I grab a quick chat with Bronwen Jones at the end of her work placement with Makerversity. Bronwen’s first interaction with Makerversity came via the Prince’s Trust product design course that we regularly run. You know, the group that undertook the task of making and creating their own skateboards in one week. During her placement with us, she developed skills she already had, as well as gaining plenty of new ones. Bronwen worked with us as well members during her placement. She kindly agreed to answer some of my questions before she left to begin getting ready to move to Amsterdam.
Hi Bronwen, how did you find yourself to be at makerversity?
I came across the Prince’s Trust programme while looking for arts internships. Coming from a more fine art background I’d had little access to tools and workshop space and even less opportunity to learn technical processes but had always been fascinated by design so an intensive week course in product design was an exciting idea.
What did you make of our workspace when you first arrived?
It was really exciting to see into the depths of Somerset House and to find this hub of creative businesses and technology. The idea of designing and making a skateboard in a week seemed unrealistic to me so it was amazing to have met so many different makers who were eager to teach us the processes and share their own work. The workshop was really immersive and it was a great feeling to be taught the processes and technology, including woodwork, CAD and Illustrator design and then given the freedom to do what I wanted with it and come out with a product unique to me so quickly, it was a really inspiring way of creating.
You started your work placement with Just Got Made, tell me what you got up to during your time there?
I helped with preparing the Just Got Made Weekender, a makers fair. This was a really interesting opportunity to help with running an event and to meet a range of small creative businesses exhibiting.
“Bronwen was thrown in the deep end with Just Got Made, as she joined us in the week before we launched the Just Got Made Weekender – a mini-festival celebrating UK maker culture at Somerset House. She got involved straight away – painting, databasing, and sourcing last minute supplies – in the eye of the storm she was a great source of calm, and had the practical skills we needed too. In fact, because it worked so well Bronwen came back and joined us as event staff. Well worthwhile.” Helen Kemp, Just Got Made
Did you ever see yourself working in events design?
It’s not something I had thought of doing as I enjoy being hands-on and making things but it spoke to the organised side of my personality and it was enjoyable to see all the behind the scenes preparation work needed for it to become such a successful event. It was a really fun event to have been involved with and I’m proud to have contributed to its success.
Following on from there you worked with team Mayku. What did the team get you working on ahead of their Kickstarter?
Mayku set me a project using the laser-cutter, it was really exciting to be able to develop a design in Illustrator and then finally hold the finished laser-cut design in my hands. It felt really good to be trusted with a project and given the time to develop it and learn the technology along the way. It was also amazing to be given a peak into the process of their Kickstarter campaign ahead of the launch.
“Bronwen has been an absolute pleasure to work with. Diligent, proactive and a good problem solver, it’s been great to work with someone that’s happy to take on the responsibility of a piece of work without being afraid to get her hands dirty. ” Ben Redford, Mayku
Did I miss anyone?
I was working with the service designer at Konnektis, this made me realise the importance of graphic design in a non-creative business and to understand the process of designing to accommodate multiple demographics. I was also introduced to the marketing side of a business, such as updating the website and social media –aspects I hadn’t realized the importance of for a start-up business.
What are your plans moving on from here?
I’m delighted to have just been offered a place to study art and design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam starting in September. I will also continue to look for work in creative businesses. My experiences at Makerversity have really broadened my understanding of how a creative business is run and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to learn from and work with so many talented, creative people.
Thanks Bronwen, best of luck with your time in Amsterdam.