The Craft of Carnival.

Elaborate Costumes Send a Message of Breaking Free from Slavery and Racism with Optimism and Hope.

It all began in the summer of 1958 in West London when racial tensions grew in the Afro-Caribbean community. Riots went on for three days with over 100 people getting arrested over the bank holiday weekend.

In 1959, the human rights activist, Claudia Jones who was also a Trinidadian journalist, decided to organise an indoor Caribbean carnival to bring all the communities together. That’s when the ‘concept’ of the Notting Hill Carnival came about.

Fifty-four years later, it is the second largest street festival in the world attracting up to 2 million visitors from all over the globe and contributing around £93 million to the UK’s economy, annually (but not this year, as the Carnival is cancelled in 2020).

Every year, around 15,000 costumes are handmade for the carnival parade. Taking over a million hours to create, the main message behind these elaborate costumes is breaking free from slavery and racism, while the music represents the life left behind by the Caribbean community after the emancipation of the freed African slaves from the Caribbean.

This short film The Craft of Carnival, commissioned by the Crafts Council (UK), goes behind the scenes with Mahogany Carnival to discover the craft that helps make it a success each year.

(Photo: @mahoganycarnival ; Text derived from and courtesy of thelondonnottinghillcarnival.com )

The Craft of the Carnival was featured in the 2017 edition of Reel to Real: The Craft Film Festival.

Submit your short film for the Makers’ Film Festival 2021 – and tell your community’s story. Calling now for submissions from all countries of the Indian Ocean, Australia and New Zealand.

Reading + Listening + Learning + Watching

Some craft and inspiration links

During your ‘COVID-19 Residency’, you might enjoy some of these articles, podcasts, videos and online courses in the list of links below.  It’s an unashamedly random collection.  Some fun, some inspiring, not exactly ‘pd’* and certainly not paid endorsements! Scroll down for podcasts, online tutorials, and access to the world’s archives…
(*A ‘Useful Craft Resources’ page is coming soon.)

We’ll keep adding to this, so please share your links too, by commenting below or emailing us.

Reading

  • Coronavirus offers “a blank page for a new beginning” : The coronavirus epidemic will lead to “a global recession of a magnitude that has not been experienced before” but will eventually allow humanity to reset its values, according to trend forecaster Li Edelkoort. See also podcast of interview with Li below.
  • What is Crafts Role in a Fast Changing World: Crafts Council UK: a discussion about the issues fuelling craftspeople today, from gender politics to migration.
  • American Craft Inquiry, Volume 2, Issue 2  : Read the online magazine. Full of fantastic visuals and in-depth writing.
  • Garland Magazine: thoughtful articles about beautiful objects made today across the Indo-Pacific; produced by the World Crafts Council – Australia. Explore some of the 877 stories on the platform!
  • The Australian Ceramics Association offers a digital archive of the first 56 years of its Journal publication to everyone, FREE! Browse over 150 issues full of articles, technical information on glazes and kilns, in-depth profiles and critical opinions on Australian ceramics.

Listening

Time Sensitive features candid, revealing portraits of curious and courageous people in business, the arts, and beyond who have a distinct perspective on time. Trend Forecaster Li Edelkoort on Why Doing Less Is More

Soul Traders podcast: two West Australian chicks’ new podcast about working as a creative freelancer. It’s just started but we know it will be gold. Photographer Bo Wong & writer Amy Snoekstra. (This link is to Spotify but also available on other pod platforms.)

Web TV

Craft America – various episodes:  Artists explore issues of gender, race, culture and place, offering true expressions of their experience in this world on film.

Hermes Documentaries including ‘Luxury is that which can be repaired’, ‘The Story of an exceptional saddle-maker’ and ‘Manufacto: Shaping One’s Life by Making Objects’.

Learning Online

  • Around 30 free or near free short uni courses from around the world available online in art and design. Including ‘Innovation through Design:Think, Make, Break, Repeat’ from Sydney and ‘The Power of Podcasting for Storytelling’ from Wollongong.
  • Craft Club: on the Crafts Council website, look for the Downloads on the right hand side of this page for lots of at home craft projects – suitable for beginners and experts, such as knitted jewellery and a cardboard automata.
  • Woolmark Learning Centre: I nearly wept when I saw the opportunity to learn more about the beautiful material of wool (it’s an ancestry thing) – courses for industry and tertiary level, as well as the plain interested.
  • How to Weave a Basket with Tjanpi Desert Weavers, who also have a learn to weave kick-starter pack. Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a social enterprise of the NPY Women’s Council, working with over 400 Anangu/Yarnangu women artists from 26 remote communities in the remote Central and Western desert regions, who earn an income from contemporary fibre art. ‘Tjanpi’ means grass in Pitjantjatjara language.
  • Stop Motion School: Free online course to keep you and the kids busy. The instructor, Trisha Zemp (@trishazemp) says she “will help you create your very own stop motion videos. Whether you are 7 or 107, this class is sure to be a blast!” [untested]
  • Learn how to maximise your craft business via Pinterest: Learn about how Pinterest could help your business with local WA entrepreneur and strategist Kate Wilkinson.

