The first National Festival of Making will take place on Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 May at various venues in Blackburn. In the build-up to the festival weekend itself, Creative Lancashire have curated a series of events from 27 April to 11 May, to explore manufacturing and creativity, aimed at professional creative practitioners/makers and industry

The events have been organised and presented in association with partners including Crafts Council, D&AD, The Royal British Society of Sculptors (RBS), and others.

Through a series of Conversations in Creativity talks, Masterclass in Making workshops and Business Innovation for Growth (BIG) seminar discussions, the conference events will address key themes relevant to creative practitioners involved in the maker movement and manufacturing.

Ed Matthews-Gentle from Creative Lancashire explained: “Lancashire has a long-established manufacturing and creative sector, which continues to be at the cutting edge of innovation. It’s a great endorsement of the work in the county that the first National Festival of Making will be taking place here, building on strategic investments such as the Making Rooms also in Blackburn

“We’ve got a wide range of activities taking place as part of the festival, with opportunities to hear from some of UK and world’s foremost thought leaders, makers and creative practioners at the forefront of the ‘maker movement’ , We’ve got workshops and panel discussions bringing together a formidable line up, which promises to be an interesting programme that celebrates creativity  from the UK and the world here in Lancashire.”

The first National Festival of Making happens in Blackburn, Lancashire on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May, 2017. With twice the national average of people employed in the manufacturing industry, and a community of talented and creative maker businesses working from studios and locations in Lancashire and across the North of England, the festival promises a vibrant celebration of Britain’s unrivalled making heritage and its bright future.

For more information about conference events and booking information, visit www.creativelancashire.org.

You can follow Creative Lancashire on twitter @CreativeLancs.

Find out more about the festival by visiting or https://festivalofmaking.co.uk or on twitter @festofmaking.

List of events:

Conversations in Creativity – Charles Hadcock: Studio Visit & Panel

with Charles Hadcock, John Grayson, Hugh Miller, Jamie Holman & Claire Mander

in association with The Royal British Society of Sculptors (RBS)

Thursday 27 April Roach Bridge Mill, Samlesbury

An exclusive opportunity to gain a unique insight into the work and process of Charles Hadcock, one of the country’s leading artists in his own studio surroundings, located in the stunning South Ribble mill location, followed by a panel discussion other RBS artists and celebrated emerging maker talent.

Followed by panel discussion looking at the strategies of artists and makers at different stages in their careers, and across disciplines, who find ways to make work in a time when funding opportunities are diminished for the creative practitioner.

Find out more and book at: http://creativelancashire.org/html/CICCharleshadcockStudio_2143.html


Master class in making ‘What makes the makers?’

with Dave Kirkwood, Hamish Muir & Jane Foster

Wednesday 3 May UCBC (Blackburn College)

This masterclass is an opportunity to work with leading creative practitioners and thought leaders in a series of intimate workshops and round table discussions, bringing together designers, makers, students businesses and anyone interested in the creative process.

Hamish Muir co-founded his London-based studio in 2010, focuses on exploring parametric design systems to generate appropriate solutions to visual communication problems.

Jane Foster is an award winning illustrator, author and textile designer working with some of the worlds leading brands including IKEA, Habitat, Waitrose and Apple.

Find out more and book at: http://creativelancashire.org/html/FestivalofMakingConference_2142.html


Conversations in Creativity with Craig Oldham, Hamish Muir & Jane Foster with Dave Kirkwood (Host)

Wednesday 3 May (Blackburn Cathedral)

A stellar panel of designer-makers discuss their inspirations and importance of self-initiated projects in their creative practice.

The Office of Craig Oldham is the eponymous practice of designer and creative consultant Craig Oldham. Craig has wrote and designed a number of books including In Memory of Work, a visual record of the UK coal miners’ strike of 1984-85 with a cover printed using coal dust from an old South Yorkshire mine (D&AD Pencil), and I belong to Jesus, a riposte (and graphic celebration) to the 2014, FIFA, ruling that players would no longer be permitted to display or reveal any messages of any kind, on any part of their kit.

Find out more and book at: http://creativelancashire.org/html/FestivalofMakingConference_2142.html


Business Innovation for Growth (BIG): Purposeful Practice with Simon Bolton & Lesley Gulliver

Thursday 4 May (Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery)

The session will examine role of design thinking in driving innovative manufacturing through an examination of case studies including Nike and Plumen.

