The Craft Village in Derry/Londonderry is being invaded by members of the Craft Guerrillas – a colourful army of designer-makers pledging to take on the world to promote handmade goods.
Two representatives of the group will visit the city on the weekend of August 27 and 28 for the Make, Tea and Tell Festival, which is part of August Craft Month.
They will lead a series of workshops and discuss its manifesto, which is borne out of a love of regeneration, recycling and sharing of creative skills and knowledge.
The Craft Guerrillas will be hosting DIY craft sessions from 12-2pm and 4-6pm at Cafe Del Mondo and will talk about their manifesto in between workshops.
The drop-in workshops are free to everyone and provide an opportunity to learn a new skill and meet people in a relaxed environment.
The members coming to the Maiden City are Lisa Margreet, the Craft Guerrillas’ knitting and crochet expert and Louise Batten, who will be teaching patchwork, stitch and sewing techniques.
Louise said: “We will also be giving a talk on how to set up craft collectives and run events such as markets and craft nights. We are hoping to inspire local craftspeople to form their own Craft Guerrilla group.
“The original Craft Guerrilla group formed three years ago with the aim of making craft skills accessible to the community. We run our events in pubs, galleries and shops. We want to enable people to create their own handcrafted items, reducing the hold that mass-produced ‘tat’ has on us. The ‘make do and mend’ ethos is often a feature in our events.
“The Craft Guerrilla plan is to share our knowledge in as many regions of the UK as possible. We are working on our first book which we hope will be published later in the year,” she added.
The Director of Craft NI, Joe Kelly said the Craft Guerrilla manifesto fitted in well with the theme of this year’s August Craft Month ‘Craft Chat’.
He said: “Our aim is to get people thinking about the quality and relevance of craft through discussion, storytelling, poetry and online blogging as well as directly through the objects themselves.
“The Craft Guerrillas have been very successful in stimulating interest in craft and transmitting their message of how handcrafted items which are skilfully made can appeal; beyond the High Street market.”
Oonagh Mc Gillion, Director of Development at Derry City Council, said: “The Derry City Council area has a vibrant craft sector and August Craft Month has been all about stimulating dialogue and sharing ideas among makers, enthusiasts and artists. We have been very pleased with the level of interest and participation across all events to date.
I am really pleased to welcome the Craft Guerrillas to the City. Their approach is fresh, friendly and fun and I’m sure they will find great support for their work among the craft sector here.”
For more information about other events taking place during August Craft Month visit www.craftni.org