Second Meeting of the CRITgroup

I was particularly excited about the opportunity to meet at MadLab this month as I have attended events there before and know it as a very creatively nurturing space. It was unfortunate that not many people could make it along this evening for various (pretty good) reasons so I’m hoping that numbers pick up again soon and we can keep going. Not to start off on too much of a downer however, those of us who did attend, all left agreeing that it had been useful to meet so that’s still pretty encouraging.

Tammy Leigh returned and briefly shared some developments in her range of knitted wire jewellery which involved the inclusion of semi precious stones threaded onto the wire. Following on from her presentation of some pieces made using recycled materials at the previous meeting, we spoke more about this aspect of the work. During that discussion, we arranged for her to visit my students at Tameside College next week to talk with them about using recycled materials in their own work.

I then asked people to look at some mock-ups I had made following suggestions at the previous meeting for the This Place Isbook; a development from This Belongs To and a series of workshops run in Hulme. It was agreed that although I had probably done a reasonable job at being clear and concise in terms of the content, I probably hadn’t allowed enough space for people to record more personal reflections. We then chatted a bit about possible tweaks to that and eventually came to the conclusion that I might in fact be looking at two projects, one formatted as booklet to hand out to people (probably locally) and eventually compiled into one volume and one printed more carefully to send further afield but to more specific locations. This seemed to make sense and I have since realised that the booklet format might also work really well in a workshop so there are more possibilities for developing those avenues too.

Juan Armellini also joined us for the first time and spoke about his experiences using blogging sites to build an online portfolio. We discussed the format of blogs as opposed to other kinds of web pages and I suggested that a blog might not be the most flexible format for his purposes. We also talked a bit about how the design of the site must ‘agree’ with or support the content. Having previously helped Tammy with her site, I suggested that at the next meeting I could spend a bit of time with the laptop showing people how I build mine (very simply) using a browser based system not dissimilar from many blogging sites. We agreed that might also help give the session a bit more structure so that has become the plan.

I have since spoken with the very supportive people at MadLab who have agreed we can use the space next month so we will next meet at 7pm on Wednesday February 22nd (2012) at Madlab, Manchester (36 – 40 Edge Street, Northern Quarter). We will begin with an informal sharing of practice and then for the last 30/45 minutes or so I will demonstrate how I build my website. If you fancy coming along but are not already on the mailing list, please drop me a note using the contact form on the main pageand I can be sure we make time for everyone! Hope to see you there!