Today sees the launch of Makers 4 Refugees, a wonderful project bringing together a global collective of makers creating work to raise money for refugee charity Help Refugees. Makers 4 Refugees founder Pip Wilcox, tells us about the project - and how we can all contribute...
How did the project come about Pip?
I should begin by warning you that 2017 might be a tricky year for your bank balance. But for all the right reasons! Let me explain…
During a weekend in late December, an idea which had been percolating in my mind for weeks, finally took shape. I drew up a list of over 50 makers - makers whose work I admire, and I floated an idea to the group - we would each create work, the proceeds of the sales of which would go to the charity Help Refugees. The response was immediate and generous. Within days, I had a list of incredible artists and craftspeople in the UK, Europe, the US and Australia, all of whom wanted to take part. By the end of the week Makers 4 Refugees was born.
Tell us more...
Makers 4 Refugees is a simple project founded on a desire to make a difference through making. 2016 was a year in which the world witnessed more than its fair share of horror. There were days when I felt powerless and ineffectual, and profoundly aware of my privilege. During these times, making can seem like an insignificant and trivial activity, but it's what we makers can do. This project is a way for over 40 makers from around the globe to come together and give our making extra meaning and purpose, by raising funds to support some of those people currently living through such desperate times.
How does Makers 4 Refugees work?
Each of the makers involved has been invited to select a week from the 2017 calendar. During their week, each maker is releasing a piece or collection of work which they will be auctioning or selling, and the entire sales proceeds (less shipping and processing fees) will be donated to Help Refugees through the Makers 4 Refugees fundraising page.
To find out who is selling what, where and when, follow @makers4refugees on Instagram, that's where I'll be sharing images and details of the beautiful work up for grabs, as well as updating my own website during the year. If you’d like to check our fundraising progress at any point, the Makers 4 Refugees fundraising page will show a running total throughout the year.
Which makers are involved?
The stellar line-up of makers who have come together from around the world is extraordinary – and some of them rarely release their work directly to the public which adds to the thrill of having them on board! From the UK we have people like Luke Eastop, Sarah Jerath, Tom Kemp, Juliet Macleod and Jono Smart (all ceramics, of course!); Julia Hodgson (textiles), Jo McAllister (jewellery), Luke Hope and Sophie Heron (woodenwares) and Flora Jamieson (contemporary stained glass). I couldn’t be happier to tell you that from Europe, the US and Australia are some of my all-time favourite pottery crushes including Jessica Coates, Diana Fayt, Nicolette Johnson and Maryam Riazi. It really is going to be the most delightful artisan feast!
You can find the full (and amazing!) line-up on my website.
Is there anything else happening to raise money?
Thanks to the enthusiasm of the making community, this fundraising project has started expanding in recent weeks to include several workshops run by skilled makers. We're currently finalising workshops on weaving, street photography, indoor photography and ceramics, with other exciting events in the pipeline. Details of each of these will be added to my website and posted on Instagram as and when they are confirmed.
When does it all kick off?
Makers 4 Refugees starts today. I’m auctioning a collection of my work on Instagram - and I’m both excited and nervous about this! I’ve set myself a goal of raising £500 before passing the fundraising baton on to Lesley Bramwell of Essence + Alchemy (maker of gorgeous small batch botanical scented goods - and recently featured on the 91 blog) who is selling a special collection of beautiful candles during the following week.
It’s an extraordinary act of generosity from each of the makers who have said yes to my Makers 4 Refugees invitation. I know that this generosity will be more than matched by the people who will support this endeavour by buying and bidding on the work that’s donated. Without them we’ll fall at the first hurdle!
So, please do follow the project on Instagram, and take the opportunity to buy beautiful work, from an incredibly talented, and generous collective of makers.
Thank you Pip for sharing this inspiring project, we are so excited to follow along, and know our wallets will definitely be lighter over the coming months! :)
Follow Makers 4 Refugees on:
and via Pip’s website