Creative community research as part of our Young Associates programme.

What part does craftsmanship play in modern Manchester?
How much does our industrial heritage influence our modern lives?
How much is a new generation of craftspeople discovering the joy of making and doing things with their hands?

From the revival of letterpress printing to the heritage of the shoe making industry. From the role of textiles in the contemporary city to the resurgence of small-scale brewers. Craftworks will offer you the opportunity to find out more about the more familiar aspects of our cultural heritage, as well as discovering new areas of craft and craftsmanship that are developing all the time in the City.

Join us at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, Manchester on 18th and 19th March to share what have learnt through 7 artist lead research projects that have been taking place since January 2011, and through workshops with over 700 primary school children.

To book places for either of the events please call Ashley Knowles on 0161 236 7110 or email Each sharing will run from 7pm – 8.30pm and a visit of approximately 40 minutes should be sufficient to see everything.
Tickets are free but places are limited so please let us know if you book places that you find you won’t be able to use!

The artists to date are –

Nkirote Laiboni

Title: Charting the Journey of Refugee and Migrant Artisans: A Study of Migrant and Refugee Craftsmanship in Manchester.

The main goal of the research is to investigate the role of craftsmanship in Manchester’s refugee and migrant communities, and in general to document the migration, integration and craftsmanship experiences of refugee and migrant artisans in the Northwest. The final research product will be a number of short, inter-linked stories and photographs that will express the physical, emotional/spiritual and artistic journey of refugee and migrant artisans in Manchester.

Kirstin Sillitoe

“brewing a Manchester pint – a sound-scape”

The craft of brewing comes in all shapes and sizes: from the large industrial breweries, to individual home brewers in their garden shed – each on a quest to create (and sup) the perfect pint. This sound-scape aims to explore the variety of brewers and breweries in Manchester, the craft and passion that go into every stage of the process and the sounds that make a ‘bloody good beer’. Just as every cask and every bottle contains only the best ingredients, lovingly mashed and mixed together, so too this sound-scape contains the best of the harvest; highlights from my conversations with each of the brewers and the most unique and interesting sounds gathered on each visit.

twitter: @kirstinsillitoe

Alia Raffia

Perspectives in Textiles – Stories from South Asia to Manchester
Stories have often been told through textiles as they carry so many personal memories, ideas, styles and feelings. As part of my research I am investigating the stories of migration from South Asian labourers to Manchester through textiles and connecting these to stories from textile craft artists across Manchester. I aim to do this by examining issues including fair trade, renewable and recycled textiles, ethical practices and traditional techniques mixed with contemporary methods. I will be working with textile craft artists and local communities across Manchester producing textile pieces made out of recycled sari fabrics which will develop into a wall hanging. I will also be posting aspects of my research onto an online blog:

Artists website

Lucy Harvey

The Cobbler

Lucy Harvey investigates the legacy of shoe making and repair on Manchester’s contemporary and historic high street. Her research has focused on the transformation of the shoe and boot industry in the wake of mass production. Trained as a silversmith herself, Harvey is fascinated with the narrative of the handmade and has produced new work responding to the materials and processes used by local cobblers. Lucy will explore the personal relationship between the repairer and their craft in an industry which must equally recognise the value of its past alongside its future.

Artists website:
Twitter @lucyowl