The National Festival of Making
The National Festival of Making is a unique celebration of UK making, from the factory floor to the kitchen table. Presenting a programme of work that combines Art, Manufacturing, Making and Communities - commissioning international and national artists to create world class works and participatory festival events that engage local audiences and increase culture seeking visitors to Blackburn and Lancashire.
Taking place over two festival days, with long term projects running throughout the year, the National Festival of Making takes over the streets of Blackburn with artist commissions, creative workshops, theatre, dance, music, digital & media technologies, STEAM, markets, food, performance, tours, talks and above all, an eclectic mix of making experiences for everyone to enjoy.
The Festival’s headline commissioning project, Art in Manufacturing - a co-commission between NFM and Super Slow Way, sees artists placed in residence in major manufacturers across Lancashire. Here they collaborate with workforces to make incredible new works from soundscapes to sculptures, presented at the Festival weekend.
Our inclusive and multi-generational programme provides significant opportunities for participation and attracts diverse audiences - welcoming more than 40,000 visitors in 2018.
In 2018 our evaluation showed that over there were 10,800 opportunities to MAKE at National Festival of Making! Audiences got hands on with 3D printing, turning a pot, making new digital music, making a mass clay sculpture, screen printing, crafting pewter jewellery, learning the engineering behind the classic paper plane & moulding copper roses - This is a Festival that celebrates all making - from STEAM to handcraft.
Research | Creative Direction | Programming | Project Management | Festival Direction | Arts Commissioning |Budget Control | Operations | Design, Marketing & PR Direction
Patrick Grant, Community Clothing
Art in Manufacturing is a commissioning programme designed to place major manufacturers at the heart of the Festival programme and provide a platform for multidisciplinary artists to make new work in industry.
Bella May Leonard + Silentnight | James Bloomfield + Darwen Terracotta | Jamie Holman + Roach Bridge Tissues | Grennan & Sperandio + Panaz | Jeni McConnell + Cookson & Clegg | Lazerian + Cardboard Box Company | Michelle Wren + Graham and Brown | Robyn Woolston + MGS Plastics |
Liz West + Graham & Brown | David Murphy + WEC Group | Dawinder Bansal + Domestic Makers | Sarah Hardacre + Surface Print | Martyn Ware + Multiple Manufacturers | Hannah Fox + Cardboard Box Company | Nicola Ellis + Ritherdon |
Daksha Patel + Blackburn Yarn Dyers | Liz Wilson + Spiroflow | Dan Edwards + The Senator Group | Anna Ray + Forbo Flooring | Amy Pennington + Heritage Envelopes |
Photography by Robin Zahler, Derren Lee Poole and Richard Tymon
The National Festival of Making is a Community Interest Company - Deco Publique Partners, Lauren Zawadzki & Elena Gifford are Festival of Making Directors, along with Wayne Hemingway MBE and Non Executive Director and independent artist, Jamie Holman.
We commission new original works, curate and produce the Festival with multiple partners and stakeholders, including with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council; Arts Council England’s Creative People & Places programme - Super Slow Way; Creative Lancashire; Source Creative and Perspective PR.