Melting Pot @ London Sculpture Workshop
London Sculpture Workshop seeks to set up a community ceramics hub and foundry to upskill communities through material engagement and widen participation in creative learning across all demographics.
London Sculpture Workshopis the only organization of its kind in London whose remit is centered around sculpture and 3D making. We are passionate about upskilling both members of the artistic community and the wider public through engagement with materials. We have a record of working in the community with charities such as CRISIS to provide workshops for their users, and have engaged local primary schools in a series of material-led courses. Recently relocated to new premises in Woolwich, we are afforded more space and scope to implement our longstanding ambitions for further engagement. We propose the construction of a community ceramics hub and foundry within our new space from which a series of practical sessions, open days and displays can be held. Our long-term ambitions are to embed this facility and create robust partnerships with programmes for all demographics including older people’s services, youth projects and agencies supporting hard to reach groups.
What we’ll deliver:
- Construct a ceramics hub and foundry at the London Sculpture Workshop
- Develop, programme and facilitate a series of material-led projects with the community
- Provide opportunities for community-focused interaction and profile around e.g. pop up exhibitions and publications
- Forge long term relationships with community groups locally and further afield
- Empower local communities to exhibit and earn income through selling their work through real-life and digital hubs
Why it’s a great idea:
London Sculpture Workshop is a community interest not-for-profit organisation. We believe that every arts organisation has a responsibility to its locality to provide services that have both hard and soft outcomes; which might range from skills generation and opportunities creation to social benefits around play and community cohesion. In the four years since we began operating we have provided services for professional artists, engaged hobbyists designers, architects and teachers. We believe that in the current climate (where many traditional crafts are making a resurgence), our approach to enjoyable and educational materials-led activity can be impactful in boosting the skills and confidence of participants through group working, heightened profile and potential for individual and group income generation. As well as more experienced tutors, we also work with recent graduates to offer opportunities to embed socially engaged practice within the current generation of art professionals.
Steps to get it done:
- Building of ceramics/ foundry hub
- Confirmed engagement with community/ education groups
- Delivery of workshops/ firing ceramics/ hot metal casting
- Profile and market projects
- Launch of pop-up exhibitions
In 2012, the population of Woolwich Riverside was estimated to be 19,220 with almost 70% aged 16-64 and almost 25% aged 0-15. 49% of the residents of Woolwich Riverside are from BAME groups. To reflect this demographic we plan to engage groups such as e.g, the Somali Parents’ Network and the Iranian Youth Development Association. Initially, we have also identified several local schools who are receptive to being involved, including Greenwich Free School, Greenwich Community College, Eltham College and the South London Network of Art Teachers. Services for older people will be approached via Greenwich Council. This will require the support of a designated freelance education officer at LSW. Our new location grants us proximity to other art organisations who could partner beyond this initial pilot programme, e.g. Thames Print Workshop. We feel that partnership working, both strategically and through delivery, will contribute invaluably to the scale and longevity of the facility.