The Devon Guild of Craftsmen

The Devon Guild of Craftsmen / News / Wed 14 Sep 2016

Football's coming home - community craft exhibition

Football's coming home - community craft exhibition

Exhibition runs 17 Sept. - 6 Nov. 2016

An unlikely combination of football and craft have provided the inspiration for Souvenirs from Home, a new exhibition at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. Gilded football boots and decorated silk team shirts are amongst craftworks on display, made by artists working with football supporters across the UK.

Souvenirs from Home is the culmination of Home Ground, a 3-year project which celebrates the cultural heritage of 6 football clubs with nicknames inspired by the local craft industries that shaped their communities. Stoke City Football Club takes its nickname from a close association with the ceramics industry. So Stoke fans are supporters of ‘The Potters’. Other chosen clubs include Sheffield United – their team is also called The Blades – and The Hatters of Luton Town. Teams often grew out of their respective trades. Each football club worked with artists and makers to explore how their historic craft industry could be used to create new work about identity and place.

It all began with the Guild’s 2014 Home Ground exhibition which led to a collaboration between the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and participating English league football clubs. It became a mini-touring show starring a traditional hand-stitched football made by Colyton-based leatherworker John Hagger. Along the way, supporters and community groups of all ages took part in workshops to make and display objects inspired by the craft heritage and skills which made their town’s products and football teams, famous.
At Crystal Palace, artist Michelle Dawson worked with The Glaziers supporters and community groups to create one-off “souvenirs”. Those taking part learned more about the history of the local area. Working with the artist, each participant designed and created a stained glass panel celebrating the club.

In Sheffield, local people created their own medals using traditional metalworking techniques. In Luton they learnt about hatmaking and decorated their own boaters. For Stoke City’s Potters, a ceramic collage was created using individual shapes with images and lettering inspired by the city’s heritage.

Souvenirs showcases distinctive work by communities across the country and specially commissioned pieces from each of the artists who worked with the football clubs. All explore a sense of place and identity through uniting craft, trade and sport - all with roots buried deep in the British psyche.

Erica Steer, Director of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen said: “This exhibition celebrates the connection between tradition, contemporary craft and our six chosen football clubs. Our artists have used the story of the town’s historic craft industries to connect people and places and build an understanding of the importance of craft in creating a distinctive sense of place, which in turn strengthens communities.
The Home Ground project has given us an opportunity to capture people’s interest in craft through another passion – football.”

The Souvenirs from Home exhibition is at Devon Guild of Craftsmen in Bovey Tracey from Saturday 17 September- Sunday 6 November 2016 before touring the country. Entrance is free. Launches 6pm, 16 Sept.

Contact 01626 832223

The participating football clubs are (links to heritage information websites):
Sheffield United – The Blades
Macclesfield Town – The Silkmen
Stoke City – The Potters
Walsall Town – The Saddlers
Luton Town – The Hatters
Crystal Palace – The Glaziers

The project has received National Lottery funding through Arts Council England.

Devon Guild of Craftsmen
The Devon Guild of Craftsmen is the leading contemporary crafts organisation in the South West, seeking to inspire creative excellence and to create opportunities for everyone to learn through making.

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News Location

Devon Guild of Craftsmen

Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey,
Devon, TQ13 9AF
Telephone: 01626 832223
TQ13 9AF

Telephone: 01626 832 223

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