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Collaborative Kaleidoscope 2017 – Overview

Making Lewes’s autumn 2017 series of talks turned into an impromptu mini-festival, though happening over a longer than usual six-week time frame. The title referred to Making Lewes’s range of themes encompassed by the talks. The six evening events, running from late September through to early November, were hosted in Lewes’s newest arts venue, Fitzroy House. A one-time Victorian library, by George Gilbert Scott – architect of St Pancras Station Hotel – its Neo-Gothic atmosphere is particularly powerful in the main octagonal library room where the talks were held.

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We welcomed Anne Mette Hjortshøj all the way from the Baltic Sea island, Bornholm, known across Europe as a centre for crafts and particularly, ceramics.

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Anne Mette’s warmly appealing talk, about her and the island’s pottery traditions, told with a lightness of touch easily won over the Lewes audience.  Alongside Anne Mette, Lewes’s very own Tanya Gomez  gave an equally absorbing talk about her ceramic works and the connections with the sea and traveling. Both speakers were part of the larger Making Lewes – Collaborative Kaleidoscope launch event, mixing a sit-down vegetarian supper in between talks, along with a showcase exhibition of invited Sussex potters titled Cooked, Baked and Fired Again.

 

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Our next two evenings were given over to architects, though very different types of architects. Nabeel Hamdi is internationally recognised in the development field for his work on participatory processes and community engagement in housing and other building projects in many parts of the developing world. Hamdi’s talk, titled Building a Humanitarian Architecture: Deciding Interventions, was lapped up by an audience of committed Lewesians.

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The following week Duncan Baker-Brown, Lewes’s very own high profile eco-architect and one half of BBM Sustainable Architecture, packed Fitzroy House out so that we were having to turn folks away even before the evening started. The night was in effect a book launch for his recently published The Re-Use Atlas, ML partnering with Baker-Brown. The talk profiled projects across different – if primarily European – parts of the world, which are leading the way towards realising the circular economy, through re-use, upcycling and Cradle-to-Cradle approaches to sustainability. The audience were sent home dreaming of how Lewes might also, maybe actually really,enact one or two of these inspiring examples.

 

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Following on from the Baker-Brown evening, ML temporarily rehoused itself in Studio Hardie’s workshop at the far end of the Phoenix Estate for a double bill of woody related evening talks. This again was a partnership, this time with Ditchling Arts + Crafts Museum. The two speakers were Fred Baier, one of the true originals of the furniture making and design world, and the young Polish artist, Anna Bera, who had literally just completed her art residency at the museum, the previous dat. Baier gave a characteristically one-off and unique window into his work and life, mixing comedy and gravitas and leaving the audience rolling in the ailses, and calling out for an encore. Before this Bera had talked in conversation with the British Council’s Gian Luca Amadeil. ML’s audience headed for home with a warm glow on their faces, and probably in their hearts as well.

 

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Earlier in the afternoon Bera and ML’s artist member Zuky Serper ran a very successful open Pop Up workshop in the Linklater Pavilion on the Railway Land Nature Reserve. Both artists have long worked with children, and it was particularly re-affirming to see and hear so many children with their parents, intently hammering, sawing, knocking and generally bashing away.

 

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Back in Fitzroy House, the fifth and penultimate of the talks was again all about children, though also about how children and adults can co-learn together. Emily Charkin from WIlderness Wood, talked about her and her lapsed architect partner Dan Morrish’s reason’s for taking over Wilderness Wood in Hadlow Down and turning it into an experiment in open wild learning. Charkin’s Learning through Building talk made a persuasive case for the creativity and learning whichhappens when children – and adults – work, make, and build together in the outdoor without walls world. Charkin’s children, who she invited to also talk, spoke confidently about the experience from their perspectives, making a yet more persuasive case for wild learning happening down in the woods.

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Finally, all the way from Reykjavik, Iceland, Hans Johannsson, arrived to give a mind-expanding presentation on violin-making in the 21st century. The wild northern island’s principle luthier, Johannsson has also turned his attention to a series of experiments aimed at broadening the understanding of both what violins could be in the new century – why no art nouveau violin, why no modernist violin? He asked  – and answered universal questions about the nature of sound and tone. Johannsson, a master craftsman and maker, is an inspiring illustration of just how far one can go with radical sonic ideas and technologies, while maintaining a fundamental link with the craft, if the curiosity and culture of questioning is there. It may have been the most ambitious of the talks conceptually given over the six weeks, but it left those present thought-provoked about the role, nature and possibilities of what it means to be a maker or crafts-person, if imagination and a taste for adventure are present and willing.