Free patterns for the stitch and yarn community

  • Rose Megirian of Many Peaks Assembly has provided links to FREE sewing patterns and created some instructional videos on sewing techniques, such as ‘Sewing French Seams’. Rose is a locally based Fremantle designer maker and entrepreneur.
  • Rowan Yarns produces some of the most beautiful yarn shades and patterns for crochet and knitting, as well as patterns in collaborations with UK top designers; based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Many of the patterns suitable for beginner to intermediate to expert are free online, as well as crochet and knitting tutorials in their tips and tricks. Their magazine is also full of knitting inspo, available via their new app.
  • The Australian Yarn Company – free knitting patterns from the stable of Cleckheaton, Panda, Patons and Shepherd.
  • Yarnspirations – free knit, crochet and quilt patterns and video library of tutorials. Based in Georgia, USA.

Fun stuff 

Browsing Binges

With Google Arts & Culture, you can tour over 500 art institutions worldwide, including the V&A, the world’s leading museum of art and design in London, where you can browse exhibits and over 5000 objects. Also other art museums such as the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, and many others.

The Internet Archive has literally billions of resources. There is so much in this Archive, that we may lose you for years. It is a not-for-profit digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artefacts in digital form. It provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public. Their mission is to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge. Explore The Smithsonian and Guggenheim catalogues, look out for ‘how-to‘ books and videos about crafts, vintage films, and so much more.

Regional screenings of Real to Reel

Hi all,

Real to Reel – coming to a screen near you soon. See our events page for upcoming dates in March 2020 for screenings in regional centres in South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales.

Calling for submissions – the Makers’ Film Festival

Yes, it’s true, we are calling for short films about craft, makers, making and materials for the inaugural Makers’ Film Festival.

**Due to COVID-19, we have deferred the inaugural Makers’ Film Festival to 2021 and will widen the call-out to Australasia, New Zealand and countries of the Indian Ocean Rim.**

Following the, increasingly popular, Australian tour of Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival (produced by the UK Crafts Council and Crafts magazine), Maker & Smith decided to compile an Australian version.

This highly unique short film festival has inherent appeal, not just for people involved in craft, but for anyone who enjoys a story well told in less than 15 minutes on film! Even though the topics revolve around the core theme of craft, the range of approaches could not be more diverse – from stop animation fantasies only a few seconds long to in-depth documentary film-making.

Our aim is to create a set of films that derive from all corners of the country – and to screen these around the country – as a way to highlight and share the breadth of craft in Australia. We deliberately chose to do this now as the Crafts Council will take a production gap with the international selection of films for Real to Reel in 2020.

We thank the Crafts Council for the inspiration – and – we can’t wait to see more Australian craft on the big screen.

Quick Info
  • Primary content should be Australian based.
  • Films must have been made since 1 January 2017.
  • Short films only. They can be a few seconds long, and although we’d prefer no longer than 10 minutes, we will accept up to a maximum of 15 minutes including credits.
  • Easy to submit. Just fill out the online form and send us a link.
  • Deadline for submissions: 1 April 2020.
  • Entry Fees and T&Cs apply: $55 (inc GST) per submission.
  • The selected films will screen together in the first Makers’ Film Festival, which will tour Australia (and maybe even internationally) in 2020.
What are the selection panel looking for?

We are looking for films with a strong creative narrative. And to bring together a collection that illustrates the breadth and wonder of craftspeople’s lives, skills, environments and materials from across Australia.

All genres are encouraged, from documentaries, to story-led films to hand-made animation. We are keen to see a range of approaches in both craft and film-making. Maker & Smith encourages submissions from every corner of our community and which celebrate the diversity of Australian life.

If your film explores making, skills and materials, the selection panel would like to see it.

Submit your film for possible selection and be a part of the Makers’ Film Festival 2020. For more info read the Terms & Conditions, which also include some specs advice.

Creating the brand for the Makers’ Film Festival

Don’t you love the fabulous branding that IZZI has created for the Makers’ Film Festival? We are so pleased with it, as it complements our Maker & Smith brand identity so well.

Izzi told us she used the elements of the Maker & Smith identity but made some modifications, such as introducing black to connote a dark cinema, arranging the pattern in a long band to infer a film reel and using a thinner elegant typeface.
We hope you like it too?

We welcome your comments and queries, see below.

Real to Reel adds more dates to its Australian tour

‘Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival’ is touring Australia with more dates being announced…

The next screening will be on Friday 1 November 2019 in Cowra (NSW), hosted by Cowra Regional Art Gallery and showing at Cowra Civic Centre Theatrette. Here’s the ticketing link and see our Tour Listing for more details.

It’s really empowering to see, in our second year hosting this short film festival about craft, that interest is growing – we’ve had several enquiries from regional centres and craftspeople about hosting a screening of the 33 films. As a result we are looking forward to announcing more dates soon – likely in Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales and regional WA.

If you are interested in hosting a screening – let us know ASAP, as time will run out in March 2020 for this international selection.

The Makers’ Short Film Festival 2020 – an Australian selection of films about craft and makers.

