Get Crafty at Norfolk Makers Festival 2023!

10 February 2023

Get Crafty at Norfolk Makers Festival 2023! 

Mark those calendars, the Norfolk Makers Festival returns from Saturday, March 11 – Sunday, March 19, with its biggest and most inspiring programme ever! Whether you’re a professional creator or a beginner hobbyist, this year’s event is packed with outlets for everyone, no matter your skill level! 

From embroidery to print, weaving to jewellery design, there really is an incredibly vast choice in this year’s Norfolk Makers Festival, and it’s free to attend! Read on to find out more… 

What is the Norfolk Makers Festival about? 

Now in its eighth year, the Norfolk Makers Festival is a free, annual event which brings together and celebrates local artists and crafters – professional and amateur alike. It’s truly an amazing week of promoting creativity, collaboration, and expression.  

The Festival deeply encourages everyone to get involved, no matter their age, whether that’s trying something new or developing pre-existing skills! 

For those taking a greater interest, there is a programme of paid workshops, but these are all priced with accessibility in mind and are held in both daytime and evening slots. 

How do I attend Makers Festival events? 

All events listed in this blog are completely free, simply turn up on the day to get involved! However, there are some fantastic paid-for ticketed events too, check on the Makers Festival website for all your opportunities! 

What’s on?

Wood, Willow, and Whittling! 

To celebrate the first weekend of the Festival, it’s brought to life with an exciting, new demonstration of wood whittling! Expect folk music, chainsaw carving, tool making and willow weaving outside the Forum – Four-in-one!  

See how the best of the professionals bring wood to life with these amazing creations, like crafting handmade tools and shaping a plain trunk into an intricate and beautiful design! 

Animation, Body Art, Printing and Song Writing 

Continuing the Festival’s amazingly creative opportunities, why not chat and get involved with the city’s next generation of artist? Channel your inner Wallace & Gromit with stop frame animation, coached by students from Norwich University of the Arts, or see how makeup artists put together their looks! 

You can even learn about lino cut printing, quilting, song writing, and even get involved with eco-friendly jewellery making and sculpting with plastic cleared from Norfolk’s very own beaches.  

Upcycling and Mending 

Continuing on from eco-friendly jewellery making, why not see how you can stay green with the support of artists who actively upcycle? For those with a trove of fabrics, yarns, crafting supplies, and so on, there’ll be someone at the Festival who sees treasure in it all. 

Come along and meet these artists and groups who have ongoing projects and want what you no longer require! Talk about doing your good deed for the day…  

Dangerous Pockets 

Why shouldn’t women wear pockets? Inspired by a poem by Sharon Owens and in response to the theory that women may be hiding seditious material, artist Paula MacGregor has brought together this collaborative textile project, which will be on display every day of the Festival in the Forum. If you’d like to express your own thoughts using your very own stitching skills, find out more on the Festival’s website! 

Hands on Textiles for Everyone 

Textiles isn’t just sewing and struggling to thread the needle – well, maybe a little bit of the latter… But there’s a whole world out there, and you might just find a new passion!  

Enjoy trying your hand at loom weaving, quilt making, embroidery, knitting, crochet, drop spindling, and much more, all for completely free! 

See both traditional and creative methods, and take in the sights of displays, demos, exhibitions, workshops, and creative talks at the Forum! This year’s Festival also features two striking and thought-provoking exhibitions – The Dementia Darnings and the Grenfell Memorial Quilt Project. 

The Dementia Darnings 

These stitched portraits depict the life of a woman from her youth to her death, based on artist Jenni Dutton’s mother, Gladys. This exhibition will be on display at Norwich Cathedral from Thursday, March 9 – Saturday April 1. It truly is a must-see as an incredibly moving and deeply personal showcase of art.  

The Grenfell Memorial Quilt Project 

This collaborative project was set up as an outlet for the emotions of those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy. This project will run from Thursday, March 9 – Thursday, March 30. Six large quilt panels will hang from stone columns in St Peter Mancroft church, with a creative team on-site working on more and encouraging any visitors to contribute their thoughts using the textiles. Another emotionally powerful exhibition, don’t miss this event throughout March. 

Find out more about the Makers Festivals programme schedule and book your spot(s) on their website here.