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Hans Johannsson – Icelands 21st Century Violin Maker – Nov 3rd

Join us on Friday for the last of this years Collaborative Kaleidoscope talks series, from Icelandic stringed instrument maker, Hans Johannson.

November 3rd8pm at Fitzroy House, 10 High Street, Lewes BN7 2AD

All the way from Reykjavik, Iceland, Johannson is the country’s principal luthier and violin-maker, and is the last speaker in the Living and working in the capital Johannsson has been practicing his music instrument craft since completing studies and training at Britain’s principal Newark School of Violin Making.

Alongside traditional violin making, Johannsson’s music and sonic interests are broad. He has developed a series of Twenty First century violins and other experimental stringed instruments, collaborating with fellow Icelandic artists and musicians, including Olafur Eliasson, and his son Ulfur Hansson, and is involved in various experimental acoustics research projects.

In association with Fourth Door 

Emily Charkin – Wilderness Wood – Learning through Building – 27th OCT

October 27th8pm at Fitzroy House, 10 High Street, Lewes BN7 2AD

Emily Charkin is one half of the husband and wife partnership, who have turned Wilderness Wood in Hadlow Down, Sussex, into an inspirational and thriving centre for children and adults to learn and work together.

Charkin will explore the educational value of the experience of co-making and building for both children and adults, alongside Wilderness Wood’s place within the radical education tradition.  For anyone interested in active learning beyond the classroom walls and school gates.

Talks are free though with a £5 suggested donation (to support continuing Making Lewes programming)

Fred Baier & Anna Bera – Furniture Art & Wood Design – Oct 20th

This week we bring you two woody talks, continuing our Collaborative Kaleidoscope series, with invited speakers who have both used wood in pioneering and unusual ways. This time though (and appropriately), we will be hosting at the Studio Hardie workshop.

October 20th, 7pm – 9.30pm at Studio Hardie, Phoenix Works, Lewes BN7 2PE (map

* Please note Studio Hardie is a workshop and not a heated arts venue. Wear warm clothes!

Furniture maker & artist Fred Baier’s work is as individual and flamboyant as the man himself. Starting off in woodwork, Baier has been traveling a singular path, one foot in the 3D design world, the other in ‘Dan Dare’ meets Roxy Music Space Age retro-futurism. With his pioneering use of Computer Aided Design (CAD-CAM) in the 1980’s, Baier has been at the forefront of fusing together analogue and digital making, and taking wood based furniture design places others don’t.

With characteristic oddball panache Baier’s has titled his talk Form Swallows Function – crossing the analogue/digital divide. Miss it at your peril.

Anna Bera is the young artist-in-residence at Ditchling Arts + Crafts Museum, as part of their autumn exhibition, New Truth to Materials: Wood where – by the time she speaks on Friday – she will have just completed an artwork inspired by materials and place.

From Poland, Bera is particularly interested in natural materials, and has worked using wood on her Wild Children projectsBera will be in conversation with Gian Luca Amadei from the Architecture Design Fashion team at British Council in London.

The talks are in partnership with Ditchling Arts + Crafts Museum.
Cover image: Anna Bera. photo: Emilia Oksentowicz

Wild Children & Wonky Toys Workshop – Oct 20th

October 20th, 3.30 – 5.30pm at the Linklater Pavilion, Railway Land, Lewes BN7 2FG (map)

All are welcome to Wonky Toys & Wild Children. A wooden toy making workshop for children accompanied by an adult, and adults nursing their inner child. The workshop is led by Zuky Serper and Anna Bera, following Serper’s popular workshop in the Turkish Baths during Make Lewes Festival 2016.

The workshop is in partnership with Ditchling Arts + Crafts Museum, and is part of Making Lewes’s Collaborative Kaleidoscope series of events. Booking available here.

