Over the past couple of months the creative juices over at Oriel Wrecsam have been flowing but not from its usual suspects, their artists and curators have still been hard at work but this particular project has come from the members at Advance Brighter Future and emerging artist and coordinator Rhi Moxon.
Designer Maker has been a project to help build the confidence of those who deal with mental health challengers and for them to collaborate with an artist to make a series of products to be sold in Oriel Wrecsam’s shop based on Chester St. The proposal was formed by Oriel’s educational officer Jo Marsh whose role it is to encourage accessibility within the arts and general public with projects such as ‘Art Vend’ and ‘Oriel Crafters’ from Caia Park, the Designer Makers project was going to be another immersive project that any artists would want to be apart of.
After asking Jo why she picked Rhi’s proposal she commented that out of all the entries for the project Rhi’s proposal was the right balance of gathering input and quality control of the products, whilst giving the participants the creative freedom to enable them to put their own mark on the project.
Part of the proposal that Rhi submitted to Oriel was to create a blog to follow the journey of her and the participants involved. The blog which you can find on tumblr as The Designer Maker Project, is a charming and whimsical diary of the connections and artwork that has developed though the 6 weeks. Through the entries you can see the relationships forming and the confidence gained from the process of designing and making.
The blog helps break down the events over the 6 weeks:
- Week 1: Brain storming and tea, how the group looked at traditional North Wales tales and folk lore, history and tradition.
- Week 2: Development of ideas and mark making.
- Week 3: Introduction to screen printing and collages for the plates and talking to Sarah Jane Harper and incorporating ceramics in to the project.
- Week 4: Add the screen printed transfers to the ceramics.
- Week 5: The group meet SJH in her studio and see how she created the ceramics.
- Week 6: The group make 20 limited addition prints for the shop out of the drawings and labels.
As a collective the group have had a number of approaches in the construction and design of the objects, with some having a complex layering system towards there design whilst other products go for a more a simplest approach. Rhi mentions that when the group where together picking the final layout for the screen prints, there wasn’t a moment within the process that any one person thought it was their work but the considered the project as a group effort.
On the 5th November a private viewing of the products were revealed. The group have designed tote bags, bowls, spoons, plates and limited prints and you can really appreciate the hard work and enjoyment that each of the items clearly shows as no two plates, spoons or bowls are alike. From the 19th November the products will be available in Oriel Wrecsam’s Siop.
By supporting projects such as Designer Maker you will be helping fund the next series of ventures for March 2016. By being able to sell the products it makes this project sustainable and helps other groups of people able to access art therapy sessions that in the long run develop their confidents. Accessibility towards the arts is an important step to in to developing futures of the lives of some of the most extraordinaire people that might not necessary have the access to or the support, but with projects provided by Advance Brighter Futures, Jo and Rhi at Oriel Wrecsam it surreally is a wonderful step in the right direction for the arts in Wrexham.
To view more pictures please feel free to click the image below.