Press room

Make! – summer workshops in the Barbican Shop

Detail of weaving workshop with Christabel Balfour featuring loom

Following the success of the Make! season of contemporary craft over the spring, the Barbican Shop today announces a further programme of Make! workshops to take place during the summer.

Allowing visitors to learn new skills and explore traditional crafts with a contemporary twist, the workshops will showcase some of the UK’s leading makers who are celebrating modern crafts and helping to redefine its meaning today.

Highlights of the upcoming summer workshops include ring carving with The Workbench, bookbinding with London Centre For Book Arts, concrete jewellery making with Rhiannon Palmer, casting with Phil Cuttance, bundle dyeing with Botanical Inks, weaving with Christabel Balfour, lino printing with Jamie Temple, and paper art with Hannah Miles.

Launched in spring 2018, the original Make! season in the Barbican Shop was a hit with audiences, with a range of workshops, installations, and talks that highlighted the growing popularity of the maker movement.  The season also continued the work of the Barbican Shop in supporting independent crafts talent, offering makers a platform to reveal the inspirations and techniques behind their work. 

Jo Davis, Head of Retail at the Barbican, said: “Make! has been a fantastic opportunity for the Barbican Shop to showcase unique and hand crafted products, bringing to life the methods and processes behind them.  Through Make! we’ve been able to reveal how things are actually made whilst also giving the audience a chance to take part and make something for themselves.  We’ve had such a positive response to the season, from ring carving and casting to bookbinding and weaving there really was something to interest everyone, and we look forward to offering further chances for our customers to engage with makers and learn about a new craft during our Make! summer workshops” 

The Barbican is a leading international arts and learning centre, and the workshops will take place in the recently expanded Barbican Shop. Designed by RIBA Stirling Prize-winning practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, the 330 square metre shop is spread over two floors, providing room for events and programing that see the shop become an extension of the Barbican’s foyer spaces and a destination in its own right.

Programme information:

The full programme for the Make! summer workshops is as follows, with tickets available via from 30 May for Barbican Members and from 1 June for the general public (details on becoming a Barbican Member can be found at

Ring Carving workshops with The Workbench London
Sat 7 Jul, 10.30am–12.30pm and 2–4pm
Sun 8 Jul, 10.30am–12.30pm
Barbican Shop

Participants can learn to carve their own silver ring from jeweller’s wax, which will then be cast into solid silver by The Workbench following the workshop, professionally polished, and delivered back to them. The Workbench is an east London collective established in 2014 that run original, fun and creative jewellery craft nights.

Bookbinding workshops with London Centre For Book Arts
Sat 14 Jul, 10.30am–12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm
Sun 15 Jul, 10.30am–12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm
Barbican Shop

Two workshop classes on the art of bookbinding with experts from the London Centre for Book Arts, one looking at stab binding and one looking at concertina binding. Participants will learn the basics of bookbinding and how it can be done simply at home. London Centre for Book Arts is an artist-run, open-access studio providing workshop programmes for the community and access to resources for artists and designers.

Concrete Jewellery workshops with Rhiannon Palmer
Sat 21 Jul, 10.30am–1pm and 3-5.30pm
Sun 22 Jul, 10.30am–1pm and 2-4.30pm
Barbican Shop
Rhiannon Palmer
is a London-based jewellery designer who has chosen to use concrete as a creative medium. In a series of workshops on creating unique, hand-cast concrete jewellery, Rhiannon will demonstrate how tactile and beautiful the material can be. Participants will create their own moulds, learn the tricks to mixing, dyeing, pouring and de-casting, and take home with them their finished jewellery together with an after-care kit.

Casting workshops with Phil Cuttance
Sat 4 Aug, 10.30am–12.30pm and 2-4pm
Sun 5 Aug, 10.30am–12.30pm and 2-4pm
Sat 18 Aug, 10.30am–12.30pm and 2-4pm
Sun 19 Aug, 10.30am–12.30pm and 2-4pm
Barbican Shop

Participants will learn how to cast a bud vase from Jesmonite Stone with designer/maker Phil Cuttance. They will choose from six different vase shapes, assemble their mould, and then mix and cast their own vase in a unique colour scheme with marbled effects.

