Our mission is simple: we want to make the equipment and education around making to be available to as many people as possible, and to build a making community in an underprivileged area of Liverpool.
The area around our base in Norris Green Library, which finds itself on the cusp between Clubmoor and Norris Green, certainly fits the bill. According to Liverpool Council data from 20151, in both wards, 85.7% of the population ranked in the 10% most deprived nationally.
Creative endeavours bring business opportunities, boosts in mental health and self-confidence, the development of skills, and – most importantly to us – the opportunity to build a strong community that can offer support, cooperation and a sense of belonging.
As such, our goal is to build a making-centred community within the area, working with charities, the council and the libraries to ensure we can reach out to the most vulnerable in society and help them build confidence, understanding and community amongst themselves by providing access to equipment as well as the skills to use the equipment, and the opportunity to explore their own creativity in the process.
We’ve seen tremendous success starting a fibre art club for local people, where some come to learn about knitting and crochet and others use the equipment to produce printed fabrics, wooden buttons, and more. To find out more, please look at our Techstyles page. While we managed to convey skills and confidence, and enabled our attendees to share their own skills to each other and to us, the most important achievement was in building a small community out of our attendees. Our hope is to reach out to local organisations working with marginalised groups and to start running individual clubs for them, before helping to integrate them with our other groups, and eventually into the wider Liverpool maker community.
By enabling people to forge bonds with those around them, we can provide an opportunity to become an active part of the community in which they live.
We currently have a laser cutter, some 3D printers, a vinyl cutter, a sublimation printer, a heatpress, and the expertise to use all of the equipment, as well as the artistic know-how to help people learn silk-painting, soapstone-carving, lino-cutting, drawing (digitally and traditionally), polymer clay-sculpting and more.