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Archive for March, 2020

The Factory counts down to Sustainability Month

This April, to coincide with Earth Day, we’re running a special programme of workshops, talks and hands-on sessions at KWMC: The Factory, exploring how we can reduce our impact on the environment while we make useful and beautiful things.

Activities include using digital manufacturing technologies and traditional craft techniques to transform waste into new things, creating your own laser cut woodblocks for fabric printing and upcycling, and a talks programme with creatives who are experimenting with sustainable practices.

Read on to see what’s coming up and how you can get involved:

Alternative Materials

Use creative techniques to turn your household waste into new things!

Join us for series of two workshops and:

  • Discover the impact of common household waste materials
  • Find out how much you waste and what you can do to reduce this
  • Explore how to make DIY alternatives

ReThink, ReMake, ReCycle: Paper
Tuesday 7 April
10am – 2pm

Paper towels and tissues are usually made from recycled paper, which can’t be recycled again. Join us on 7th April to design and make your own reusable fabric alternatives. No sewing skills required!

ReThink, ReMake, ReCycle: Plastics
Tuesday 14 April
10am – 2pm

Single use plastic and its impact on the environment is a rapidly growing issue, with exported recycling waste being turned away and floating islands of plastic rubbish developing in our oceans. Join us on 14th April to learning about how to turn single-use plastic into new materials and create new ‘bioplastics’ using household food waste.

Workshops are free and suitable for ages 7+ (under 16s must be supervised by an adult).

Book your place via Eventbrite:


Upcycling Fabrics

Experiment with different ways to upcycle old clothing and re-use scrap fabrics

Sustainable Sewing & Textiles
Friday 3 April
10am – 12pm

An environmental twist on our monthly meet-up: make scrunchies from scrap fabrics and upcycle old clothing. FREE for Factory members / £3 for non-members | No need to book!

Upcycling with Laser Cut Woodblocks
Saturday 25 April
10am – 12pm

Learn how to design and make laser cut woodblocks for printing onto paper and fabrics in this four-hour Saturday workshop.

During the session you’ll learn how to use the vector design software Inkscape to create digital designs to be laser cut into wood. You’ll then have the chance to get upcycling and transform your pre-loved garments and fabric offcuts with woodblock prints of your own designs. 

£55. Visit our shop to book your place.


Get Inspired

Hear from designers and makers experimenting with sustainable creative practices

INSPIRE Talk: PositiveNegativePositive
with Walter Jack Studio
Wednesday 1 April

Walter Jack Studio will be introducing their project PositiveNegativePositive, a collaboration with KWMC The Factory, offering the opportunity for a group of local makers to be involved in a major public art commission. These makers will learn 2D design skills and develop designs for their own product(s) to be batch laser cut into brass sheet, with the leftover material featuring the negative space of these products forming panels for a large-scale façade on Hengrove Energy Centre, ensuring no section of the material is wasted.

INSPIRE Talk: Designing Away Litter
with Lisa Cole
Wednesday 22 April (Earth Day 2020)

Ethical designer, maker and teacher Lisa Cole’s talk will centre on sustainability, focusing on her human-centred design approach to a collaborative project with Up Our Street ‘Show Stapleton Road Some Love’, aimed at addressing the issues of litter and fly tipping in her local area.

INSPIRE talks are FREE for Factory members / £3 for non-members
RSVP to 0117 403 2306 or

For more info about the Sustainability Month at KWMC: The Factory, please contact

Sustainability Month at KWMC The Factory

The power of music: stories from Jump Studios

Knowle West Media Centre’s Jump Studios programme provides opportunities for young people aged 10-25 to experiment with music, develop their technical and creative skills, and explore new careers. Below are a selection of stories from young people who have been part of music-making programmes at KWMC.

Alex – making a musical ‘bucket list’

Alex, 19,  first engaged with Knowle West Media Centre when he attended the Sound Wave music retreat in 2019. During the retreat he learned mixing and mastering techniques to help give his music a more professional sound – which he passed on to a friend who also produces music when he got back! The retreat experience also helped him create a musical ‘bucket list’ of things he wanted to achieve and skills to develop further.

Alex says that before the retreat he didn’t engage with many people and wouldn’t share his music with others. He says: “now […] I’m not shy about letting people listen to my music. I can take on feedback and I’m not as critical of myself.”

Josh – trying new instruments and experiences

Josh, 21, got involved in The Male Room – a two-night, three-day retreat that took place in 2019 to support musicians and creatives to develop their craft and examine ideas around modern masculinity.

Josh had recorded an EP before the retreat, but the experience inspired him to record more music and fine-tune what he had already finished. The retreat also provided space for him to experiment with new instruments in a supportive environment. He says: “my main instrument is guitar but I hopped on the bass and tried on keys […] It pushed my skills.”

Since the retreat Josh has become a paid freelance member of KWMC’s Jump Studios team, working with young people to help them develop their skills in arts, media and technology.

Of his new mindset Josh says: “My confidence has grown because when I feel a bit low or anxious I have to remind myself that I did [the retreat] and if I could do that I could do this!”

Elisha – recognising talent and progress

Elisha first came to Knowle West Media Centre in 2018 when she attended the From Her Tracks retreat – a two-night, three-day experience designed to support young women to develop their musical skills and self-confidence.

She says the retreat helped her to realise that “the presence of someone else’s talent isn’t the absence of mine” – and she’s ‘learning to treat myself as a friend and be kinder to myself.’

After the retreat Elisha went on to create content for a local youth magazine, enrolled on a further music course at KWMC to hone her technical skills, and has performed at music events around Bristol.  She’s now planning to get her own equipment and work on an EP or small album.

She says: “I’ve learned to acknowledge my progress. Before I did the From Her Tracks retreat I didn’t actually think that pursuing music or a creative career was an option. It was only after that I thought that this might be worth pursuing.”

Kira – getting stuck in!

Kira, 11, attended the Jump into…Music programme at KWMC during February Half-Term in 2020.  During the practical sessions Kira and the other young people in the group experimented with singing and playing instruments, and learned to use music applications including Sound Trap. At the end of the programme Kira performed her original song for the group – singing and playing guitar – while her friend played drums.

Kira enjoyed her time at KWMC, advising others her age to “do it, be confident and get out there!”  Jump Studios’ Music lead Mike described Kira as ‘confident and always up for collaboration – the song she made has a great message.’

For more information about music opportunities at KWMC contact Mike on 0117 903 0444 or e-mail

From 2018 to 2020 our music programmes for young people were supported by Youth Music.

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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