Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Creative Twinning, Creative Winning

Last week's Creative Twinning events went off without a hitch (or at least none that you could see!) and we thank our partners for their help and support in making it all happen.

Our Karlsruhe guests Nora, Philine, Brigitte and Angelika arrived safely in Nottingham on Tuesday and we kicked off by attending a screening of 'Made in Dagenham' (written by Nottingham's own Billy Ivory) at the Nottingham Girls High School. The screening was hosted by Women in Nottingham, who made our guest very welcome and plied them with nibbles!
Billy Ivory introducing Made in Dagenham

Wednesday was a busy day for all, with Debbie, Philine and Angelika starting the day as guests of Mark Dennison on BBC Radio Nottingham, talking about Creative Twinning and the cultural links we are starting to form.

The first formal event was a forum, or panel discussion held in the Paul Smith Suite at the Broadway. we had over 50 attendees and the audience really engaged with all the designers. No awkward moments where noone wanted to ask a question. What was lovely was that the first and last questions in the session were directed at the audience by panel members! Thanks to Sarah McNicol from Antenna for her lively and informed chairing of the discussion.

Waiting for the forum to start
Then we were off to Designer Forum, where we had more nibbles and refreshments. A slightly hairy moment for a couple of the German designers who took a left in stead of a right on their way to Designer Forum and ended up ringing Jayne from outside the Victoria Centre, admitting 'We are lost!'.  We really enjoyed an opportunity to network and have a look round the DF facitlies including the truly amazing trend books.

Nina welcomes the guests for networking at Designer Forum
One very quick change for us designers and it was back to the Lace Market Gallery where the Creative Twinning collections looked lovely in that unique space. Many attendees stayed to round the day off with wine and nibbles and took the chance to talk more to the designers and other guests. Photos were taken by Affari magazine and are available to view here. By the time we said goodnight to the last guest we were pretty bushed but still managed to go for something to eat at Edin's on the way home.
L-R Debbie Bryan, Nora Rochel, Brigitte Adolph, Angelika Schmidt, Hannah Lobley, Jayne Childs, Philine Kempf
Thursday was our designer's last day in Nottingham and they used it well, Brigitte visited a lace manufacturer and came away loaded down with samples, whilst Philine and Angelika went on a whistle-stop tour of Nottingham Castle. Nora headed off to New York (what a jet-setter!) at midday, so we said goodbye to her mid morning as we went off to attend a lecture at Nottingham Trent University by Eco Fashion author Sass Brown.Thank you to Future Factory for organising that!

Finally we all had the pleasure of a look into NTU's Lace Archive, for which we must thank Amanda Briggs-Goode. Amanda is in charge of this amazing collection of lace and lace industry and was very tolerant of our oohs and aahs as she revealed yet another layer of Nottingham's amazing design history to us.

Angelika and I nipped off to the New Art Exchange where we were greeted by CEO Skinder Hundal and team, and treated to a personal tour of the new Leo Asemota exhibition.

One last meal together and it was goodbyes all round as our guests had to catch a taxi to the airport at (whisper it) 4am! I do hope they have recovered and have finally got back into the real world since thier visit. It has taken me this long to come down from the ceiling and evaluate all the opportunities that are coming Nottingham's way as a result of this twinning week.

Thanks again to our partners, to Debbie and Hannah for being good sports and to all of you who came to the events.

Finally don't forget you can catch the showcase at the Lace Market Gallery, 25 Stoney St Nottingham until 27th October. Please do leave your comments if you go, just like these! 

See you soon, Jayne x

Monday, 10 October 2011

Counting down to Creative Twinning events

The Creative Twinning events this week are the culmination of months of planning. We hope you'll enjoy them and join us as we exchange new cultural sustainable ideas with our Creative twins from Karlsruhe.

There's still time to register for any of the events, including the Creative Twinning Forum where you can find out more, join the conversation and shape the future for Creative Twinning with your ideas and involvement.

Afterwards, network with other Creative Industry professional at Designer Forum. Find out more abut the fabulous facilities they host in the heart of our creative city. Click here to register for Creative Networking

Finally, join us at a private view of our Creative Twinning Eco Showcase at the Lace Market Gallery on Stoney Street in Nottingham's historic Lace Market. Register here

We're really looking forward to seeing you there! Jayne, Hannah and Debbie (the Creative Twinning team)

update: read about us in Affari Magazine

Monday, 3 October 2011

Creative Twinning Partner - Future Factory

The Creative Twinning team have been supported by Future Factory at Nottingham Trent University (NTU). Lynn Oxborrow, Angela Scott and all the FF team have been so encouraging and really helped us to focus on  delivering the best Creative Twinning events that we can.

