"From Hand to Market" project
"From Hand to Market" is an arts project where the aim is mainly focused on engaging wives and partners of the Armed Forces in the creation of unique artwork made under the guidance of professional artists. This project has invited them to venture out of their isolated military houses and to integrate into the local community.
The Military wives, based at Dishforth Airfield and Allanbrook barracks have been involved in a series of textile based craft workshops led by contemporary textile artist Dionne Swift, where they have learnt a range of techniques such as screen printing, fabric painting, batik and embroidery. Upon completion of each project, each unique design can be used as an accessory or furnishings to be used in the home.
Professional artist, Dionne Swift studied Embroidery at Goldsmith’s College and after completing a master’s degree at the University of Central England, Dionne has progressed her career to lecture at Higher Education level for over 20 years.
The workshops occur regularly and are designed for the Military partners to learn new skills that can be used wherever they go. In addition to weekly workshops, weekend master class sessions are also offered where other professional artists teach their own specific trades. Previous workshops and master classes have focused on producing cushions, curtains and lampshades, upcoming workshops will focus on hat making, screen-printing and dressmaking.
As well as making items for gifts or for personal use, the focus of the project is to take the finished article 'to market'. Where there is an opportunity to exhibit and sell work at craft and trade events, as well as larger events such as the Deer Shed Festival in Topcliffe next year.
Following many sessions and workshops, Dionne will advise and support the Military partners in website development and setting up their own small business in order to sell their handmade products online using various e-commerce websites, such as Folksy and Etsy.