< Back to all contributors

As part of All Makers Now? we will be holding a series of conference workshops on the morning of Friday 11th July, see below for a list. Some of the workshops will have a limited of places and signup forms for these will be posted here nearer the conference dates.

Katie Bunnell

Katie Bunnell

Katie Bunnell, All Makers Now? Conference Convenor and Chair for Materiality and Aesthetics Affiliation: Autonomatic Falmouth University Key words: materiality and aesthetics, design practices, democratising technology Biog: Katie Bunnell is a ceramic designer-maker, researcher and leader of the Autonomatic research group at Falmouth University. Katie has an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art and completed a practice based PhD, “Integrating New Technologies into Ceramic Designer-Maker Practice” in 1998 and founded Autonomatic in 2003. Since then the group have established a reputation for practice-based research that explores the relationships between digital technologies and craft practices. The group consists of practitioner-researchers working in ceramics, metals, glass, textiles, wood and mixed media whose research is focussed on developing specialist digital craft skills and driven by the interests and needs of practices in the UK craft and designer-maker sector. Their work highlights the importance of specialist, high quality, small-scale production within the wider Digital Economy, creating a bridge between 20th century craft practices and 21st century manufacturing. The work of the group has featured in international public exhibitions and lectures, won significant national awards and prizes and influenced policy in the craft sector over the last 10 years. In 2013 HRH Prince Charles presented Autonomatic with the Craft Skills Spotlight Award in recognition of important work being done in digital skills across the sector. Their unique, open exploratory and hands on approach to working with digital tools has resulted in innovative processes and products and enabled them to develop new forms of collaborative and interdisciplinary...
Katie Bunnell

Katie Bunnell

Katie Bunnell, Andrew Smith and Oliver Hatfield Affiliation: Autonomatic, Falmouth University Key words: DIY CNC Tools, Expressive Mark Making, Ceramics Conference Activity: Workshop Friday 11th July Project summary: The Super Slip-Pi (sometimes affectionately known as the Toftomatic amongst ceramicists) is a digitally networked, computer numerically controlled machine for ceramic surface pattern decoration. Employing a Raspberry Pi, Arduino and Tiny G, Super Slip-Pi is a low cost digital system designed to provide an inspiring demonstration of the ways in which the internet and digital production can come together as part of a distributed production chain for artisan ceramics. The machine incorporates a digital  interface that enables users to create and upload imagery remotely via the web and aims to facilitate playful engagement in the production of ceramic tile designs. As a work in progress we invite conference participants to have a go and contribute their responses to it. So come to play! One question that arises from your project: What do Craft practitioners have to contribute to the development of digital tools and...
Anthony Quinn, Emily Clare Thorn, Steve Benford, Boriana Koleva, Richard Mortier

Anthony Quinn, Emily Clare Thorn, Steve Benford, Boriana Koleva, Richard Mortier

We are all programmers now! The hand crafting of visual recognition codes. Anthony Quinn, Emily Clare Thorn, Prof Steve Benford, Prof Boriana Koleva, Prof Richard Mortier Affiliation: University of Nottingham, Central Saint Martins, Aestheticodes Limited Key words: Creativity, Interaction, Design Conference activity: Presentation Thurs 10th July, Demonstration Fri 11th July Project summary: Aestheticodes is a new image recognition system that is based on the act of drawing. The transition from computer generated QR codes to a more aesthetically pleasing hand crafted aestheticode presents an exciting opportunity though not without some challenges of interacting with such patterns. Images can be encoded by following a simple set of drawing rules that enable an interaction using a smart phone. The aestheticodes system makes the generation of human computer interaction more unique, more playful, more crafted and more human. This Paper will explore the idea of designing beautiful imagery and decorative patterns that contain multiple visual codes. It will document the iterative design process, wherein the designers learned to work with and creatively exploit the technology, enriching their patterns with embellishments and backgrounds and developing strategies for embedding codes into complex designs. We argue for a transition from designing ‘codes to patterns’ that reflects the skills of designers alongside the development of new technologies and new image recognition possibilities. The paper will present future potentials for the application of aestheticodes and raise questions around the implementation of aestheticodes in the real world. The aestheticodes team will also provide a demonstration of the technology wherein participants will learn to ‘program’ their own aestheticode. References: Meese R, Ali S, Thorne E, Benford S, Quinn A,...
Katharina Vones

