2025 Festival Dates: 5 & 6 July

Make With the Manufacturer Workshops

Enter our factory floor and experience eight workshops specially devised for the National Festival of Making by Manchester-based collective Makers Dozen.

Breathing new life into rare skills and giving factory floor processes a contemporary twist: Make with the Manufacturer is our on-site factory floor, bustling with creativity and craft. Take a seat at the production line and get to involved with our range of lively and engaging making activities, whether working with materials by hand, getting busy with specialist implements or even making the tools themselves!

Makers Dozen have been touring the factories of Pennine Lancashire, taking in the manufacturing magnificence at Star Tissue, Silent Night, Roach Bridge Tissues and WEC Group and other to find the spirit of the endangered crafts that built the factories. In their workshops you’ll find the pride, ingenuity and timelessness of rare making methods and get to grips with the materials and techniques yourself.

Workshops will include…

  1. Making Biscuit Bricks – Cherrytree Bakery, Brick making
  2. Mixing mortar and brick laying – Cardboard Box Co., Brick making
  3. Language of Craft – WEC, Bookbinding
  4. Printing wallpaper, Star Tissue, Wallpaper making
  5. Perpetual Paper Pulping, Roach Bridge tissue co, Paper making
  6. Brush and mark making workshop, Silentnight, Brush making
  7. Component Tatting, Weisters, Tatting & embroidery
  8. Pin making workshop, BCW Manufacturing, Jewellery making

Who are the Maker’s Dozen?


‘Joshua Dodds designs objects as means of understanding human interaction with the physical world, and to find new ways of progressing his understanding of materials and making, using the principles of design. He designs in a way that tries to be socially responsible, transparent and utilitarian. He creates objects with a strong visual identity and narrative and thinks process driven design is a good tool for realising these ideas.’


Bella May Leonard is an artist whose practice centres around hand stitch, exploring the presence of the human hand through embroidery and its many cultural contexts. Since graduating, her work has been informed by skill based residencies in Mexico, research trips to India and commissions from institutions such as the Whitworth Art Gallery, Ruthin Craft Centre and Gawthorpe Textiles Collection. Last year for the National Festival of Making 2017, Bella worked on a residency where she responded to the heritage and materials of Silent Night’s mattress factory. Bella currently is an arts support worker in an activity and advice centre for people who are experiencing homelessness.


Kate is a designer and educator, and her work is all about collaboration and participation, across disciplines, materials and audiences. Since completing her MA in Design and Art Direction, she has developed her practice as Social Making, a collaborative design process focused on sparking interaction between collaborators. Alongside her design practice she teaches graphic design and contextual studies at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Chester, and co-ordinates MMU’s National Art and Design Saturday Club.


AnnieCarpenter is an artist and lecturer based at Rogue Artists’ Studios. Her art practice explores the blurring of artistic and scientific labour, drawing on amateur science experiments, hobbyist engineering projects and futile human endeavour. The notion of the ‘demonstration’ is always present in her work, either through a subtle hint of demonstrative action using static sculpture or video, or more explicitly through performance. In 2015 she embarked on an art and science expedition to Svalbard, through Arctic Circle, NY. She is founder and coordinator of the Art and Science Critical Forum in Manchester, a platform for connecting artists who critically engage in science, and has recently completed a BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences with the Open University, specialising in astronomy and planetary science.


Elle is a maker with a cross material practice. She explores objects that often adorn the body and aims to create intrigue through material exploration and material language. Craft skills are deeply engrained in her work through narrative, starting points for exploration. Elle discusses value in skill, value in materials and value in making practice through material language by subverting preconceived ideas of value. This is especially prevalent in relation to jewellery and body adornment where assumed value connects to precious materials. Referencing skills, playing with precision and process, Elle sometimes exploits the material skills she has. Excited by the opportunity to do things the wrong way she highlights imperfections and capitalises upon happy accidents within making.


Laura Negus works predominately within arts for health as a pottery tutor, promoting better well being through working with clay. She also has her own practice making playful sculptural ceramic sculptures. Treading between fine art and craft Laura enjoys material experimentation and collaborative practice.


Joe Hartley is a designer based in Manchester. His work focusses on the exploration and handling of material, sometimes on his own and sometimes with others. He studied Three Dimensional Design at Manchester Metropolitan University and since graduating in 2012 has worked on collaborative projects with partners such as British Ceramics Biennial, Castlefield Gallery, Grizedale Arts and The New Craftsmen. He’s also a long standing member of the collective known as Makers Dozen. Along with delivering his own practice Joe is design lead at OH OK Ltd and was responsible for project managing The Pilcrow Pub from conception to completion. He currently manages a workshop facility called PLANT NOMA in the centre of Manchester, a space and program that invites people to have a physical hand in the development of the area.


My sculptural works range from site-specific and ephemeral actions, to drawing, sound and installation. I combine material and process led exploration with present day and archival research to explore forms of object and body relations through themes of surface and erasure, embodiment and connectivity. I employ many crafts and associated process and tools within my work, I’m interested in the relationship and connection between tools, machines and the body, how they bend to one another and the particularities of hand movements.

Make with Manufacturer is part of Art in Manufacturing. Check out the latest on our headline arts project here, and make sure you don’t miss the unique installations appearing across the town centre during the festival weekend!

A co-commission by the National Festival of Making and Super Slow Way, Art in Manufacturing is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England and made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.





2019 Trusts & Foundations

The National Festival Of Making Delivery Team

National Festival of Making is supported by the Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Brian Mercer Trust and Foundations and Partners. This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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