2024 Festival Dates: 6 & 7 July

Open Call for Artist Residencies with Cardboard Box Company and SWS UK

9th March 2023

New Art in Manufacturing opportunities for artists or makers to become Artist in Residence at one of two partner manufacturers: Cardboard Box Company and SWS UK.

Art in Manufacturing residency outcomes: Chromatogram by Lazerian + Cardboard Box Company; Traysway by Ruth Jones + Cherry Tree Bakery; Chemistry and Magic Down the Line by Nicola Ellis + Ritherdon; The Manufacturies by Tim Denton + OEP UK. Photography by Richard Tymon, Gunner Gu, and Simon Bray.


There are two commission opportunities available as follows:

  • One artist practitioner or collective will undertake a residency with Cardboard Box Company based in Accrington
  • One artist practitioner or collective will undertake a residency with SWS UK based in Lancaster

Residencies will take place between the period of April and July 2023, with exact dates to be agreed.

Work created will be presented in its final form alongside other Season Five commissioned artists at the National Festival of Making on the 8th and 9th July 2023.

We are looking to create exceptional cross-disciplinary collaborations and residencies so welcome responses from artists / makers working in any art form.

PROJECT BUDGET: The project budget for each commission is £5000. The project budget should cover your artist fees, expenses and materials plus any other associated costs.

Click below to download the pdf and see the full guidance for this Open Call

Deadline: Noon, Wednesday 29th March.

Interviews will take place on Wednesday 5th April. You will be notified if you have been selected for interview by no later than 31st March.

Important Information

If you would like the application information in a different format or to discuss alternative ways to submit an application, please email helen@festivalofmaking.co.uk. We are open to many alternative ways to submit including video/audio recordings of commission proposals.

Festival of Making CIC’s aim is that our workforce, contributors and partners are representative of the diverse society we live in and that each individual feels respected, supported and able to give their best. We encourage applications from all backgrounds and communities and welcome discussions about specific individual requirements. Please contact us by emailing Helen on the details above, or email info@festivalofmaking.co.uk


A Subjective Mix by Liz West + Graham & Brown; Nicola Ellis during her residency with Ritherdon; The Optical Mechanical by Liz Wilson + Spiroflow; Art in Manufacturing Panel during the National Festival of Making talks programme co-created with Creative Lancashire. Photography by Gunner Gu, Lee Smillie, Robin Zahler and Danny Allison


Art in Manufacturing is the National Festival of Making’s headline commissioning programme – providing artists with an incomparable platform to make new work in and alongside some of the UK’s major manufacturers.

The residency programme creates collaborations with highly skilled workforces, facilitates access to cutting edge technologies and unearths hidden heritages – all resulting in remarkable contemporary artworks that form an integral part of the National Festival of Making programme.

Read more about Art in Manufacturing here 


Cardboard Box Company is an award winning manufacturer in Accrington that designs, prints and manufactures corrugated cardboard into just about every conceivable application for industrial and retail packaging solutions. Their state-of-the-art plant has seen fast growth in recent years through an incredible story of investment and innovation. Whilst creating more than 25,000 solutions for customers, the firm remains an inventive, creative and people-centric company, committed to the local area.

Learn more about the manufacturer here: 



SWS UK is a leading manufacturer of physical security products including security shutters, retractable gates, window bars and garage doors. The company, which was founded nearly 40 years ago is based just outside Lancaster, in Claughton, Lancashire. In 2019 it became part of the European Industrial StellaGroup bringing knowledge, experience and technical knowhow from its European sister companies.

SWS UK, with its workforce of just over 100 are proud to be a British manufacturer with all manufacturing processes taking place under one roof. The in-house research and development team ensures they are always at the forefront of technology and continuous product developments.

Learn more about the manufacturer here:




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.

Back to top