Lynette Evans is an artist/maker and creative facilitator and the founder of Come Make It; a business providing creative workshops, parties and events throughout Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Here’s her story:
I’ve been making from a teeny tiny age, making, baking, and cutting and sticking, it’s how I grew up and made sense of the world. When I left school I trained in professional floristry, it was a great grounding for me; very practical, hands on work with loads of design elements thrown in. I worked commercially and freelance for many years and even had some success in national competitions.
I knew though that my creative self needed more. I went on to study an HND in Fine art at Bristol school of Art in my twenties where I developed not only my artistic skills but my conceptual ideas as well. I liked to push the boundaries between art and craft, with drawings moving into installation work.
My fascination with the creative process though has always been towards the therapeutic process itself and not necessarily the end product. The use of imagination and play being at the forefront of this. I’ve always been a firm believer that we are all creative, we can all draw, those that say they can’t just haven’t learnt to like what they see. But we can all make marks on paper, we can all draw. As adults we forget to play, forget to experiment and worry about not getting things “right”. This has always been the basis of my work when encouraging others to find their own creative path – There is no wrong. I totally believe in the therapeutic benefits of creative occupation, it is so important and there are many studies that prove the psychological benefits of creativity.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia shortly after having my daughter some 10 years ago. I was very ill for some time and still have peaks and troughs. Making kept me going, when all else failed I picked up a needle and cotton, a pencil and paper and kept going. It was then I started making jewellery and accessories under the name Love Nettie.
I used new, recycled and vintage items I had squirrelled away for years and started making, seriously making, I couldn’t stop! I’ve sold online, in shops and at various craft fairs and artisan markets and as time has moved on my interest in encouraging others to make has increased. I have held various workshops over the years here and there, for family and friends, at events and running arts weeks in schools but it has only been recently that I’ve really begun to focus on this. It was Christmas last year when I started brain storming Come Make it. Having run a successful craft event at home for friends and armed with their enthusiasm and support I realised that I needed to do more. I wanted to engage people in making, to share skills, to make crafting social again.
It’s been a rollercoaster few months with a huge variety of workshops and events. I’ve run messy play at toddler groups and come make it social groups in cafes, run craft parties and have spent 5 months this year working from a craft shop in Yate supplying a crafting area and workshops for customers young and old. It’s been a steep learning curve in business, crafting and event management! In all that I have achieved this year and everything I have done, my favourite is the social evenings I organise.
I am now running regular Come Make it…social evenings on the 4th Wednesday of the month at The Old Library, Eastville. It’s a fantastic community orientated space, comfortable and relaxed so it suits my evenings well. Each month I organise a different craft or theme to try. I bring examples, demonstrate ideas and skills and supply all sorts of bits and pieces to play with and enjoy. The evenings are relaxed and chatty and open to all from beginners to seasoned crafters, with a hope to build a social supportive group where you can make something fabulous to take home, along with some skills, enthusiasm, a sense of achievement and hopefully the desire to carry on making!
Come Make it… Social is held on the 4th Wednesday of the month 7.30-9pm and costs £10 per person. Booking is advisable which you can do by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or through meet up: www.meetup.com/Come-Make-It
Details of the next sessions are as follows:
Wed 26th Oct – Jam jar lanterns. Upcycling jars into lanterns using a variety of materials and techniques.
Wed 23rd Nov – Yuletide decorations- demonstrations and ideas for a variety of tree decorations to make and take home.