Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Designers Resolutions 6 - Collaborations

Yes, I've been out and about, and last night I spent a very enjoyable evening with the creative people I've met through Creative Twinning

The event was called Designers Resolutions 6 - Collaboration and was held at Antenna in Nottingham's Creative Quarter. The evening involved several presentations in the Pecha Kucha style, which consists of 20 slides of images and 20 seconds of talk about each slide. The theme was 'Collaboration' which was very apt and topical as this theme is at the heart of Creative Twinning and everything it stands for. It was great to hear from artists and designer-makers from a wide variety of disciplines and to hear about creative collaborations with other makers, collaborations between materials, and collaborations with others and how they have been inspired to produce their work. It gave a great perspective on the meaning of 'collaboration' and how we all interpret it. Very inspirational.

It was a great way to get an insight into some of the fantastic designer makers taking part in the Creative Twinning Project in Nottingham. Even the Creative Twins from our twinned town of Karlruhe in Germany took part, and I admire their courage, creativity and flair (for me the thought of speaking like this in my own language is terrifying enough but to do it in German.....)

There was also live music and the tree which I had been working on a few weeks ago formed part of the back drop of the music stage. A great night out, shame it was on a Tuesday and I had to be up early for work today!! The events continue at NottinghamContemporary on Friday. Please see the Creative Twinning website and facebook page for details.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Been away a while....

I've been away for a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation after my manic September. We spent a week in Madeira and then a few days in our caravan in Derbyshire and had a really lovely time. I hate to say it but our first week has re-confirmed what we probably always thought... we don't really 'do' hotels. Don't get me wrong they are great for a short city break but we much prefer the freedom of self-catering and being able to please ourselves (and make a cuppa when we fancy it!). All said, it was a lovely fortnight break but we both seemed to think we had a better time in our caravan for the few sunny days we spent at Chatsworth!! Plus the autumnal colours here are just amazing at the moment so it was great to get out and do some walking with our dog!

So now it's time to get back into 'creativity' and I think there is so much on my to-do list it's going to take me most of tomorrow to write it!! Creative Twinning and the up-coming exciting events will be occupying some of my October but having seen my bank balance I think it's time to get some more work out to my stockists. Emerge exibition will be ending soon but I have a few more things in the pipeline before Christmas. I also heard last week I've been accepted for the Harley Christmas Market which will take place over the last weekend in November. I've applied a couple of times before so am very chuffed to have been accepted this year.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Creative Twinning - Part 3 - The Vision

Having spoken to the three founder members of Creative Twinning I've definitely got a lot more of an idea of what it's all about and I can't wait to see  how it all develops. I asked the three founders to say a few words about how they see it developing and this is what they had to say about their message....

'Creative Practitioners are often labelled as hobby / lifestyle business (and yes those types of business do exist), we want to get across that you have to be driven and to be strong; as we are not just a business, we create our own product innovation and put our name to it – we are determined. We work hard and have to invent ways to not just sustain our business but to grow them in challenging times. Creating and valuing in a different way.'

The first Creative Twinning event that I will be part of will be taking place on Friday October 26th at Nottingham Contemporary. It's called 'Inspire and Unite' - an eco-design showcase of the creative work on from Debbie, Hannah and Jayne, whose work you can see below...

Textiles by Debbie Bryan

Hannah Lobley's recycled paper

Work by JC Middlebrook

As well as their own work, three designers from Karlruhe will be exhibiting, the group of designer-makers who attended Eunique in 2012 and also the newest members of Creative Twinning from Design Factory, of whom I am one!

As well as the opportunity to admire this gorgeous selection of work which will be displayed downstairs in The Space at Nottingham Contemporary, there will be the chance to meet and mingle with students and tutors from South Notts College to find out how the next generation of creatives is being inspired by such collaborative projects, and you can network with some of Creative Twinnings Business Partners as well as an array of top local innovators and businesses. There will be a couple of talks about Creative Business in the City and there's also live music from Georgie Rose. So it should be a great day. Come and join us if you can!!

Creative Twinning Founder Members said 'We want to demonstrate to overseas visitors the potential of creative Nottingham and East Midlands, to show that creative practitioners have their place within the city deal, we want to raise the profile of this exciting project by liaising with other designers & key supporting partners here in Nottingham and overseas and to promote and develop creative business in our fantastic city and abroad!'

Monday, 1 October 2012

Creative Twinning - Part 2

Creative Twinning is all about creating opportunities, sharing a passion for sustainable products and promoting good design here in the East Midlands.

Earlier this year the Creative Twinning Partnership- Nottingham designers Debbie Bryan, Jayne Childs and Hannah Lobley- invited applications from designers and makers in the East Midlands to join them in events and opportunities that would promote and sell their work, highlight the creative industries and create working relationships locally and internationally. They were looking for like minded designers who share their enthusiasm and show commitment to this philosophy, who want to enhance, grow and highlight Nottingham and East Midland designer/makers.

I thought this seemed like too good an opportunity to miss so I applied and have been accepted to be part of this project and I'm blogging about the whole experience to highlight to other creatives the benefits and power of collaboration. I wanted to find out a little bit more about the whole project so I asked Debbie, Hannah and Jayne a few questions, and this is what they had to say....

Me: So how did you all manage to secure support for your venture?
CT: For our first trip to Eunique in Karlsruhe we were successful in securing Arts Council Lottery funding which helped us produce more marketing and stand material for the show. Future Factory part of Nottingham Trent University helped to support our exchange visit from 3 Karlsruhe designers in October 2011, with events held in the Paul Smith Room at the Broadway in Nottingham and an exhibition at the Lace Market Gallery. In May 2012 Design Factory became an enthusiastic supporter of our philosophy and European showcases and provided a bursary for the 9 Creative Twinning Designers to exhibit at Eunique.

Me: So do you feel as though you are fulfilling what you set out to do?
CT: That and so much more, the interest in what began as a small project has snowballed as other organisations have understood and supported what we are trying to achieve. Design Factory, South Nottingham College- Creative Twinning designers will be mentoring students (the next generation of creatives) in a year long project in how to build and sustain a creative business, Future Factory – Nottingham Trent University, Designer Forum, Designer Resolutions, Antenna, Nottingham City Council & Invest in Nottingham, Karlsruhe City Council and Eunique are all part of the network of connections we have formed.

Me: What is your vision of Creative Twinning for the future?
CT: World Domination!!! We will be returning with more East Midland designers to Eunique in June 2013. We have plans for new cities to ‘Twin with’ in the pipeline, but that is to be unveiled when we have more information…watch this space

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