Future Factory helps small and medium sized companies from across the East Midlands access the resources and expertise held within NTU. Their focus is on building sustainability, so the Creative Twinning showcase gave us the perfect opportunity to join forces with them to promote and explore eco-design in the UK and abroad. Future Factory is supported by the European Regional Development Fund. For more information visit http://www.ntu.ac.uk/future_factory

Find out more about our Eco-Showcase and register to attend any of the Creative Twinning events by clicking here www.creativetwinning.eventbrite.com

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Creative Twinning Partner - Nick Rawle

Portrait photographer Nick Rawle is working on a series of images of East Midlands Designer Makers and offered to include images from his project in our eco-showcase. We asked him to tell us a little more about his project.

"These photographs are part of an ongoing documentary project on the craft skills and traditional makers of the East Midlands. The project came about as an attempt to find out what was left of the skills economy that made England the 'workshop of the world' in Victorian times, and to see if any of the skills and trades for which the region became famous were still in existence.
The textile mills, lace makers, bicycle manufacturers and leather workers which we associate with the various towns and cities of the region may no longer be mass manufacturers, but their unique skills remain and are flourishing again, and with them a sense of pride in the goods that they create, and the towns in which they are made.

The very modern twist to these traditional crafts is the notion of 'sustainability' and 'carbon footprint' two modern words for values and ideals that our Victorian forebears would have understood very well."

Visit Nick's website www.nickrphotography.com or Facebook page to see more of his work.

Sign up here for the Creative Twinning Eco-Showcase to see Nick's photographs in real life

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Our Creative Twins from Karlsruhe

We are very pleased to announce the names of the Creative Twin designers joining us from Karlsruhe in October. They are*:

Brigitte Adolph - Brigitte Adolph’s elaborately crafted pieces look like delicate lace. What seems to be finespun fabric, however, turns out to be pure precious metal. The graduate designer likes to play with optical illusions. Although inspired by the past, her rings, brooches, pendants and earrings are nevertheless characterized by an authentic, contemporary formal idiom.

Philine Kempf - Philine's work combine different materials in collages. The focus on the one hand, the portable art objects in the foreground. Different metals, stones, wood etc. adorn the people, but the carrier can also direct references to art and to produce energy: Physical, tangible, visible to constantly changing places, transformable by the background.

Nora Rochel - Nora Rochel's new work is called “Phytophilia” which means “love for plants”. She draws inspiration from the miracle of life, the cycle of growth, bloom and decay. The emphasis is on life affirming energy and the positive symbolism of plants and flowers representing growth and fertility.

The designers will be accompanied by Angelika Schmidt who represents the Department of International Relations in Karlsruhe Culture Office and has been a great help to us in organising the Creative Twinning visit.

To find out more about the designers and about the creative sector in Germany more generally, why not attend our Creative Twinning events on 12th October?

For more information and to book your place, please click here http://www.creativetwinning.eventbrite.com/

*Please click on the designer's name to visit their website. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Creative Twinning has a New Logo

We are very excited to unveil our fantastic new Creative Twinning Logo. 
It's been designed by the talented graphic designer and photographer Daniel Lane. 

See more of his work at www.dl-web.net


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Creative Twinning October events

Following on from the success of a collaborative showcase in Karlsruhe in May, we have created a programme of events on the 12th October 2011, including the launch of a  3 week exhibition at the Lace Market Gallery, Stoney Street, Nottingham.

12th October 2-4pm - Paul Smith Screen Room, Broadway Cinema - FREE EVENT

Creative Forum - This is a unique opportunity to find out about the Creative Twinning concept and meet the designers involved from Nottingham and Karlsruhe. During question time, ask the designers anything! It's a great opportunity to find out about exhibiting abroad, get their views on eco-design and sustainability or maybe what it's like to run a business in 2011?

 The questions are yours to ask, places are limited so booking is essential. Click the button to the right to register now. alternatively, find out more on the event web page www.ctforum121011.eventbrite.com

12th October 4.30-6pm - Designer Forum, Lower Parliament Street- FREE EVENT

Informal follow on networking event to meet like minded creatives and small businesses within the East Midlands. Booking essential and mandatory.Please see the http://creativetwinning.blogspot.com for booking procedures

12th October 6-8pm - Exhibition launch event at Lace Market Gallery - FREE EVENT

Private view of the Creative Twinning Exhibition, a Collection of environmental and ethical sustainable work including jewellery, textiles, lace & paper.

Come and join us for this unique event, view the artwork and meet new people in a great venue.

12th - 28th October - Lace Market Gallery, Stoney Street, Nottingham - FREE ENTRY

Creative Twinning Exhibition- a collection of Eco-Creative work by J.C Middlebrook, Paperwork by Hannah Lobley, Debbie Bryan Collections and 3 designers from Nottingham's twinned city of Karlsruhe, Germany. Private view Wednesday 12th October from 6-8pm

Remember you can find out more and register here  www.ctforum121011.eventbrite.com

Monday, 15 August 2011

Creative Twinning for Creative October

We're onto the next stage for Creative Twinning! Designers from Karlsruhe have been sending in applications and we have to thank Angelika Schmidt for her hard work in promoting and supporting us. Angelika works for Karlsruhe Culture Office in the Department of International Relations. She has acted as a point of contact for designers in Karlsruhe and will be joining us here in Nottingham in October for our eco-showcase.

