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Of repair cafés and making things

  • by JW

We have friendly ways to get rid of our stuff – otherwise known as recycling – especially helpful at this time of year:

Here’s to a green Christmas!


We also have very friendly ways to get rid of that shopping for stuff habit – otherwise known as ‘making’ – as showcased on Radio 4 today:


What If We Stopped Buying Stuff and Started Making It?

What do we really understand about the stuff we own, what does it mean to us and what would the world look like if everybody started to buy less and make more?

Writer and occasional knife-maker Tim Hayward meets the crafts people and repairers who are challenging themselves and others to think harder about the things they buy, use and throw away. How has consumerism warped our relationship with the objects we use everyday and how would our lives be different if we understood how stuff was made?

Barnaby Carder, aka Barn the Spoon, is a green woodworker and “spoon tramp” working out of his Hackney shop while, over in Herefordshire, Joel Black and Holland Otik run a community pottery and blacksmith’s forge. Other contributors include Laura James who co-founded the Cambridge Make Space, Clarry Elliot who helped set up the Leeds Repair Café, and designer and Cabinet Maker Poppy Booth.

A homemade world might seem like a sweet, nostalgic place, but the contemporary rise of making is having complex and unpredictable results.

What If We Stopped Buying Stuff and Started Making It?


Sidmouth has its monthly Repair Café:

Sidmouth Repair Cafe


It’s part of a bigger thing:

Futures Forum: Repair Cafés: in praise of economic inefficiency

Futures Forum: The right to repair > spreading repair knowledge online

Futures Forum: The world’s first recycling mall, revolutionizing shopping in a climate-smart way.


Here are a couple of links from the programme:

Barn the Spoon

Makespace Cambridge


It’s quite a movement:


The maker culture is a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture[citation needed] that intersects with hacker culture (which is less concerned with physical objects as it focuses on software) and revels in the creation of new devices as well as tinkering with existing ones. The maker culture in general supports open-source hardware. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronicsrobotics3-D printing, and the use of Computer Numeric Control tools, as well as more traditional activities such as metalworkingwoodworking, and, mainly, its predecessor, traditional arts and crafts. The subculture stresses a cut-and-paste approach to standardized hobbyist technologies, and encourages cookbook re-use of designs published on websites and maker-oriented publications.[1][2] There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them to reference designs.[3] There is also growing work on equity and the maker culture.

Maker culture | Wikipedia


And a great place to go for tips on carpentry and other making stuff is from the Yard and Garden Guru:

How to Get Into Woodworking (Learn Woodworking)

Vegetable Garden Planting – Home | Facebook



Futures Forum: Have yourself a Minimalist Christmas