Bundle Dyeing using fresh flowers with Botanical Inks
Sat 11 Aug, 10am–12pm and 1–3pm
Barbican Shop
Botanical Inks
is a Bristol-based natural dye studio that tours the UK providing workshops on bundle dyeing – an innovative eco-design process that uses plants and flowers, transferring their natural dyes and healing herbal qualities onto cloth. Participants will learn how to create a range of patterns using plant vinegars, the symbolism behind plant-inspired designs, how to responsibly forage for dyes in the local landscape, and will take home with them a beautiful natural dye printed silk cloth.

Weaving workshops with Christabel Balfour
Sat 1 Sep, 10.30am–2.30pm
Sun 2 Sep, 10.30am–2.30pm
Sat 8 Sep, 10.30am–2.30pm
Sun 9 Sep, 10.30am–2.30pm
Barbican Shop

This four-hour class with south London based tapestry weaver Christabel Balfour will cover the basics of hand-weaving before building up to more advanced techniques to make a wall-hanging that can be taken home. Participants will learn how to set up and wrap their looms, create a fringe for their wall-hanging and start weaving, before moving on to building shapes, blending colours and creating texture with soumak and rya knotting.

Lino Printing workshops with Jamie Temple
Sat 15 Sep, 10.30am–2.30pm (Single colour & Multi Plate Linocut)
Sun 16 Sep, 10.30am–2.30pm (Three Colour Reduction Linocut)
Barbican Shop
Jamie Temple
is an artist and printmaker living and working between London and Glasgow, drawing inspiration from a lifelong fascination with the built and natural environments we inhabit. In these workshops he will demonstrate the art of lino printing – a fun and accessible way of making prints that also provides a great introduction to relief printing for aspiring makers of all levels. Starting with a single block of lino, participants will make a one colour lino print, taking time to try out different cutting tools and methods of printing before introducing a second layer of colour to their lino prints from a separate block.

Paper Art with Hannah Miles
Sat 29 Sep, 10am–12pm, 1–3pm, 3.30–5.30pm
Barbican Shop
Hannah Miles
is a Midlands-based paper illustrator who works by hand to create layered works and 3D paper crafted scenes, and will be demonstrating the basic skills of paper cutting to create handmade cards and decorations. Unique to her series of workshops at the Barbican will be a focus on illustrations inspired by the iconic architecture of the centre and the tropical plants of the Barbican Conservatory.


Selected products available to buy from makers involved in the Make! summer workshops include:

Workbench Box by The Workbench
Silver ring £95, Gold ring £130, Wide Silver Ring £130, Silver Signet Ring £150, Wide Gold Ring £155
The first of its kind in the world, the Workbench Box makes it possible to carve custom rings at home. The price includes all costs involved in making a ring including silver or gold, UK postage for delivering the carved ring to The Workbench for polishing, and for polishing time in their workshop. The Workbench is an east London collective that will be running a series of ring carving workshops during the Barbican’s Make! season.

Making Books
Published by Pavilion Books
192 pages, hardback book
ISBN: 9781911216209
A modern, stylish and practical guide to the traditional craft of bookbinding, written by the founders of the London Centre for Book Arts. Accessible enough for complete beginners, while full of inspiration for those with more experience, this is the ultimate guide to making beautiful books by hand. A combination of practical and inspirational photography guides readers clearly through each stage of the process, showcases the unique results that can be achieved, and offers an exclusive peek into the workings of the authors' studio. The London Centre for Book Arts is an artist-run, open-access studio that will be running bookbinding workshops during the Barbican’s Make! season.

Botanical Inks
Published by Quadrille Publishing Ltd
192 pages, paperback book
ISBN: 9781787131569
Learn how to transform foraged wild plants, garden produce and recycled food into dyes and inks with this book written by Babs Behan of Botanical Inks, an artisan natural dye studio based in Bristol. The book outlines how to extract environmentally sustainable colour from the landscape and use it to create natural dyes for textiles, clothing, paper and other materials. Also described is the art of bundle dyeing, shibori tie-dyeing, hapazome, indigo sugar vat dyeing and wood-block printing, as well as how to create everyday fashion items from a simple bundle-dyed a scarf to a block-printed tote bag.


Notes to Editors

Barbican Shop

Level G & M, Barbican Centre
Opening hours: Mon–Sat: 10am–9pm, Sun: 10am–8pm
Prices are correct at time of going to press
0207 638 8274