The national festival of making is a program which combines manufacturing, making, art and communities. It is a free family festival where international and national artist have come together to create world class work. The festival takes place within Blackburn which has a range of makers and manufacturers.
Article by Ebrahim Nagdee (Volunteer at NFoM)
What happens at the National Festival of Making?
The festival takes place from Town Hall Square to the Cathedral Quarter. Many things such as music, markets, street food, art, performance, tours, talks and workshops took place during the festival. During the two days at the festival my role as a volunteer was to help out in bivouac printing. This was where people would have a wide range of ideas to design the type of flag or tea towel that they would want.
What took place?
During our visit, the festival had many interesting things taking place. There were various amounts of activities that took place such as bivouac printing, action printing, creation station, mantra, Islamic art, steam pavilion, cardboard cinema and much more.
This took place within the heritage building. During my time there as a volunteer, I showed many people what was taking place at the stall I was at. My role was to explain how the printing will be done. What people could choose to print on and what they could do to their prints that they have created. Such as adding additional layers to make a more colourful and vibrant print.
The Making Rooms
During the festival, The Making Rooms attempted to make a car sized image of Blackburn. This was done with the router machine. It was also live streamed so people could enjoy it even if they weren’t there. They also had a personalised solar system necklace. It was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing next month. Type in your birthdate and you can take away with you a unique necklace showing where the planets were on the day you were born. In my experience this was fascinating! It was the first time I had seen this kind of machine. The laser cut was also quite impressive. You could design what you liked.
Whilst walking around the festival in Blackburn town and visiting the various stalls, Action Painting was one that intrigued me. This was where you would use pneumatic cannons to fire paint at a canvas. It created unique pieces of art. This was really an enjoyable experience as I was able to choose the colours I wanted to use and fire them anywhere on the canvas to develop something that I would like.
At the festival, Islamic Art was another place that hosted unique method of art. It used traditional Russian paper cutting and engraving techniques. This method of art was very interesting. I had to learn the different ways of cutting the sheets of paper and the different ways of engraving the paper. The method of art that I learnt by Maryam Golubeva was very creative because I was able to practice it and do it at home as well on any type of paper. Visit her website to see her wide range of art.
At the National Festival of Making in Blackburn, I learnt many different types of techniques. Creating creative art and communicating with people. The Making Rooms was definitely my favourite part of the Festival. In the near future, I am hoping to see a wider range of new developments. Also new conventions with new areas of creativity that could be explored. Improvements wise, the buildings could do with some renovations. If number of volunteers increased, conventions could have more people to help out. Activities could get completed faster which would allow more people to take part. Looking forward to see what next year has in store!