Crafting Change: New approaches to sustainable making

Crafting Change explores how a diverse group of contemporary makers explore issues and definitions of sustainability as they develop their practice into the 21st Century.

Making usually means generating more ‘stuff’ and using resources and energy.  The textiles, metal and precious stone industries are some of the most polluting in the world and workers are often exploited, working in life-threatening conditions for meagre pay. The mining and shipping of raw materials for ceramics creates a massive carbon footprint.  How do craftspeople reconcile this with their production of luxury, non–essential items?

Some respond through their thoughtful and considered use of materials and making methods.  Others use their work as a way of asking questions about our relationship with objects and why we make and buy them.  Through the exhibition we want to open up discussion about the role of craft in our society – is the origin and provenance of objects becoming more important to us? Is the act of making just as important as the final product?

Carole Collet’s film, BioLace, demonstrates “a speculative design-led research project that investigates the intersection of synthetic biology and textile design to propose future fabrication processes for textiles”. Collet is Professor in Design for Sustainable Futures at Central Saint Martins.







Ute Decker is one of the world’s first jewellers to launch a collection in Fairtrade Gold and pioneers the use of the finest sustainable materials in her work.  Her minimal, clean forms reflect the purity of the materials’ provenance and her commitment to thoughtful design and practice.


Joseph Hartley is a maker in the broadest sense, working with a range of materials including clay, wood and metal. His practice is driven by what he has to hand; an economy of materials, processes and resources allows his work to develop in unexpected directions.






Carmen Machado creates woven textiles from ‘ghost’ netting and plastic detritus from the fishing industry; repurposed to create something beautiful, they highlight the plight of our oceans, marine animals and birds and force us to confront the issues surrounding consumer waste.




Lorna Singleton is one of the few oak swill makers in the UK.  Managing and restoring woodland through coppicing, she has a unique relationship with her material.  Her craft is rooted in tradition but she strives to bring a contemporary feel and unique personal designs to her work.

(Photo credit: Thom Atkinson)


Solid Wool create furniture from waste wool and bio resin.  Their business stems from a concern about the decline of their local wool industry and the desire to work with more sustainable materials, which avoid the toxic and wasteful by-products of the petro chemical industry.

(Photo credit: Jim Marsden)



The exhibition also includes short films by Greg Valerio MBE, social and environmental activist and Fair Trade gold campaigner.

Craven Museum & Gallery, Skipton: until 18 October 2018

Whitby Library: 27 October – 15 December 2018

Platform Gallery, Clitheroe: 19 January – 30 March 2019

Selby Library: 6 April – 18 May 2019