We still make things, but some of what we make has changed. There’s still a rich diversity of traditional and advanced engineering taking place. What’s missing is the dialogue between what we used to do, what we are currently doing and the people who will be inspired to make things in the future. These stories of makers are brought to you by Derby Silk Mill Museum of Making, the site of the world’s first factory.

Moulding, Plastics

Andy Harsley – Plastic Fantastic

“The running theme is probably plastics though because what I’ve set up here as a workshop nobody else has really got.” On a cold March morning Daniel Dytrych and I trek over to Grantham to interview Andy Harsley in what feels like his even colder workshop. Hats and gloves are a necessity, concrete floors in old industrial units do not warm. If you haven’t heard of Andy it’s worth Googling his name. He is inventor…

Rachel Emmerson – Jewellery maker

“It expands at a different rate to the enamel so it will fire and then explode. You can enamel on certain metals but not others. If it has too much zinc it won’t enamel onto it. So you do have to have a little bit of science and understanding of metal and how it’s made up and how it works.” Photography by Daniel Dytrych Transcribed by Katy Mack On your website you have yourself defined…

Steve Haynes – Designer, Maker

“I think to some extent we all have that in us, but we don’t necessarily have it in us to get to a high standard because I think you have to be be encouraged to do certain things or have access to certain things around you and then be allowed to enjoy that.” Photography by Daniel Dytrych Transcribed by Pippa Smith How do you class yourself as a maker – you probably don’t think of…

Graeme Smith

“…I’m inspired by the maker community, especially when I see someone that is obviously so talented but no one else has heard of them. It’s not about ‘look how clever I am’. That’s one of the best pieces of advice I was given early on…” What is a maker? That’s a really broad question. It’s really difficult because when you break it down, who isn’t a maker? Everyone’s a maker. If you’re baking a cake,…
Mender, Sewer, Textiles

Susan White and Julie Sandfield

“I went to work for a corporate wear company, doing uniforms and military clothing. It was just me and two other ladies. We made the all the samples up so I learnt a lot more then. I learnt to make jackets, combat clothing, shirts, trousers.” Susan White Susan and Julie both from Derby were born 1958 and 1964 respectively. They have both had part of their working life in and around what was once a…
Cabinet, Furniture, Patternmaker

Steve Smith – Part 1

“It seems to me in the current use of the word maker it plays with the tensions you’ve always had between artisan and artist…I would consider myself a maker in the sense that I would be aligned or identified with the actual physical making of the object” Steve Smith Stephen Smith born 1961 in Derby has had an eclectic ensemble of roles that are undoubtedly in the realm of the maker. In part one of the interview…