As a recent volunteer at Hack Oldham, I decided to get to know Hack a little better, by visiting some of the weekly activities. My first visit was to the Monday night session, Craft and Cake. As someone who considers themselves not very craftsy, I was shocked to find myself enjoying the session and hearing about the member’s projects.
First I spoke to Andy, a man of many hobbies and interests, something that became more evident, the longer I spent talking to him. Andy was working on a bag he had designed himself. He had recently undertaken a leatherworking course, a craft that has been around a very long time, but can be overwhelming to many at first. The skill takes a lot of patience and practice, with each piece taking the most skilled of leatherworkers days or even weeks to finish. Andy wasn’t disheartened by this, explaining it is something he found relaxing and could take anywhere. He told me that he even got it out on his breaks at work! Andy has made mugs, satchels and even a pair of shoes!
By the time I had finished my chat with Andy, the other crafters were well on their way with their individual projects. Each project was diverse and being worked on by each individual for varying reasons. Angela was stitching a pillow together from pieces of fabric given to her by a family member. She was making it to use as a bed for her new kittens. Leah was crafting Japanese buttons in preparation for Christmas. She explained to me that her mother’s hobby is collecting buttons and had decided to tackle the difficult present-buying task by making her mother’s present! The buttons were colourful and delicately embroidered, and what made Leah’s project even more impressive was the fact that the instructions were all written in Japanese!
Chris explained to me that she had recently bought a Summer House and was wanting to decorate it in the hope of making it more homely. Using a white and green patterned fabric, she was covering pieces of triangle shaped card, to make bunting to hang inside. Dorothy had taken on the tricky craft of crocheting. A craft that involved using a needle and thread and interlocking loops of yarn.
No project was alike, but all crafters were brought together by their shared love of crafting. The group came from many different areas, in and around Oldham, and had started this group as a result of most crafts classes being placed in the middle of the day, a problem for many who work weekdays. The Craft and Cake class is held every Monday 7-9pm and is open to all, novices, beginners and experts alike. It’s never too late to learn something new, and you may find some new friends in the process…and, if I need to persuade you anymore, there’s even cake!