We’ve said it out loud, so we are now charged with compiling an Australian film festival about craft in 2020. The UK Crafts Council is taking a break, so we’ve hopped into the gap and decided to give a platform to some of the amazing films we know are out there about makers in Oz. We will announce the call-out for submissions soon – so subscribe to our newsletter for first info.

Until then – and as it’s suddenly winter again out there – keep making!

It’s a Wrap! 2019 Winter Program – a fortnight of makers’ skills

Read our most recent newsletter about what happened over the last fortnight (1-14 August 2019). Which films were voted favourite film at Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival? What did people learn in the Hand & Lock embroidery classes? And what’s next for Maker & Smith? More opportunities for films, conversations and workshops?

We also want to thank all our partners and supporters who have made it possible to present this year, and who also added extra magic.

Click here: https://mailchi.mp/d5d5fe5c8dd2/maker-and-smith-winter-program-wrap-up 

And sign up for more newsletters here to learn about our programs and first dibs on tickets!

Enjoy!

Real to Reel returns to Perth and tours to Sydney and Melbourne

Craft on Screen! The international film festival with a difference is back again in Perth.  Real to Reel celebrates the diversity of craft, materials and makers in 33 short films shown across two screenings.

We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Crafts Council UK to again host ‘Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival’ in Australia.

The festival is a unique opportunity to witness craft in action and the narratives, passion and skill inherent in the creation of works. It provides a global perspective and again, the programme unites some unusual and perhaps unexpected tales of making – from miniatures, to replica birds’ eggs, to a human powered bakery – along with animations that bring to life fibre, wool, clay and found objects.

This year we are stoked that three films in the international selection are from Australia – featuring Tjanpi Desert Weavers’ animations and the working life of WA woodturner Neil Turner, filmed by Fremantle-based Rae Fallon.

To find dates and info, read more and more importantly buy tickets (please), via our Event Page: Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival 2019.

Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival is produced by the Crafts Council and Crafts magazine.

Melissa Cameron: 1.1.2017

Meet Melissa Cameron and learn more about her contemporary jewellery practice at the Adorn: Contemporary Craft Conversations on Sunday 24 March 2019.

Melissa won the 2017 Raphael Prize and the film by Michael Pisano (Pisano Films) gives you a hint as to some of what Melissa will share with us on Sunday 24 March in Joondalup. She will describe a lot more to do with technique, materials and the complementary inter-activities that emboldened this series of work:

“Cameron’s winning artwork “1.1.2017” catalogues one day of gun violence in the USA. A total of 62 fatal gun incidents happened in 55 places throughout the U.S. on January 1, 2017 with 66 guns involved and 73 people impacted.”

YouTube link to film: https://youtu.be/04qzKouZCO8

Featured: Melissa Cameron, GUN. Art work by Melissa Cameron, depicting through the motifs used and numerical data, the 2012 Sandy Hook mass-murder perpetrated by Adam Lanza.

Submit your short film for Real to Reel 2019!

We are continuing our adventure with short films about the diversity of craft in all its forms. And will again host ‘Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival’ in WA later this year – with tour dates across Australia too.

You can submit up to three short films to the Crafts Council UK that have been made since January 2016. Fees and terms apply. Read on for more details.

If you decide to submit your film, please let us know. We are eager to capture films created in our region for potential inclusion in other film festivals and events, so send us a link to your film/s.

Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival is dedicated to craft and the moving image. Created by the Crafts Council UK, this will be its fourth rendition and continues its mission to highlight the sheer depth and scope of craft from around the globe.

SUBMISSIONS ARE INVITED NOW!  ** DEADLINE 4 February 2019.

More details….

WHAT TYPE OF FILMS?
All genres are encouraged, from documentaries, to story-led films to animation: if your film explores making, skills and materials, in the broadest sense, the selection panel would like to see it. The Crafts Council UK is committed to promoting and celebrating diversity. Applications from currently under-represented groups in contemporary craft, including applicants with disabilities and minority ethnic backgrounds are encouraged.

Short films – up to 30 minutes in length – only.
Films must have been made after 1st January 2016.

FEES APPLY (IN BRITISH POUNDS)
The submission fees for up to three films are:
£40 | 7th Jan – 21 Jan 2019
(Today £10 = AU$18 approximately)

Final deadline is 4 February 2019.

More details

You will need to upload your film to a hosting service such as Vimeo, YouTube, Wistia, etc for the selection panel to view the film.

If your film’s original language is not English, it will only be accepted if submitted with English subtitles.

Your film must be your own work, and you should have obtained copyright or relevant permissions for all images and films used in your piece.

Filmmakers of productions selected for screening will be notified by Friday 8 March 2019 and will be required to submit a ProRes file on an NTFS-formatted USB or hard drive by Friday 15 March 2019.

In case of selection, the copyright holder automatically authorises The Crafts Council to screen the film during the London festival and for additional screenings in the UK and internationally to take place before May 2020 free of charge and to use publicity material about the author(s) and/or the film, as well as a clip of the production for promotional purposes through press and the internet. The clip may also be included on the Crafts Council website and tour host websites.

For more details on how to apply and the online application go to:

https://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/opportunities/real-to-reel-the-craft-film-festival