We are always amazed by the variety of people that Blackhorse Workshop attracts, and the stories that lead them here. Recently we met new member Brooke Dennis who came to Blackhorse to work on her new business Make Town. Originally from New Zealand and with a background in fashion design, Brooke moved to London and took up knitting. Her friend and fellow workshop member, Herb Palmer, introduced her to the workshop where she came and did an induction. She decided she needed to set up her own workshop, but for textiles, teaching workshops in weaving, knitting and sewing, and so she registered her business Make Town. After finding a premises in Hackney, she was set up and running in just six weeks!
We caught up with her to learn about how she built her shop here at Blackhorse…
Working together with Herb, she started making the yarn wall for the textiles shop which would hold the 320 cones of yarn. They then started making 100 small tapestry looms which would be used for teaching the workshops. A retail shelving unit and fabric storage followed, and steel framed tables and bar.
‘Herbert was super keen to lend his talents to the project and so I just followed his lead and tried my hand at all the projects as we went along, learning how to handle different tools and what safety equipment to wear. It was Aces. Felt amazing needing a shower after a hard days work. That’s my jam right there!’
‘For 5 or so weeks, Blackhorse Workshop became my new workplace. I found a new part time family, who made me delicious coffees and answered my questions and helped me carry heavy things around. The workshop is magical and inspiring and is exactly the atmosphere and community I want to build at Make Town, but fibre instead of wood.’
‘It is a profound moment when you walk into a space you have envisioned and made happen with your own two hands. I painted that ceiling, I screwed those together, I cut those 5000 pegs, I fired nails into that, and I sanded and varnished all of those surfaces three bloody times! I was luckily enough to be able to make the dream a reality because of Blackhorse and Herbert, and I tell everyone who asks! Sharing is caring. But I just love making. And I think lots of people would benefit from the simplicity of creating.’
You can check out Brooke’s blog video about her experience at Blackhorse Workshop here.
Make Town is now open and running workshops, craft parties and events. They also sell a wide range of craft supplies and books to get you started.