Craftspace and COVID-19

stitched words HOME and arrow on a printed map on fabric

Participant work from Making Mothers

Updates on how we’re working during the current situation Last updated: 14 December 2020

The Craftspace team continues to adapt to the changing situation and impacts related to COVID-19. Our approach has been to focus our response through a lens of care (for staff, creatives, audiences), solidarity (communities, neighbourhoods, sector), ‘DIT’ (do-it-together), interdependence and activism.

During the first lockdown we worked to re-configure our programme and honour our commitments as best we could. This resulted in the production of two digital resources Making for Change Expo and Craft in Common. We have experimented with zoom workshops and continue to deliver these in partnership with community organisations to people who have least access to the arts. Some projects associated with We Are Commoners exhibition have been able to go ahead with collaborators and participants via Zoom and artists have continued with commissioned work. The temporary closure of venues meant we were not able to launch the exhibition to the original timetable and all being well it will now open next April and tour to four further venues. When restrictions eased in late summer, we re-opened the Shelanu jewellery studio within physical distancing guidelines.

The challenges of 2020 have been provocative and raised many questions for us as we work to think, plan and resource our programme for 2021 and beyond. It continues to be critical time for the welfare of artists and cultural sector workers whose livelihoods are affected. Generating paid opportunities for artists is a priority. Keep in touch via the website and social media for updates.

Deirdre Figueiredo MBE
Director, Craftspace



Keep in touch and get updates on our twitter, facebook and instagram pages or see our Get Involved page for more ideas of things to do.

Here are some resources you might find useful

The Arts Council have a support page which contains lots of information including their £20 million financial support for individuals.

The Crafts Council have some great resources for craft businesses here including information on how to prepare for Brexit.

Updates on projects: plans for the near future

Making for Change Expo

Planned for May/June 2020 – postponed

The planned exhibition has now moved online. Visit the Making for Change Expo for downloadable making activities, videos, inspiration and to learn more about craftivism and our project.

We are Commoners

Launching venue and date: Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, Wales. Opening to the public on Friday 26 March 2021. The tour schedule has been updated and there are slots available for venues to book the exhibition in November 2021 and from July 2022.

Residencies: Craft in Common has been moved online and the free workshops are available here. Residencies with Oriel Davies Gallery and Heart of Glass in St Helens are underway.

Crafting the Commons Research Network – continues online and on the blog.

Full details here.


Weekly session – now online.

Workshops bookings – contact us for more information.

Sales – we’ve opened our new online shop.

We continue to work with Shelanu members through all means possible; to stay connected and share ideas, creative activities and plans until we can all meet together again in person.

Women’s Maker Movement

Sharing event – postponed. Workshops April – postponed.

In March we were coming to the end of the creative programme with the fifth group, the first at Unity Hubb in Ward End. We had to postpone the sharing event due to lock down and have moved the exhibition of jewellery online so the participants can view their final collections and celebrate their achievement with their families and friends.

Craftspace Shop

Our online shop is open but delivery times may be longer than usual.

Supporting Craftspace – online shopping

As you may be doing more online shopping please remember to support your chosen charity through schemes like Easy Fundraising and Amazon Smile. You can donate to Craftspace through these schemes at no extra cost to you and find out more about other ways to support us here.

Where Next

stitched words HOME and arrow on a printed map on fabric

Digital Content Survey

We are carrying out a survey to better understand our digital audiences

The drag artist holds a bright fabric 'medal'.

Craft in Common for Black History Month 2020

We invited four early-career Black artists and one drag queen to make courage medals for a Black person they admire.

Embroidered Digital Commons

Join artist Ele Carpenter online to create a collective artwork.

A silk dress covered with bright embroidery, some phallic motifs.

The Peter Dormer Lecture

Watch: “A people’s art is the genesis of their freedom.”


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