Thursday, 30 September 2010

Project Press

This went out on Wednesday--hoping for some good responses, and some additions to the Long List.

Study to focus on making and mending trades

In today’s throwaway culture of mass production goods, the practice of making and mending everyday products is a dying art.

However, a new research project led by the University of Exeter is aiming to track down and document some of the surviving businesses which are keeping alive these skills.

The team behind the study are appealing to people to let them know about workplaces which continue to carry out small-scale repair and production activities in their local communities.

Dr Caitlin DeSilvey, lead researcher for the project, said: “We want to find out about places in the South West region that still maintain the art of making and mending everyday objects — like shoes, clothes, tools, toys and small appliances. These kinds of ordinary 'hands-on' businesses are becoming increasingly uncommon. They are often taken for granted until they disappear. We’re asking people to suggest places they value – either for the services they provide or for their contribution to local history.”

Each of the workplaces featured in the study will be visited by a professional photographer who will create a series of images to document the character and history of the individual shops. A series of exhibitions and public events will showcase the pictures and engage communities with the project.

At the end of the project the images will become part of the South West Image Bank (SWIB) based in Plymouth, which is a partner in the study. The research project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Anyone who wants to nominate a place of work or business in their local community can contact Dr DeSilvey on 01326 254161 or email her at

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