Make Works are factory finders for designers and makers. Originally started out of designer, Fi Scott’s frustration with not being able to find suppliers or workshops where she could to make things; the platform sources local manufacturers, material suppliers and workshop facilities that are all too often hidden away in industrial estates. The aim is to make local production more accessible and inspiring.
Fi has given us five of her recommended ‘hidden’ Make Works factories.
Willy Love is an incredible cabinetmaker based in Maryhill. You won’t find a website on him – but he makes pieces for Glasgow artists such as Martin Boyce and Simon Starling – Jay Z even has something made by him. He has been there for the last 18 years, his attention to detail is impeccable and he is brilliantly passionate about what he makes.
If you didn’t know it was there you would walk past this place. In the middle of Glasgow, we still have a working tannery that supplies leather for companies worldwide, including the seating on British Airways, Emirates and SAKS Fifth Avenue. The best part is that individuals can equally walk in there and purchase a singular hide; or have pieces bespoke dyed to colour.
When Sandy first got in touch with us, we were unsure that anyone we knew was using Make Works would have a use for ‘gaskets’ – it just seemed like a very industrial process for an artist or designer to need. Once we walked in there however, we realised very quickly that manufacturing gaskets was simply pattern cutting for flat rubber, in any shape or size. We were impressed by the craftsmanship in the work that goes on in this place – and can’t wait to start seeing sculptures, flooring or even fashion come out of here!
Down a one track road in the middle of Shetland, you’ll come across Jamiesons. Visiting here was like finding a Willy Wonka factory of wool in the middle of nowhere! In the middle of a field, the factory is filled with wool, vats of dye, and noisy spinning and knitting machines everywhere. The company are still family run; making jumpers and yarn that sell across the world for the likes of Selfridges, Oi Polloi and Japan.
Right in the city centre of Dundee is waxed cotton factory Halley Stevensons. Again, if you didn’t know it was here you could have lived in Dundee all your life and not be aware that this the city where the fabric for Barbour jackets comes from. Taking cotton fabrics from just 5m and having it weatherproofed through bubbling pots of wax – this manufacturer has a unique process and supplies high fashion rain-wear and luggage brands in Scotland and across the world.
Find out more about how Make Works got started on Central Station here.
For more recommendations on what to read, watch or listen to, go here.