Maker: Granby Workshop

The handmade homeware of Granby Workshop

Granby Street in Liverpool was once a thriving community. But the partial demolition of many homes saw the former hub disperse, with abandoned houses falling into disrepair. Over twenty years later, the determined creativity of remaining residents is finally coming to fruition with Granby Workshop.

Community-minded residents of Granby have spent two decades campaigning, planting and painting to revitalise the area.

The dedicated group has established the Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust (CLT), aiming to transform ten homes into affordable housing. But their efforts go further than creating a space to live, they are concerned with connecting people to each other – and to their creativity.

Pressed Terracotta
Granby Rock

Their social enterprise, Granby Workshop, manufactures handmade homeware using materials recycled from the demolitions. The products are designed for use in the refurbished Granby homes and are also for sale through a pre-order system on their website. The employees are local, having been trained in the experimental manufacturing processes used by the workshop. The profits they make will support a practical, creative program designed to engage young people aged 13-18.

Granby Workshop Showroom by Assemble

“Granby residents have a long history of working creatively in their streets, but over recent decades this action has tended to predominately be initiated by older generations. We aim to encourage a new generation to participate.”

Cut-out Tiles
Block Printed Fabrics

The workshop plays host to many techniques and practices, producing ceramics, textiles, plaster work and furniture, as well as a whole list of new opportunities for this once again thriving community.

Image copyright Assemble / Lewis Jones 2015
Image copyright Assemble / Lewis Jones 2015
Image copyright Assemble / Lewis Jones 2015
Image copyright Assemble / Lewis Jones 2015

The products of Granby Workshop received acclaim in the showroom built for them by the creative collective Assemble. The group is dedicated to addressing “the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made” including art, architecture and design. A creative controversy followed the nomination of Assemble for the Turner Prize, but the vote was won with the argument that the workshop produces art for the people.

Granby Workshop Showroom by Assemble, featuring Granby Rock mantelpieces

“It’s not this piece of work of art that goes into some rich person’s warehouse, this is something that you live with. And it’s art for the people. And if art isn’t about people and humanity, then what is it about?” asked Hazel Tilley, CLT board member and Granby resident of 25 years.

 

All images © Granby Workshop unless otherwise noted.

If you are a maker and would be keen for a feature with Kin, send us an email at kin.a.collective@gmail.com and if you’re ever in Canberra, coffee?

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