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So, why is it nice to make?

It’s Nice to Make draws upon traditions of the quilt-making circle as an exemplar of organised communal activity. It is a textile project designed as a creative platform for individuals to engage in social narratives; and to make something of worth while learning and sharing skills and experiences. It’s Nice to Make is part of a research study called Embodied Minds which investigates the extent to which ‘making’ activities, with roots in traditional domestic handicrafts, can enable participants to reflect on and transform their past and present inward experiences into experiential learning towards individual and shared goals.

It’s Nice to Make is adaptable and flexible in structure and delivery so that different community groups can participate. Commonplace tools and techniques are used to cater for individual differences in motor-skills and cognitive ability. Where possible, tools and techniques are adapted to promote maximum engagement with ‘making’. Care is taken to keep production and running costs low without impacting on the quality of delivery.


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It’s Nice to Make was presented as part of the Quiet Activism and Affective Making workshop at the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Connected Communities Showcase event at the Congress Centre, London, March 12th 2013. As a concluding part of their time on the project, each participant is asked to complete a wellbeing questionnaire. Eventually all the individual textile squares will be joined together to make a final exhibition piece. Well-being can also come from showing others what you have made and the skills used. So as a way of an invitation to new participants from different community groups to take part, project members who have completed their piece will show them their work and talk about their experiences of making.

A key aim is to discover different ways for participants to learn new craft skills. Andreea.bookleteer.One of the aims of It’s Nice to Make is to promote wellbeing through active participation. as small changes to wellbeing through creative expression should be valued as integral to an holistic approach to positive health.6. Architecture and Design. Acknowledgements   Project Developer and Lead: Mah Rana Filming: Andreea Bogdan Project members: Michael. building and sharing experiential knowledge to create artistic outcomes. Joe. Angelina Project Assistants:Tas. Individuals come together in an inclusive from proboscis 2.8.injury by engaging with non-declarative memory. Arts and Humanities Research Council 3 creativity together activity can promote well-being. In 2012 a pilot of It’s Nice to Make began at Headway East London. and to find useful ways to employ previous skills learnt pre. The ‘taking part’ in the activity is beneficial to both participants and the host venue. experiential 2 10 .4. A project exploring the extent to which participation within a craft Published by Mah Rana 2013-03-05 Mah Rana It's Nice to Make http://bkltr. It’s Nice to Make runs as a series of workshops held at regular weekly intervals at a host venue.12 1 4 2 5 3 6 Embodied Minds explores the extent to which participation with art and craft can serve as a model for ‘making as a mode of being’. Theresa. Charlotte Project Partner: Craftspace: craft development organisation Community Partner: Headway East London Academic Partner: Falmouth University Corporate Sponsor: Duchamp Funders: The CASS School of Art.10. and in turn redirect the spotlight from what has been lost from the consequences of acquired brain injury (ABI) to what is present and what can be gained. Paul. Maddie. a community centre supporting people affected by brain made with www.

Then using one of their photographs as their image. p 4 Maddie Robinson. Director Arts for Health Cornwall & Sarah Desmarais. ‘Making’ has a transformative impact on the sense of self. Jayne Howard. reflection.Quiet Activism is part of a series of research projects funded by the AHRC that explore amateur crafting as a form of participatory arts practice. which present a democratization of creative practice. Dr Fiona Hackney. 2 Mah Rana. the Quiet Activism project suggests that the ‘making-astherapy’ model can often obscure the deeper-rooted issues that marginalize vulnerable groups in the first place. Falmouth University. Research Student Falmouth University Each participant introduces themselves to the sewing group by showing and talking about photographs that they have bought from home. sharing 4 . p 5 Andreea Bogdan This booklet is available as an eBook. co-operative social actions that accommodate differing abilities. they each design and make a textile appliqué ‘square’. which will become part of a larger story-telling quilt. While acknowledging the value of activities such as crochet. needlework or knitting. Participants engage with decision-making and problem-solving which increases self-agency. quilting.tumblr. For more information please contact: dearmah@yahoo. Future research needs to identify evaluation methodologies that can respond to the experiential affects of making. ” Turney (2009) 5 selfexpression meaningful 9 8 knowledge © Mah Rana Photographs: cover & p It’s Nice to Make is designed to support future outcomes such as exhibitions/eBooks/blogs/ short films/case studies/ http://itsnicetomake. alongside the quantitative values often looked for by policy audiences. collective action and individual agency by building creative and social capital. and the working together to achieve shared goals. and is a journey that can be more “important and emotionally significant than the arrival at the destination [the finished piece].com Taking part in It’s Nice to Make requires from its participants (with and without ABI). It argues that crafting can be a political act that promotes health and wellbeing.