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I like to think that anything/place based on sharing knowledge or working in a group is a workshop. I try to engage in opportunities to teach, lead or attend workshops when I can, as sharing practical skills and material insights is a key stimulus for creative work. The tradition of sharing knowledge in the design and crafts sector is something I have had the privilege of and benefitted from over the years and platforms for this exchange are really important, whether they are at school, college or elsewhere. A lot of traditional workshop spaces are under increased pressure to close, which makes me worry getting practical experience will become harder, but new types of workshop initiatives are opening up to cater for makers and opportunities to share skills exist in new ways online.
As a furniture maker my ideas about construction and design are formed in the workshop. My understanding of materials, tools and machinery is at the core of my development. I take inspiration from designers and makers who show a clear appreciation and understanding of the practical processes associated with the production of their designs. At the same time, experimenting and exploring materials through open ended research is a crucial part of the design process.