Cover image by Zuky Serper

Collaborative Kaleidoscope Sept 29th – Nov 3rd

This autumn Making Lewes presents Collaborative Kaleidoscope, a series of events celebrating the richness and diversity of local, national and global makers. Fridays 29th September – 3rd November

Launch event – Cooked, Baked and Fired Again

Friday September 29th 18.30 prompt at Fitzroy House, Lewes BN7 2AD

Sit-down vegetarian supper and showcase of ceramics by invited East Sussex potters.

Talks by ceramicists – Anne Mette Hjortshoj from Bornholm, Denmark and Tanya Gomez from Lewes.

Tickets £22.50 (includes vegetarian mezze supper, cake and a complimentary drink) Pay bar available. Book online through eventbrite.co.uk search makinglewes. Or click the link.

Ceramics showcase open to the general public Saturday, September 30th, 11–16.00. All items for sale

Collaborative Kaleidoscope continues with talks and workshops. All talks are free though with a £5 suggested donation (to support continuing Making Lewes programming)

Nabeel Hamdi – development & social architecture

20.00, Friday October 6 at Fitzroy House BN7 2AD

Duncan Baker-Brown (Lewes) – materials re-use and circular economy

20.00, Friday October 13 at Fitzroy House BN7 2AD

Fred Baier + Anna Bera – furniture making and wood design

19.00, Friday October 20 at Studio Hardie Lewes BN7 2PE

Wonky Toys and Wild Children children’s and family workshop

15.30 – 17.30, Friday October 20 at the Linklater Pavilion Lewes BN7 2FG

Emily Charkin, Wilderness Wood – Learning through building

20.00, Friday October 27 at Fitzroy House BN7 2AD

Hans Johannson, (Iceland) – stringed instrument and violin maker

20.00, Friday November 3 at Fitzroy House BN7 2AD


Speakers and event info in more depth

September 29th – Anne Mette and Tanya Gomez

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Anne Mette Hjortshøj is one of Bornholm’s leading potters, the Danish Baltic Sea island with a worldwide ceramics and craft culture reputation.

Tanya Gomez  – Over the last ten years Gomez has been developing a dedicated following for her ceramic work, gaining recognition nationally and was a recent recipient of an Arts Council Grant for a showcase piece at this years Crafts Council’s Collect Open show.

October 6th – Nabeel Hamdi

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Hamdi is Emeritus Professor of Housing and Urban Development at Oxford Brookes University. Hamdi’s focus is social, urban housing and international development and is known across the development sector. He has provisionally titled his talk Building a Humanitarian architecture: Deciding Interventions.

October 13th – Duncan Baker-Brown

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Baker-Brown is a co-founder of the respected Lewes based BBM Sustainable Design studio, architect of the Wastehouse, (which highlights re-use and recycling in building materials), and author of recently published The Re-Use Atlas. The evening is centred around his new book.

October 20th Fred Baier, Furniture Maker + Anna Bera

(at Studio Hardie, Phoenix Works, Lewes BN7 2PE)

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Fred Baier – Internationally renowned furniture maker, Baier pioneered the use of computer aided design in furniture making in the 1980’s, and has been at the forefront of drawing together analogue and digital making in the decades since. Baier’s talk is titled Form Swallows Function – crossing the analogue/digital divide.

Anna Bera, Polish artist and the British Councilʼs European programmes manager Gian Luca Amadei in conversation.

Bera is Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft current artist-in-residence as part of their autumn exhibition, New Truth to Materials: Wood. From Poland, Bera is particularly interested in natural materials, and has worked using wood on her Wild Children projects.

October 20th – 15.30 – 17.30 – Wonky Toys and Wild Children Workshop

(at the Linklater Pavilion, Railway Ln, Lewes BN7 2FG)

An ‘all are welcome’ Wonky Toys workshop for children accompanied by an adult led by Lewes artist Zuky Serper  with Anna Bera, reprising Zuky’s very successful workshop during the Make Lewes Festival 2016 in the Turkish Baths.

The workshop and talks evening are in partnership with Ditchling Arts + Crafts Museum

October 27th Emily Charkin

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Charkin is one half of the partnership, who have turned Wilderness Wood in Hadlow Down into an inspirational centre for children and adults to learn together through outdoor self-building and making. With extensive educational experience Charkin’s talk will explore the educational value of making and building for children and Wilderness Wood’s place within the radical education tradition.