Things are moving on at a fast pace, we are designing a programme to exchange ideas and experiences. The visiting designers will be involved in talks and other networking events during their stay in Nottingham. Future Factory at Nottingham Trent University have been a major partner in organising this.

We have also secured an exhibition space in Nottingham's historic Lace Market Gallery, thanks to New College Nottingham. Alongside our work there, we'll have images from portrait photographer Nick Rawle. More on Nick in a later post, but here's one of his images to keep you going.

So all in all, it's going to be a busy couple of months in the lead up to Creative Twinning's next showcase. We're so excited about the possibilities!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Stage two - Nottingham Twinning Showcase

Now that we've returned from Karlsruhe, we're busy planning the next stage of our project. As you'll remember, we three designers visited Nottingham's twin city of Karlsruhe in Germany at the end of May. The aim was to make links with designers there and begin a process which would end in us inviting three eco-designers to come and showcase in Nottingham during Creative October 2011.

Luckily for us, the Eunique team and local agencies were really helpful to us in making those links. The show catalogue helpfully noted where designers were from, so we were able to go to Karlsruhe designer's stand and chat to them about our ideas.

Since we have returned we have been working on the second stage of the plan, that of inviting applications from designers in Karlsruhe. NTU's Future Factory has agreed to host some events where the visiting designers will be asked to reflect on their experience of being an 'Eco-designer' in Germany. We'll also have a three week exhibition of work. Last Friday we met to firm up our plans and have a look round a potential showcase venue, NCN's gallery space on Stoney Street in Nottingham.

The next stage is to send the invitations to apply, and hopefully select the best three to join us for our showcase and talks programme. Those will be sent this week and we look forward to seeing what response we get.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Our project- feedback on the first stage

As three Nottingham based designers, we decided to put the cultural agreement between Nottingham and the twin city of Karlsruhe to the test by organising a trip to Eunique. We have just returned from there on the first stage of our ‘Creative Twinning’ project. We’ll be returning the favour by inviting three designers from Karlsruhe to join us for series of events and a showcase during Creative October.

So it was that we found ourselves in Germany during the beautiful month of May, with three stands to celebrate Nottingham Designer/Makers, Debbie Bryan, Hannah Lobley (Paperwork) and Jayne Childs ( JC Middlebrook). Whilst talking to the show’s visitors, we found that about half of those from Karlsruhe knew about the twinning. Many weren’t aware of Nottingham’s creative heritage but luckily we were armed with some great NTU DNA (Design NottinghAm) brochures, Experience Nottinghamshire pins and postcards, and maps to show off some aspects of our creative city.

Over the three days we talked ourselves hoarse and even persuaded some folks to note down what they thought of Nottingham design in general and our work in particular. The language barrier was a bit of an issue as many people weren’t confident to write anything in English, which was something to reflect on for future events. One of the loveliest comments was a beautiful German phrase ‘Blütenträume aus Nottingham’ which we were told translates as ‘Blossom dreams of Nottingham’ but it just seems more poetic in the native language! (And I do hope I have spelt it correctly, translation being one of the other stumbling blocks of our trip!)

We also introduced ourselves to designers from Karlsruhe and local officials who can help us to find the three designers to invite for the return leg. They were all just so kind and very keen to be involved. So, what are my impressions of Karlsruhe? Calm, clean and green. My impressions of Karlsruhe design: modern, creative and light. We can’t wait to get started on the second stage, and show off our creative city to our german counterparts.

We're back from Karlsruhe...

We're back after a successful show and are now following up with our contacts. Met some great Designers from Karlsruhe who were very excited about our exhibition plans and further projects. More exciting developments to come!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Packing to go

Like many creative people I work in a bit of a muddle, and that has been exacerbated by the rush to create display and samples for the Eunique showcase. Lace and boxes have been building up, and only now have they been stowed in the suitcase.

My only challenge is to keep my luggage below weight for the return journey, so if I don't sell much I won't be able to buy anything! Well, that seems fair

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Exciting News...

Our collective stands and work in the exhibition hall at Eunique will be introduced to members of the press on the preview night. The organisers have arranged for us to meet them as we are visiting designers from Karlsruhe’s partner city. This is fantastic opportunity to speak to the press personally and promote the Creativity in Nottingham, very excited!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Only a week to go before we travel to Karlsruhe in Germany for our first Creative Twinning adventure!

I had to check a map to find out where exactly we were going (so much for the A Level in Geography, eh?) So apparently according to Google, there it is, in the South West. We're flying from Stanstead into Baden Baden airport and travelling by bus into Karlsruhe. Hannah and I sent some work over by carrier today, so fingers crossed that it arrives OK

We're all nervously checking and double checking that we have done everything. Luckily, there being three of us, we will be able to support each other in the frantic setting up of displays and inevitable forgotten items!