As part of their events and engagement programme, Walford Mill Crafts in Wimborne offered two pairs of first year Textiles and Architecture students the chance to undertake a 3 week collaborative residency.
Successful candidates Ana Clark, Leyla Salih, Isabella Phillips and Tatenda Tivatyi presented their ideas to Christine Fletcher-Jones CEO of Walford Mill Crafts, and have since been working on site at the Mill to explore together the processes of collaboration: sharing ideas, working through problems, encountering risk, and exploring uncertainty.
Commenting on their experience, the students said: “Exploring the theme of decay within and around the 16th century Mill, we had the opportunity to work collaboratively together with the aim of exploring the different approaches of working.
“Through drawing and trading tools and skills the project has been very experimental and open ended, allowing time to freely explore each of our unique specialisms. By using a variety of industrial architectural equipment in combination with intricate embroidery and raw natural materials, the project has concluded with an art installation.”
“The Mill has provided an excellent environment to develop a collaborative project due to the warm and caring environment created by the makers and staff working within. There is a wonderful feeling of inclusion and a creative feeling that has definitely informed the way we worked on the project.” – Ana Clark
“For me the Two Make collaboration was an excellent opportunity to escape the mindset of thinking and working like an Architect. Using materials and tools that I had no previous knowledge of deepened my engagement within the collaboration. Taking on this opportunity has allowed me to improve my diligence and dedication within a group and as a student. I see this as a beneficial step in seeking a career in architecture.” – Tatenda Tivatyi
“I thought it was an amazing experience picking the various mentors brains, especially people that don’t work within my field. As part of the second team I got to work with architectural tools, which I was unfamiliar with, such as metal mesh and wood. That helped expand the way in which I respond to materials and combined with my textile skills has created some interesting collaborative pieces.” – Isabella Phillips
“Doing this collaboration at the mill has been such an extraordinary experience. The people, the atmosphere, the nature around us have all played a key role in what we have created. So much has inspired us throughout our time here and it’s been such a great learning experience for me to see how so many various characters and creatives work. I’ve learnt things that I couldn’t have learnt without this experience and I’m so grateful that we were able to have this opportunity.” – Leyla Salih
The residency has grown from the ‘Two Make’ exhibition, which itself is part of a wider AHRC funded research project that explores cooperation, mutuality and collaboration within craft communities of practice led by Dr Nicola Thomas, University of Exeter.
During their residency the students were mentored by the architect Adam Zombory-Moldovan and furniture designer Karen Hansen, in addition to a fascinating talk about the research project by Dr Nicola Thomas. The residency has been made possible with generous support from the Elmgrant Trust and Walford Mill.
Work produced collaboratively by Ana, Leyla, Tatenda and Isabella will be exhibited at the Mill alongside the ‘Textile Textures’ exhibition 29th April – 4th June.
Exhibition opening: Saturday April 29th 2-4pm, Walford Mill Crafts, Stone Lane, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 1NL