November 3rd– Hans Johannsson

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Johannson is Iceland’s principal stringed instrument and violin-maker, living and working in Reykjavik. Alongside the craft of traditional violin making, Johannsson has also developed a series of twenty first century violins and other stringed instruments, collaborating with fellow Icelandic artists and musicians, including Olafur Eliasson.

For further information email info@makinglewes.org

Duncan Baker-Brown – The Re-Use Atlas book launch – Oct 13th

Making Lewes’s Collaborative Kaleidoscope teams up with local architect Duncan Baker-Brown for the Lewes launch of his new book The Re-Use Atlas.

October 13th, 8pm at Fitzroy House, 10 High Street, Lewes BN7 2AD

The Re-Use Atlas is an up to the minute repository of information, knowledge and working examples of materials re-use, signposting where the Circular Economy is heading. The Atlas follows on from Baker-Brown’s award winning Wastehouse project, the first building comprising (almost) entirely re-used and re-cycled materials, and  located at the South Eastern edge of Brighton University’s Grand Parade site.

Baker-Brown is one half of BakerBrownMcKay Sustainable Design, along with joint founder and director Ian McKay. The practice has produced a long string of exemplar sustainably designed buildings in and around the town.

For the Friday evening talk, Baker-Brown has invited Transition Town Lewes’s (and Lewes Phoenix Rising) Juliet Oxborrow to chair the evening, and has brought together a panel comprising Prof. Graeme Brooker (Head of Programme Interior Design at the Royal College of Art), Prof. Anne Boddington (Interim Dean  of Kingston School of Art, Professor of Design) Nick Gant (Principal Lecturer, Founder Community 21, Brighton University School of Architecture and Design), Bryn Thomas from Brighton Permaculture Trust and Making Lewes’s Oliver Lowenstein.

For those interested in the sustainable buzz around the Circular Economy the launch should make for a thought provoking evening.

Talks are free though with a £5 suggested donation (to support continuing Making Lewes programming)
Cover photo: The Living’s Local, Sustainable, 10,000 Brick Mushroom Tower at MoMA PS1. Photo: Andrew Nunes

 

 

 

 

Nabeel Hamdi – Building a Humanitarian architecture – Oct 6th

Collaborative Kaleidoscope continues with a Social & Development Architecture talk from Nabeel Hamdi.

October 6th, 8pm at Fitzroy House, 10 High Street, Lewes BN7 2AD

Hamdi is an architect and development specialist, with an international reputation for his work in the spheres of social and community participation, housing and urban development. Hamdi is Emeritus professor of Oxford Brookes University Centre for Development and Emergency Practice. Both his work and books, including Small Change, have significantly influenced the current new wave of development focused architects, such as Anna Heringer  and this year’s Serpentine Pavilion designer, Francis Kere .

Making Lewes is pleased to welcome Hamdi to Lewes, where his talk, titled Building a Humanitarian architecture: Deciding Interventions, continues our humanitarian architecture themed evenings, which began with World on the Move during last years Make Lewes Festival 2016. It promises to be a fascinating evening.

This Fridays talk is also another fantastic opportunity to visit the recently opened Fitzroy house, Lewes’s newest Arts Centre.

Fitzroy House, designed by George Gilbert Scott, was built in 1862. This striking example of Victorian Neo-Gothic architecture became the town’s first library between 1897 and 1956.

Talks are free though with a £5 suggested donation (to support continuing Making Lewes programming)
Cover photo: Anna Heringer – METI school, Bangladesh.

 

The Lewes Maker Space

A Maker Space for the 21st Century

Making Lewes is developing plans for an original and distinctive Lewes Maker Space.

With Lewes District Council’s rethink decision on the future of the Turkish Baths (see here), on thursday, 23rd February 2017, Making Lewes will be submitting a more detailed proposals for our envisaging of the Maker Space.

Download our first draft lewes-maker-space-v1 and let us know what you think. Email us if you want to get involved – info@makinglewes.org

The Lewes Maker Space will be a community and educational hub for the town and environs while also acting at the national and international level.

Our aim is to create a distinctive, cross-disciplinary and individual Maker Space, reflecting and helping maintain Lewes’s great individual sensibility, identity and character. Continue reading The Lewes Maker Space