The Mothers Way, Jenn Watts

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A community play space for everyone to make, create, explore, meet and share.

Explain how “The Makers Way” originated?

The Makers Way is basically a culmination of all of my adventures and experience through life! I have always played with a strong creative thread through my work, and I’m inspired by working with the community. I’ve been on the lookout for a new play space around the region; I finally found Pulteney Street, and it was the perfect place to birth The Makers Way!

Tell us a bit about this new and exciting creative space.

The Makers Way is a makers’ space. We are all makers of some kind, whether we realise it or not, so this makes it a place for everyone! Folks of all ages, walks of life, beliefs and intentions wander into this play space and discover something. What they discover is different for everyone. Some find it sparks a memory of a playful moment from their childhood; for some it erupts an inspirational outburst of the potential and possibilities of what could occur in the space; and for others it ignites a reminder of something they would like to try out, but have had that intention buried for so long. It really is an inspirational play space set in the heart of our community.

What kind of programs or workshops can one expect to find here?

It’s a basic formula which encourages community individuals and local organisations to hire our warehouse space or our Mandala Room to facilitate and host workshops, meetings and events. The possibilities are endless, and we certainly get two types of people coming through the door. One, that wants to host or facilitate a workshop or event, and the other, that is looking to participate in that workshop or event. I would not typically like to put the types of workshops “in a box”, as the diversity is so exciting! Programs range from wall art, fig tree sculpture building, tinker shop woodworking, mosaic, activists art, plug into our PA system and Jam, chill in our lounge garden and have a game of chess, pottery, market, open mic, theatre, movement, meetings, weaving, yoga, girl to woman event and a book nook.

Tell us about the mindfulness program you have running on the 14th May. 

We have a four week mindfulness course which will run from May and can be booked online through the Mindfulness Works Website. Our Mandala Room is a great space for facilitating these kind of group workshops and has a calm, welcoming vibe. A New Mothers support circle group is also starting once a month, and will meet from 6th May. An amazing local woman from Pollination Mama will be sharing her nourishing knowledge and support for women at all stages of motherhood.

You’re very community and youth minded. How do you intend to engage people, and what are some of the benefits?

Ha! Yes, well, most of my mates know I play like a big kid! I believe it keeps us healthy, strong, open minded, and gets us through the tough times. Play is essential to our general wellbeing! I really enjoy engaging with young folk, to learn from them, to encourage and inspire each other. The Makers Way is open Wednesdays from 3 – 5pm, initiating our “Walk Off the Street” program, encouraging all ages really, to come in to our warehouse space to tinker, jam, build, create and meet new folk, sharing knowledge and skills. I am hoping this can be a space where everyone feels at home. This in turn encourages and fosters great community relationships and thoughtfulness towards each other and our environment. I would hope to see the young folk initiate their own events and community initiatives with the support of The Makers Way community.

Can people exhibit or sell at The Makers Way?

We have a shop area where local makers can showcase and/or sell their creations. The Makers Way encourages craft or art that makes waves, has impact or a message to say, considers our environment and our Earth’s resources, and supports innovative designs and ideas that support the wellbeing of our planet, its resources and all that dwell therein. 

One of my personal passions is raising awareness and shifting the mindset for the industrial uses of Hemp. Some of my textile designs will be available soon in our shop, showing the diversity of Hemp fibres, Hemp body products and once our “Hemp Bar” goes in, beneficial edible Hemp products will be available in our juices and smoothies!

What’s the reaction from the community been like so far?

Wow! Wow! And …Wow! Folk say they reckon The Makers Way has a great vibe, a welcoming host, amazing capacity and endless possibility for play! … And meetings! We have great foot traffic on Pulteney St, and find our posters lining our full glass shop front are catching people’s attention and informing them of the many amazing happenings arising within the space. I also like that it’s a bit of a mysterious space, which invites curiosity. And then the wonder kicks in, as they meander through our shop front into the warehouse space, that opens up the playfulness in everyone that comes in. Then we usually have a laugh, while they let it all sink in!

Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?

In the first week of the holidays, we linked up with 2BOB Radio to run a Three Day Found Objects Sculpture Workshop open to all ages, with the participants’ finished sculpture to be displayed at the upcoming Envirofair. 

A local potter is running a Ceramic Spoon Making Workshop on the 12th May and can be booked through The Makers Way. 

Looking ahead for the winter holidays, we are hosting a Girl to Woman “Embracing the Change” full day event for girls ages 10 – 17, with 10 amazing women facilitating workshops, discussions and play shops. Tickets go on sale soon and include a full day of workshops, facilitators and catering. This is going to be an amazing event! 

Where can we find out more information?

To keep in the flow of what’s happening at The Makers Way, simply check out our Facebook page of the same name, and if you’re cruising round town, drop in. Only you yourself can define your own experience of The Makers Way. 

Thanks Jenn. 

Interview: Bronwyn Davis.

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