solving together

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