Katharina Vones

Technological Microcosms – Considering Materiality, Aesthetic Coherence and Collaborative Practice in the Creation of Wearable Futures Katharina Vones  Affiliation: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee Conference Activity: Presentation Thurs 10th July, Workshop Fri 11th July, Pop Up Exhibition, Trelissick House Keywords: Smart Materials, Wearable Futures, Collaborative Practice Project summary: With the increased availability of digital tools to the contemporary craft practitioner providing an almost limitless potential for creation, the questions posed regarding the development of a coherent aesthetic language that combines both the handmade and the digitally crafted, have become progressively more pressing in the applied arts. To use these elements in such a way that they can be merged into an aesthetically articulate object combined with traditional craftsmanship is a challenge my research investigates. Visual and functional considerations are addressed together, thus developing material and technological solutions that constitute a cohesive part of the jewellery object. Exploring a holistic approach whereby material experimentation and digital production processes are used to facilitate the development of aesthetically integrated and humanised wearable technologies that supersede ideas of mere gadgetry is a focus of my practice. Through examining the notion that human biology is a part of material culture, my presentation investigates how recent developments in material science and wearable technologies can be viewed as contiguous rather than oppositional to the organic processes of the human body, bridging the gap between the craft practitioner and scientific discovery. The increasing availability of stimulus-reactive smart materials, in addition to the progressive miniaturisation of electromechanical components, has enabled the development of jewellery objects that are responsive to their environment, yet depend...
Dries Verbruggen

Dries Verbruggen

The digital craftsman and his tools Dries Verbruggen Affiliation: Unfold design studio, LUCA School of Arts, Design Academy Eindhoven Keywords: 3D Printing, Ceramics, Design, Tools, Open Source, Craft, Industry. Conference activity: Presentation Thurs 10th July, Workshop Fri 11th July and Exhibit Project summary: From knife to hammer to 3d printer, the influence of tools on a design is not to be underestimated. In his essay “Tools,” originally published in 2000 in a book covering the work of LettError, Jan Middendorp argues for the importance of creating your own tools. He refers to the fact that a craftsman, the predecessor of the designer, was never completely satisfied with the tools that were sold in shops. Yet for a long time the instruments of production have been closed systems, discouraging appropriation. This is now changing. Following the personal computer and a range of digital advances, the advent of the personal digital fabricator has lowered the barrier into production and provoked a revival of the idea of “making your own things.” Unfold started to ‘customize’ their 3D printer into a clay printer. The open source hardware allows them – similar to traditional craftsmen – to create their own tools. By doing so they break away from a predetermined way of designing, dictated by the existing digital tools. As such, they can thoroughly intervene in the production process, and therefore also in the eventual design. Unfold’s 3d printer for ceramics not only harnesses the potential of new technology and materials but also projects the past history of specific techniques into the future. The printer has a great resonance with the way traditional potters...
Philip Luscombe, James Thomas

Philip Luscombe, James Thomas

Connoisseurship in Digital Engraving: The Petra Sancta Script Philip Luscombe, James Thomas Affiliation: Northumbria University Keywords: Engraving; Software development; Craftsmanship Conference activity: Presentation Thurs 10th July, Demonstration Fri 11th July, Pop Up Exhibition, Trelissick House Project summary: In the context of increasing access to digitally controlled engraving machines (both laser and rotary cutting machines), we consider how the body of knowledge developed throughout the long history of engraving can be supported in vector graphics software. The Petra Sancta system for translating the colours of heraldry into specific hatching patterns was developed in the 1630s and is still observed in heraldic engraving today. It offers a collection of 9 patterns, developed to provide an attractive and legible contrast with one another (Brittain et al., 1958, p.32). We present a piece of software developed by the authors, the Petra Sancta Adobe Illustrator plug-in, which can be used to generate these hatching patterns and output vector format files that are widely compatible with digitally controlled engraving hardware. The Petra Sancta plug-in is an effort to support the shared principles and rules of a traditional craft in digital software. Drawing on the work of anthropologist François Sigaut, who observes that ‘the entire history of technics might be interpreted as a constantly renewed attempt to build skills into machines by means of algorithms, an attempt constantly failed because other skills always tend to develop around the new machines’ (Sigaut, 1994, p.446), we see no need to lament the loss of hand skill associated with new digital engraving techniques. Trades such as engraving have always used novel tools and techniques to improve the precision and...
Jonathan Keep

Jonathan Keep

Make Your Own Digital Tool – Hard & Soft Jonathan Keep, Independent Artist Keywords: Ceramic, 3D Printing, Code Conference activity: Demonstration Fri 11th July, Pop Up Exhibition Trelissick House Project summary: There is a long tradition of people who ‘make’, also making their own tools. While making has moved into the digital age, with all the advantages and new ways of working on offer, ultimately we must not forget that that it is just the continuum of a long established tradition: materials, process and the human desire to express ourselves through what we make remains. Being fascinated by how computer code can be used to mimic natural codes, patterns and processes I have developed a working process whereby the shapes of my pots are written and generated in computer code. This digital information is then printed directly in clay with a studio based DIY 3D printer. Credit goes to Belgium design duo UNFOLD who first refined the ceramic extrusion 3D printing technique. I have picked up on that development and because of the lack of a readily available 3D printer to convert to printing with clay I have designed and documented a self-build ceramic 3D printer of my own. This is the hard tool, that by sharing on the Internet, it is hoped the open source community will continue to develop further. It is important to emphasise that the tool building was not driven by an interest in the technology but by what the technology could offer creatively – the tools are a means to an end and not the end in themselves. The soft tools are best thought of...
Angharad Thomas

