So this is how you would, this is kind of a technique that is quite conventional in shoe-making, stretching the leather around. It’s the wetting of the leather that is a bit less common.
Shauna Richardson, Crochetdermist: I start with a solid form and then I freestyle crochet using the one single stitch, responding to the anatomy, so I’m highlighting different parts of the anatomy using the direction of the stitch.
Matt Durran, Artist, curator and glass designer:
This is 170 degrees and we are just bending the glass over the form. Once the glass is in the right position I will fan the door to get the temperature down to an even temperature.
Stephen Wessel, Flute-maker:
I think craft or working with your hands is fundamental to being human. Making is life to me, it’s what I do.
When we started we wanted to make a lightweight simple flute so we thought why don’t we use a modern material instead of silver for the keywork. So we put our heads together and said ‘stainless steel’ and then we thought ‘stainless steel on a silver tube, hang on a minute, people might not like the look of that because although they are both shiny metals they are different colours’. And I think it was John who suggested ‘why don’t we put some other material with it and inlay it’ and we found a bar of black plastic and we recessed it and popped a black inlay piece in and looked at it from all angles and thought ‘mmm, maybe we’ve got something here, let’s pursue this one’
Marloes ten Bhömer, Shoe designer:
So I started studying my BA in Product Design in Arnheim. There was equipment to make a structurally sound object, they were all placed in the product design department. So that is where the interest in shoes started. I know about little bit about conventional shoe-making but I am more interested in re-thinking how a shoe can be made and for that I need those different areas and different aspects of design. Matt Durran, Artist, curator and glass designer:
So on the table is basically the process of my involvement in the nose cartilage molding system. Basically, what we initially do is either we take a straight cast of silica from the patient or they send us a profile. Basically, I am producing the glass, which is then used for the molding. The glass then supports the polymer that they use in surgery. Shauna Richardson, Crochetdermist: Crochet was something I learnt to do when I was very young. I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t crochet but I do remember going to clubs at junior school when I was around 8 or 9, and my granny was always making things. There has been a revival of a real interest in crochet or knitting - something that hadn’t quite happened when I first started making the crochet pieces so the element of it being popular wasn’t something I was thinking about when I first started the collection, but again it is another area that feeds into my exploration of the ‘anything can be art’ theory. Matt Durran, Artist, curator and glass designer:
I kind of feel that everything I do is an artistic endeavour, it’s just that the application of it; sometimes it’s in a gallery; sometimes it’s in a factory; sometimes it’s in a university and sometimes on a hospital ward. Marloes ten Bhömer, Shoe designer:
Most of the industry is not in the UK anymore. Some is in Spain, some is in Italy and Portugal, but what I am trying to do is produce everything in-house. I think it is called DIY Hacking, or in-house manufacturimg and I think it is the way forward for designers to be able to be at the forefront of their own practice and be able to make, produce and sell their work and not have to rely on far away manufacturing.
Stephen Wessel, Flute-maker: Being the sole maker of the entire instrument means that I have control over every single aspect of it and I know every part of it intimately. I am about the last one who is making flutes and nothing else for a living full-time. Shauna Richardson, Crochetdermist:
I think that anything that gives you the opportunity to create something extraordinary and unique is a good thing, really. Stephen Wessel, Flute-maker:
However much you try to replace hand-making technologies in the workshop, there will always be room for the craftsman. There will always be a way of doing it by hand that is perhaps better than what the computer can achieve. Matt Durran, Artist, curator and glass designer:
I remember one time some kids came to the studio and they were looking for the scrap metal and they informed us that they thought we were poor because we were working with our hands, and we thought that was such a massive misconception, because we never thought we were poor because we were working with our hands and I think it is really important that people really re-engage with actually making things.
PRACTICAL WORKSHOP: Join BAFTA winning games designer Sophia George for a two day workshop exploring games design. Work with Sophia to create a game and find out how to take your ideas from concept to the market.
14 March – 2 August 2015. Celebrating the extraordinary creative talent of one of the most innovative designers of recent times, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is the first and largest retrospective of McQueen's work to be presented in Europe.