Usually we choose our tools, but what if our tools are chosen for us?

Makers & Tools is a collaborative project challenging the creative practice of six early career craft makers and connecting makers in the South West and South East.



Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Makers & Tools project Residency
11 – 14 April 2019

The Makers & Tools project is a collaboration between six contemporary craft makers in the early stages of their careers. Each maker has been asked to create a new kind of tool, which will be sent on to one of the other makers. The challenge, then, is to make a new object using or inspired by this tool.

During April the makers will be in residence at New Brewery Arts developing their work and sharing what has happened so far. Join them for a range of events and open studios to learn more and to get involved making your own imaginative tools.

Visit the shop to see an installation of the Makers & Tools project participants’ regular studio work. Gorgeous contemporary craft objects in textiles, woodwork, ceramics, glass, weaving, printmaking and jewellery.

You will be able to see all the objects created during the project in the Makers & Tools exhibition at Arts at the Old Fire Station in Oxford, 17 May – 15 June 2019.

About the project

The Makers & Tools project provides makers with the space and time to take risks in their practice, to explore new ways of collaborative working and to develop skills that will contribute to the success of their careers in contemporary craft. It provides valuable continuing professional development opportunities for makers in the SW and SE, and makes visible the process of craft makers to a wider public audience. The project is coordinated and curated by Melody Vaughan. Makers & Tools is funded in part by Arts Council England.

The Makers & Tools project makers are:
Angie Packer,
Christabel Balfour,
Harriet Elkerton,
Katy Welsh,
Rachel Jones-Jones
and Tim Evershed (Brook Studio).


Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Event: Makers & Tools project Open Studios

Date: Sat 13th & Sun 14th April
Times: 9am – 5pm on Saturday, 10am – 12pm on Sunday
Location: Sculpture Studio / Bingham Studio
Tickets/price: FREE drop-in

What have the Makers & Tools project makers been getting up to? Why not pop in to their studio to find out? See how their tools and objects have been created, hear the stories behind the objects and have a good old chat about how great tools are!


Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Event: Makers & Tools project Imaginary Tool Making workshop

Date: Sat 13th
Times: 2 – 5pm
Location: Bingham Studio
Tickets/price: FREE drop-in

Join the makers in a free drop-in workshop to create your own imaginary tool using foraged and junk materials.

Tools help us do things – there are lots of tools out there already, but what about the tools that don’t exist yet? Help us invent a new collection of imaginative tools. Is there a very specific problem you need to solve? Can you make a tool to help? What problems might we face in the future? What tools will we need then? What tools might people doing crazy jobs need? Can you make a tool for them? Let’s get crafty solving those tool dilemmas!

Suitable for everyone (young children will need adult assistance).


Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Event: ‘Speed dating’ networking event for makers

Date: Thurs 11th April
Times: 6pm
Location: Cafe
Tickets/price: FREE but booking required as numbers are limited
Scroll down to book

Are you a maker looking to connect with other makers and craft sector professionals in your area? Join us for a fun alternative to the usual networking events and meet everyone in the room!

This event is part of the Makers & Tools project – connecting makers in the SW and SE regions.


Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Event: Confident communication for creatives

Date: Fri 12th April
Times: 10am – 12pm
Location: tbc
Tickets/price: £40 Scroll down to book

Do you find it hard to talk about your work in public? Many contemporary craft makers and creatives don’t enjoy public speaking and yet you’re often asked to communicate in person at shows or exhibitions, as part of projects or conferences, or as guest speakers for student or public audiences. These situations are great opportunities to connect to your audience about the amazing work you do, so let’s deal with the anxiety and raise your confidence!

In this workshop we will:

  • Identify your anxieties about public speaking and how to overcome them

  • Find your natural, authentic voice so you can talk with confidence

  • Discover what makes public speaking successful

  • Learn tips & exercises to use when preparing for and doing any public speaking

This workshop is a safe and friendly space. You will not be asked to do any public speaking.

This workshop is led by creative consultant Melody Vaughan. She runs a creative consultancy that focuses on communication skills, particularly writing, offering support to makers in finding their voice, communicating about their practice and writing effective and exciting text for websites, applications and social media. Her approach is a friendly, conversational collaboration centred on dialogue and underpinned by a passion for communicating about making. From her previous career as a Museum Education Officer Melody has years of experience delivering talks to all ages and backgrounds.

This event is part of the Makers & Tools project – connecting makers in the SW and SE regions.


Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Photo: Yeshen Venema:

Event: In Conversation witH Linda Brothwell

Date: Sat 13th April
Times: 6pm
Location: cafe
Tickets/price: £25 Scroll down to book

Join New Brewery Arts CEO Beth Alden in conversation with artist Linda Brothwell as they discuss Linda’s work championing British craft skills and tools including the ‘Tool Appreciation Society’ exhibition and her ‘Handmade in Hull’ documentary on BBC4. A unique opportunity to gain insights into the creative practice of an artist at the forefront of debate in contemporary craft.

This event is part of the Makers & Tools project – connecting makers in the SW and SE regions. It has been kindly sponsored by Clayhill Arts in Somerset.

About the artist

Linda Brothwell (b.1981) is a visual artist renowned for initiating a repair movement in the arts. She is currently pioneering a new understanding of the significance of British crafts skills and tools illustrating the importance of their value to economic, social and cultural development. Her work has been included in several solo and group exhibitions, including the British Pavilion at Cheongju Biennial, S.Korea (2017), “l’usage des formes” Palais de Tokyo (2015) and “The Tool Appreciation Society” (2017) a solo exhibition with an accompanying award winning BBC4 Documentary “Handmade in Hull”. She currently lives and works in Bristol.


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