Fibre – Studio 17

Submitted by Jessica Livsey of Fibre,

9 Years on!

Can’t believe how time has flown by. After graduating in 2002, thefollowing summer we set up fibre. Originally there were 4 of us, then3 and now just 2 sharing the studio under two seperate businesses.Jessica Owen with Northern Scapes and myself Jessica Livsey carryingon with the original name of ‘fibre’. It was a rush to get up and running after moving in in the june of2003. We were given two weeks deadline to be open for business. Afterknocking down the wall dividing our two studios, so it was one bigspace, we quickly got things started.
I’ve just found some old images of the day we opened! Ha we look soyoung and our shop looks so bare!
Happy memories of starting up at the Craft Centre in 2003

Ceramic Tags

Some more ceramic tags made by visitors when asked to draw something that represents  MCDC. My favourite is in the bottom left hand corner which was made by an 8 year old and when we asked him what it was he said it was “the lights”, turns out he was taken to see the Richard Wheater installation at MCDC last spring and it made quite the impression. How else are you going to try and suggest light and energy with a bit of clay and a cocktail stick?

Oak Street and Around

Here’s some of the pages from Eddie Cartwright’s research folder, I think he said the notes came from a local area pub quiz they were holding in the Hare & Hounds pub, off Shudehill, but they really give a beginner like me some context and you can trace it against today’s map. Scholes Street in the above shot is no more and I assume it was built over or renamed when the housing behind MCDC was built?

Band on the Wall at the other end of Oak Street.

Whittle Street in 1904 and 2012.

The Sun Girl

Submitted to the MCDC office by Carol Mowl,

We had a Malibu-sponsored Christmas party. Fancy dress – I dressed as a parrot. My daughter Hannah got ink on her from screen printing T-shrts and at that point I wondered if I should be bringing her to work!

Anne from RA Designer Jewellery dropped by with this cut out from the Manchester Evening News last week and the back story to this shot made it all the better. Apparently the press had been invited to the sponsored Christmas party but had never shown up. The next day Anne was in her studio and the photographer appeared so she had to recreate the party, in her underwear rather than a bikini.

A Creative Buzz

Submited by Ann Toplis to the blog

My studio, Ann Toplis Designs, was upstairs tucked away in the corner from 1993 to 1997, where I made furniture and gifts from solid wood. Day to day, I have lovely memories of breakfasts with my fellow studio holders, and the creative buzz that prevailed in the very slowly up and coming Northern Quarter area. The best part was the advice that was always on offer from the other more experienced businesses. And of course being one of the newer businesses, we learnt from each other. It was a great time of my life and having moved to Holland, where there in nothing similar, I really miss it.

Submitted by Helen rushworth to the blog

I moved in to Studio 3 (opposite the cafe) in October 1989 not long after finishing my MA in Ceramics at Staffordshire Poly. I shared the studio for the first few years with Alan Grieg who made lovely brightly painted pots and plates, and on Saturdays we spent many a tortured afternoon listening to Man City getting thrashed on the radio – how times have changed! I remained at the Craft Centre right up till 2002 when I left to create babies instead. I have loads of great memories – bizarre fancy dress parties, visits from our one time patron Tony Wilson, an unknown Doves playing a gig on the stage outside my door, Nigel’s delicious ciabattas and soups, lots of bickering over being ‘co-operative’, but mainly I remember it as being a fantastic place to work and share creative ideas with a bunch of like-minded folk. Long may it live.

Cats & Dogs

Courtesy of Eddie Cartwright

Of course a fish market had to have cats and I imagine they were the best fed cats in the whole of Manchester up until the relocation. I’m not sure how the Jimmy Kelly’s menu might have competed with left over fish and mice but it’s good to know someone looked out for the market’s retired pest controllers.

Anne’s dog’s in RA Jewellery Design

I spoke to long standing tenants Lee Page Hanson and Colette Hazelwood last week about  a time when dogs were a regular feature of the Craft Centre with many tenants bringing theirs in with them to work. Apparently they were quite a pull with the general public and customers would come in to visit the dogs. Hygiene and health and safety put a kibosh on this practice but there’s certainly a preoccupation with makers here to respond to animals, particularly birds. Butterflies too, but no fish spotted as yet.

More on that theme later, but here’s Eve Bennett’s Dead Bird commission which you can spot in the first stairwell at MCDC.

The History Collection So Far

I’m a week into the project and have absolutely loads of leads to follow up, the exhibition space is filling up nicely and we’re already discovering little clusters of narrative occurring across the last 150 years, and across the 30 years of MCDC.

Collecting History is open at Manchester Craft & Design Centre from Monday – Saturday, 10:00am – 5:30pm, drop into the space and leave your story or follow the story so far.

Over the next seven weeks I will be around the Centre collecting stories and updating the exhibition in the afternoon (3-5pm), if you want to pop in and see me let me know – the dates are:

11th May
17th May
23rd May
29th May
7th June
16th June
22nd June
30th June