Category Archives: making process

Collaboration within Craft


  1. The action of working with someone to produce something.
  2. The situation of two or more people working together to create or achieve the same thing.
  3. A recursive process to realise shared goals by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.

Most recently I have been thinking a lot about what impact collaboration can have upon craft practice, following on from a recent ‘Synergy Swap’ day with Design Factory members at Unit Twelve, linking into the current exhibition ‘Simpatico’. It was a positive day, and I felt really enthused afterwards after exploring several different forms of collaboration throughout the day.

The day produced some exciting responses of intertwined work. Below are a few images of myself and fellow ‘Cultivated’ graduate Rachel Butlin’s responses. We experimented with a selection of our own materials used within our individual practices, the result of which were the early stages of a playful series of vessels. It will be exciting to see how this series develops in the next coming months.

The day taught me collaboration can also be much more than a swap of skills or production of a body of work; Collaboration can open up a discussion between Makers that can pose thought, altering one’s thinking and perceptions, allowing for a more rounded practice – and possibly a change in course. Throughout the ‘Synergy Swap’ day I was able to engage in some thought provoking discussions, which enabled me to clarify some inward battles of my own.

The day made me think back to previous work I have found really interesting – Lin Cheung’s input for the exhibition Process Works a series of e-correspondence between herself and Caroline Broadhead, which act in a way such as this. They really reflect how thought provoking such collaborations can be.
On reflecting upon the correspondence and exhibition, Lin comments, “Making the objects for this exhibition had a profound effect on the way I viewed my own approach. I was able to see my own thought processes with new clarity: The way I looked at the world, the way I absorbed information and the ways in which I communicated ideas…the short e-correspondence we exchanged at the time continues to inspire and sustain my practice to this day.” The piece is something I continually return to and read; with such an honest dialogue the discussions provided food for thought within my own practice. Collaboration can allow makers to become critical of their own practice.

It’s an interesting exercise to explore collaboration, push the boundaries. I will look forward to another ‘Synergy Swap’ day and the collaborative relationships developing. More images of works in progress to come…
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Print Garage: My Making Process



‘Collect The Moments’  a new screenprint by Print Garage inspired by Feist’s ‘Mushaboom’- all ready for the next leg of Unit Twelve’s touring exhibition  ‘Are you listening carefully?’

Over to Mr Print Garage:


“I thought it might be interesting to share a bit of my making process – in this instance where some decisions mid-print have been made.

Here’s Layer 1, all is well so far…


layer 1 low res


Here’s Layer 2 – a nice tasty sky blue…

layer 2 low res


It’s when I got to layer 3 that something feels wrong…

moments layer 3 old version


It feels a bit clumsy and I’ve lost an area of lovely negative space down the left hand side, some nice interaction between the grey and the blue layer.  I decided to stop and have a think, (no pressure – but the ink is drying on the screen).  I decide to mask off the area that’s bugging me – some hastily torn newsprint and a bit of brown tape – and try again.


DSC_0083 low res


That’s much better, here’s a comparison shot with the new version on the left:


DSC_0077low res


And a detailed shot:

DSC_0080low res


And then finally layer number 4:



and a lovely close up:



I don’t normally change much during production like this, I even had another layer planned but after testing it I didn’t feel like it added anything extra and if anything distracted the eye from the other details. Normally, everything is decided at the stencil stage, but this felt very satisfying to be able improvise on the fly and just go with gut instinct.”

You can see the finished print (and others) at Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek: 3rd May – 21st June 2014 (PV- 2nd May 7-9pm) before it moves on to The Brindley: 16th Aug – 11th Oct 2014
For more details of the exhibition and the other artists: ‘Are you listening carefully?’

You can see other examples of Mr Print Garage’s work here
and buy them online from here

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Jennifer Collier: my making process

A few years ago I got to the stage where my work had become typecast, so I made the leap from a world of dresses and shoes, to remaking household items created from paper. I treat the papers as if cloth, with the main technique employed being stitch; a contemporary twist on traditional textiles. The papers themselves serve as both the inspiration and the media for the work, with the narrative of the books and papers suggesting the forms, so a retro camera from vintage photos, or a sewing machine from vintage dress making patterns.

I am constantly striving to push my practice to become more adventurous, and am currently working on the idea of creating whole room sets created from paper. For this exhibition I am working on a series of armchairs, created entirely from paper and card (corrugated card is about the only cheat I allow myself, to add rigidity to the work, as it is REALLY a form of paper anyway…).


(Click on images to see a larger version).

All other details are cut from papers and sewn together, using patterns I have devised myself.

In this piece I was trying to incorporate many different embroidery techniques, such as the covered binding, button loops and covered buttons as seen on the back of the chair.


These and many other traditional techniques where used on the seat pad (and back pad), including Cathedral Squares, Bullion Roses, pleating and patchwork to transform a pile of beautiful papers, into a cushion that looks good enough to sit on…..

P1040315 P1040317 P1040324

Then the last job is to finish the major construction and assemble the whole piece. The legs are stitched paper covering many layers of corrugated card to give strength (a mistake I have learnt from the first chair I made- there is always a danger someone is going to sit on something so realistic looking!). The stitched paper pieces are turned right side out and are put over the card shapes and it is put together much the same way a real chair would be made and upholstered.

P1040390  chair backchair front

My way of working is essentially still based on the processes of my past work and my textiles training- making a pattern, producing a toile to check the pattern or template ‘works’ and then creating the ‘real’ piece of work from beautiful found and recycled papers. In layman’s terms it is a bit like then you draw the net of a box from scratch, cut it out, fold and construct it; but mine are much more complicated shapes….

A Room with a View, a solo exhibition that invites you into the fantastical world of Jennifer Collier, runs 5th June- 30th August at Unit Twelve, Open Thur-Sat, 10-4pm:

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