So much has been happening since we last wrote a blog, so it is about time that we got you up to date…
Coverage Care: We have continued to work on our latest commission for a new care home in Shrewsbury. This includes a 40m mosaic path, 50 felt wall hangings and 6 string ward signs.
I like the way the mosaic comes together, a bit like creating a jigsaw. Once you’ve got the design in mind (no pun intended) it can quickly come together, a bit of brute force with the clippers and a bit of patience fitting it together, brings a whole that can surprise me how good it’s developed. It makes me feel proud how far my skills have come on under the guidance of DM.
The felting piece can be a bit mind boggling until you’ve got the idea in your own mind of how to develop it. Working with layers from underneath to the top, you can create a piece in a similar way to a painting. Putting in the details is such a delight, it makes it all worthwhile. I sometimes surprise myself at what I’ve accomplished.
We have been successful in our application to Awards For All to start a commission with Baby Bird Café in Oswestry. This includes 50 Perspex birds with papercut designs and a mosaic entranceway. So far we have delivered workshops with parents and children from The Meadows Primary School and users at Baby Bird Cafe to start the design process.
ReDesign is a new brand developing within Designs in Mind, directly from 2 members. Their aim is take on private commissions and use recycled materials. In April they finished and installed a new garden bench for a new private client, work has now started on another garden bench and we are in early discussions about business development. They have got orders now that will see them in to the new year.
We have taken on a new commission to design and make 3 mosaic stepping stones for the garden. This commission is being designed and made by Chloe who is on our pathway to volunteering scheme. She is doing the whole process, from communication with the client, composing the designs, making the stones and managing delivery.
We have just received another private commission for a textile piece to go in someone’s home that takes inspiration from the welsh countryside.
This has been the greatest area of excitement in the last 3 months. We have developed a new commercial retail brand JOLT.
New JOLT website- www.thisisjolt.co.uk
New JOLT Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/thisisjolt/
New JOLT Twitter- https://twitter.com/this_is_jolt
New JOLT Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/thisisjolt/
What is JOLT: JOLT is a new homeware brand with product designed and made by Designs in Mind, a rural social enterprise. The designs are created by a diverse group of makers referred through mental health services. Experimental studio sessions have inspired this first JOLT collection which includes printed lampshades, cushions, napkins, notebooks and wrapping paper and boasts bold patterns and colour.
JOLT challenges the predominant culture of low expectation which surrounds our makers and challenges us all to take another look. 100% of sales revenue goes towards sustaining and developing the work of Designs in Mind.
JOLT News: JOLT has been selected to participate in Top Drawer in September 2016. Top Drawer is a trade show for Home, Craft, Fashion, and Gifts. Not only have we been selected to participate but our products will be featured as part of the ‘SPOTTED’ area, which is curated by Charlotte Abrahams, a highly respected design journalist with the Guardian, The Telegraph, The Observer and more.
Over the last 3 months a small team of members have been finalising the designs, researching materials, analysing the process of sales and costs and making prototype products for a style photoshoot. All the communication channels have also been set up and we have taken on a PR company to get national attention.
On the 9th of June we held a meeting for everyone here to pitch ideas for Christmas Retail. Everyone was involved in the selection of products to take forward and chose which products they wanted to be involved with. Production has started, along with research in to materials and cost.
Throughout May we had a number of items for sale in Oswestry Library. These products included items from last year’s collection.
Throughout May we held a 30 day challenge to draw every day in a sketchbook. This was to raise confidence, free thinking, set a goal to aim for and gain a sense of achievement, challenge drawing/ design skills and some of these drawings will be used in the design process for Christmas Retail
We have held 2 workshop masterclasses with Rachel Swift, a local ceramics artist who has worked with the British Museum and Liverpool Museum as a Ceramics Conservator. These workshops were to develop new skills and techniques in glazing and this will be used to produce new products for Christmas.
We have held open workshops and partnered with a local primary school as part of our commission with Baby Bird Café in Oswestry. These workshops were for users of the café to get design ideas that will feed in to the final piece. 4 members assisted in the delivery of 5 workshops which has involved dripping, scribbling, stamping, pattern making and paper cutting.
During Mental Health Awareness Week in May we opened our studio to friends and family. Members passed on the skills they have learnt and everyone worked together.
‘It was so good to see so many talented people and see the support and care that there is in this very special place. I can understand why you love to come her and feel safe’
We presented at the BACP Annual Conference in London in April.. We shared the Designs in Mind story and delivered a feting workshop.
‘Amazing, going to London and then chatting to people, answering their questions- It felt really good’.
We were invited to present at the Shropshire WI about using recycled materials to make jewellery and inspire them for their coming competition.
Val, one of our Volunteers, led a group to organize a ‘Cheese & Wine’ evening to raise funds to buy more studio materials. The event was a huge success raising £2,179. as well as being a great social evening for us all to get together.
Shropshire Mind continues to host one of their support groups in our Studio every Wednesday from 3.00pm- 5.00pm
Members have started their own peer support group ‘Time to Talk’ which meets once a month and gives an opportunity for members to support one another in other aspects of their lives outside of Designs in Mind.
Designs in Mind has become a member of Confide, which now enables staff to get counselling support when and if they need it
Designs in Mind has become an Affiliate Member of The Centre for Psychological Therapies in Primary Care
Designs in Mind is now a member of Social Enterprise UK
Phew… We promise not to leave it so long next time