An internationally-acclaimed designer and innovation specialist working with some of the world’s top brands, Simon Bolton recently joined Edge Hill University as a Professor of Innovation and Associate Dean of Enterprise and Employability. He has exhibited at galleries including London’s Design Museum and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. He has over 20 years’ experience of helping global names including the BBC, BSkyB, Hyundai and Nokia to enhance their customer insight and innovation capabilities.

Lesley Gulliver leads on strategy at The Engine Room. Lesley is also a Design Associate for the Design Council and a guest presenter at Stockholm-based Hyper Island and London-based Central Research Laboratory. She has also been recently invited and appointed to the Board of the Design Business Association, the UK’s trade association for design. The Engine Room recently collected two major awards for design impact at the 2017 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards, picking up a Gold Award alongside UK manufacturer Polyseam for work together on their GRAFT brand. The Engine Room were also awarded the ultimate accolade, The Grand Prix, for the same project!

Find out more and book at: http://creativelancashire.org/html/PurposefulPracticewithSimonBoltonGuestTBC_2147.html


Why the future’s bright for UK textile manufacturing?

Thursday 4 May (Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery)

Make it British host a round panel discussion about 21st Century textile manufacturing.

The panel includes Kate Hills, a founder and CEO of Make it British. She has worked as a designer and buyer for brands such as Burberry and M&S. Kate to set up the Make it British website to help promote UK manufacturing and British-made brands.  Since 2015 Kate has been a board member of the UK Fashion & Textile Association. The UKFT provides practical support, export advice, information exchange and a voice to government and retailers on the UK textile industry.

Find out more and book at: http://creativelancashire.org/html/FestivalofMakingConference_2142.html


Conversations in Creativity with Nicolas Roope, Samuel Wilkinson and Claire Norcross – hosted by Alice Rawsthorn

Thursday 4 May (Blackburn Cathedral)

Respected names in design discuss their collaboration with Plumen, one of the world’s leading lighting companies, and their own studio practice. Nicolas Roope launched Plumen in 2011 with Michael-George Hemus. The company’s first bulb was made in collaboration with designer Samuel Wilkinson and is now part of the permanent collections at MoMA, the V&A and Cooper Hewitt, and was nominated as design of the year by London’s Design Museum.

The company’s third launch was developed with French jeweller Marie-Laure Giroux, a Central Saint Martin’s graduate and Claire Norcross, a product designer with a portfolio of lighting pieces for clients including Habitat and John Lewis to name a few.

For the first time National Festival of Making brings together the three designers to discuss the collaborative process and work for their respective studios.

Hosted by Alice Rawsthorn, who writes on design in the International New York Times, and is a columnist on design for Frieze. Her latest book, the critically acclaimed “Hello World: Where Design Meets Life”, explores design’s influence on our lives: past, present and future

Find out more and book at: http://www.creativelancashire.org/html/CICMasterClassinMaking_2144.html


Business Innovation for Growth (BIG)

Breakfast Roundtable with Lancashire Business View Magazine

Friday 5 May (Liz n Lills)

Round table discussions bringing together designers, makers, students businesses and conference speakers.


Little Business – BIG Ideas: The Business of Making

Friday 5 May (Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery)

Daniel Charny and Fi Scott (Make Works), Jim Rhodes/Barney Mason (Made by Those)

A glimpse into the future through case studies of dynamic maker start-ups.

Find out more and book at: http://www.creativelancashire.org/html/PurposefulPracticewithSimonBoltonGuestTBC_2147.html


BIG – Beyond the hype: the impact of the maker movement

Friday 5 May (Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery)

Daniel Charny and Eddie Kirkby consider how the maker movement is slowly becoming more mainstream. The talk will provide real insights for decision makers and those interested in making as a movement for social change.

Eddie Kirkby is a multi-disciplinary engineer who led the introduction of the UK’s first Fab Lab and has recently taken on the role of director of The Making Rooms (Blackburn), Lancashire’s first Fab Lab in early 2016.

Hannah Fox led a ground-breaking project with Derby Museums to develop a new way forwards for Derby Silk Mill – the site of the world’s first factory. Citizen curators and makers are at the heart of the vision for the new Museum of Making.

Hosted by Hannah Stewart, Research Associate at the Royal College of Art on the Future Makespaces in Redistributed Manufacturing project.

Find out more and book at: http://www.creativelancashire.org/html/BIG-Beyondthehypetheimpactofthemakermovement_2149.html

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