In review: Make It Harewood
Last weekend we had the pleasure of collaborating with Harewood House to present Make It Harewood, our inaugural event together celebrating making and creativity over two days with a host of workshops, music and local food and drinks in their stunning grounds.
As part of the Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters exhibition Make It Harewood created an environment where visitors could learn new skills directly from some of the most talented makers in the country, whilst also hopefully finding a deeper appreciation of the expertise required to make the works found in the exhibition.
Situated in the 17th century Courtyard, the honey coloured colonnades of the converted stables provided the perfect backdrop to our vision, with a sunny soundtrack from morning till night courtesy of the Amateurism Collective. On Saturday, a special late night closure, as well as an amazing live performance from Mr Ben & The Ben’s lent further to the special feeling of the day.
With dozens of workshops running throughout the weekend the Courtyard was alive with activity, each area had its own energy with participants at various levels of concentration and conversation depending on what was required.
Anna Casserley’s spoon carving participants were in full focus as they mastered handling their tools and cut away layers of wood to expose a beautiful spoon which they took away to cherish.
Those that joined Andy Singleton in his paper art masterclass created elegant and robust paper sculptures which, at a glance, appeared to have been carved from the finest of Carrara marble.
Lola Lely shared the art of natural dyeing (or was it alchemy?) with her workshop guests – seeing their delight as they transformed their pieces of cloth with colour was infectious.
It’s not everyday that an opportunity arises to learn the basics of blacksmithing and forge your own knife or bottle opener and in Leszek Sikon’s workshop visitors did just that!
For those looking for a gentler pace to the rigours of the forge, Claire Wellesley Smith’s mindful slow stitching workshop focused on sharing and preserving the art of traditional stitching and mending. A necessary skill for those that want to creatively reuse and renew their clothing and textiles.
Reiko Kaneko brought a little extra magic to Sunday with her Kintsugi workshop where participants made broken pots and bowls whole again with molten gold.
Jim Parkyn of Aardman Animations ventured further afield from the Courtyard with his model making workshop, set in the Bird Garden, just passed the Penguin pool (we can’t be sure but we think we did see Feathers McGraw hiding out) amid the calls of kookaburras and parakeets, it was a wonderful back drop for such a family friendly workshop.
The delightfully named Do Nothing Machine build with Smith Automata’s Martin Smith and Jim Bond took a central position in the courtyard on Sunday and become an engaging interactive hub of creativity and engineering for all the family as the installation evolved throughout the day.
The Makers’ Market sitting adjacent to the workshops lent inspiration and interest to the weekend as visitors were able to enjoy the items on sale with a new understanding of the skill required to work with the materials on show to such a high standard.
Harewood Food & Drink Project was on site all weekend serving Harewood’s very own gin as well as local beers. They also set up a BBQ on Saturday serving food sourced from the estate.
To complete the festival vibe we had gourmet hot dogs, homemade Falafels and freshly made wood fired pizza.
To close we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended, and indeed to Harewood House for providing the opportunity to work together on this special event. We look forward to hopefully welcoming everyone back to festival in 2020!