It was Brightbox’s 5th Birthday and to celebrate we held our very first MakerFest on 10th December! We had makers, artists, and traders from Barnsley and South Yorkshire come to the DMC for the day. Throughout the day we held skill building workshops, had live music, said a few speeches, and of course, cut some cake!

Girls with Drills Drill Art at MakerFest DMC

We had a whole host of makers join us in the Atrium at the DMC. These included; Zoe Genders, who is a paper artist and was selling hand crafted greetings cards, paper baubles, and flower art. Sally Kilroy from Unwearable Jewellery, who makes jewellery from recycled materials, beads, seashells, sea glass, gardening wire and multimedia paints. Sally showcased her gorgeous handmade jewellery alongside canvases, prints, and illustrations!

Another one of our makers was Ellen from The Apothecary Barn; who was selling 100% Natural handcrafted skincare & homeware products all lovingly made in Yorkshire. Another talented Maker that joined us for the day was Liah Edwardes; Liah was creating portraits on her sewing machine live and from photographs!

The apothecary barn at Brightbox Makerfest

We also had Doodle Club Sheffield selling prints, badges, stickers, and other items from their talented array of independent doodlers. Doodle Club also set up a Doodle Station for everyone to get involved in and create their very own Doodles.

Finally for food, we had Rob from Pies with a Twist! Rob handmakes his shortcrust pies and fills them with Caribbean flavours. They were delicious and a best seller!

Alongside our Makers stalls we had some workshops running for everyone to get involved with. They included, a Build Your Own Terrarium, a DIY Birdbox, and Drill Art. The Design Museum London and Studio Polpo Sheffield also came to talk more about their new design programme, Ardagh Young Creatives, taking place in Barnsley schools. And offered the opportunity to think about and design the future of Barnsley through printmaking and collaging.

To bring some festive cheer we had live music from The York Waits, they are a Medieval & Renaissance style band that give regular concerts throughout Britain for festivals, music societies, schools, and private functions. They played a wide repertoire of period European music as well as their own arrangements of popular dance and ballad tunes; giving everyone at the DMC a taste of the 16th century in its heyday!

We also had Ben, a multi-instrumentalist singer, based in South Yorkshire, who has been performing for 15 years across the UK. On the day Ben played the piano and sang a mix of genres, which included Christmas songs and Indie songs.

To top it all off we had an awards ceremony, where our very own Eva, who is our Lead Community Makerspace Coordinator, was presented with the Josh Award 2022.

Josh award winner 2022

The Josh Award is a national prize for early- career science communicators. A personal focus for Eva's interest and experience is improving awareness of the magic that communities create when they grow their own food. She wants to celebrate community allotments and green spaces as powerful tools to improve our wellbeing and connect with nature and believes the mental, physical and emotional benefits of horticulture should be accessible to all.

It was an incredible day, watch this space for our next one in 2023!