Angharad Thomas

The Glove Project Dr Angharad Thomas Affiliation: The Knitting and Crochet Guild, UK Keywords: Making, designing, skill Conference activity: Presentation Thurs 10th July, Workshop Fri 11th July, Pop Up Exhibition Trelissick House Project summary: The Glove Project includes design, making, blogging and historical research, resulting in the production of about 20 pairs of hand knitted gloves, alongside sketchbooks, interviews and conference papers. The gloves are made by hand, but the project relies on electronic and digital technologies, some examples being: Sourcing patterns, materials and historic examples on line Sourcing information and advice has been facilitated through Ravelry, the wiki for knitters and crocheters The knittingloves blog, documents progress and connects to other knitters. The design philosophy underpinning this project draws its inspiration from makers and design thinkers, primarily Eva Zeisel, with her roots in production ceramics and Anni Albers whose Modernist stance informed her woven textiles. David Pye’s conceptualisations of workmanship, as those of certainty and risk are also relevant. Knitting has been at the forefront of the making movement, said to be a response to the 9/11 attacks in New York in 2001, as the ultimate comfort activity. This has been largely led by self taught knitters who use web tools, such as Ravelry and YouTube to learn, teach and refine new techniques and increase skill levels. The use of these tools has enabled them to establish themselves as significant figures in the knitting landscape with little or no formal design education. Much information on the making process is shared through blogs, Ravelry and Twitter. In response to the growth of knitting and other crafts, small producers of all...
Lucie Hernandez, Edwin Love

Lucie Hernandez, Edwin Love

Crafting Data Stories Lucie Hernandez & Edwin Love Affiliation: University of West London Keywords: Craft, Tangible, Data Conference activity: Workshop/Demonstration Fri 11th July Project summary: This demonstration will deconstruct a recent piece of research exploring the possibility of making connections between physical, crafted artefacts and graphical data visualisations that are structured around digital information. The work investigates the design of tangible objects as a representation of data, a rendering in physical form. In order to establish whether technological forms may also be crafted. It questions whether the ‘crafting’ implied in the work occurred during the creation of the physical artifact. The tangible nature of the representation relates our experience of mediated communication to a crafted object. The notion of craft practice has expanded to include growing experimentation across media to create hybrid constructions. Craft techniques are now integrating with electronic & digital knowledge, tools and processes to suggest new directions and possibilities. Graphic and tangible pieces may be the product of more than one individual, the result of several skilled people that use their distributed skills to connect otherwise disparate ideas and skills. The work being explored is informed by digital and handmade making practices, emerging hybrid forms and computationally mediated worlds. References: Goldsteijn, C. Van De Hoven, E. Frohlich, D, Sellen, A., 2013. Hybrid Crafting: Towards an Integrated Practice of Crafting with Physical and Digital Components. Personal & Ubiquitous Computing, Springer McCandless, D., 2012. Information is Beautiful. Collins McCullough, M., 1996. Abstracting Craft. MIT Press A question that arises from your project: Can data be crafted in tangible forms to reveal stories or patterns and suggest a multi-sensory dimension? Full...
Melanie Bowles, Emma Neuberg

Melanie Bowles, Emma Neuberg

Gifts and Occupations – CANCELLED! The People’s Print – Melanie Bowles & Dr Emma Neuberg Affiliation: The People’s Print, TED Textile Environmental Design, The Slow Textiles Group, Textile Futures Research Center, Open Fashion Design Network Keywords: Democratic, digital, textiles Conference activity: Workshop Project summary: The People’s Print invites you to participate in a workshop designed to explore democratic models for textile design employing demonstrations, discussion, activity and dialogue that challenge hierarchical and egocentric models of design. This event works through the breadth of exciting options for the wearer to be at the centre of their design process, During the workshop we will look at the ‘real’ opportunities available for the public to create their own design work focusing on digital print technology, e-learning/commerce systems and expanding online communities. A key focus of the workshop is to address whether the proposed models can act to counter the negative effects of mass consumerism, fast fashion and globalisation by, essentially, investing in people’s innate creativity and giving them the confidence, vision and tools to create bespoke products for themselves and their communities. During the workshop we will offer the participants a ‘hands on’ activity to create artwork and demonstrate the process to create the complete DIY cycle to create, print, make, wear and share. The activity ‘gifts & occupation’ is inspired by the work of educationalist, pedagogue and kindergarten founder Friedrich Froebel and aims to offer a ‘tool box’ for future developments. www.thepeoplesprint.com References: Fletcher, K., 2008, Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys, London: Earthscan. Brosterman, N., 1997. Inventing Kindergarten, New York: Abrams. A question that arises from your project: What might a textile...