Makers Assemble as Derby’s Making Festival Returns

Published: 21 October 2021

People making items

Making workshop at Assemble

On Saturday 23 October, the Museum of Making opens its doors to celebrate makers and all things making with Assemble, Derby’s very own Making Festival.

After seven years as Derby Mini Maker Faire, the event returns to the city for 2021 under a new name – Assemble: Derby’s Making Festival. An annual highlight in the city’s cultural calendar, Assemble brings together makers of all shapes and sizes to share their passion and skills with the public and to encourage others to have a go at making themselves.

This year, the event features more than 50 makers across several floors at the Museum of Making. With demonstrations in everything from ceramics and embroidery to laser-cutting, weaving, jewellery-making, metalwork, robotics and automata, visitors can also try workshops in clay-modelling, knitting, coding, origami and letterpress printing to name but a few.

Derby-based letterpress studio, The Smallprint Company, is one of those taking part. Co-owner, Hannah Barker, said:

There’s always a real buzz at this event, with an eclectic range of makers coming together to share the love of their crafts and disciplines. We’ll be offering a special printmaking workshop on the day, giving visitors the chance to ink up their very own print to take home. We’re delighted to be part of Assemble this year – be prepared for a day of making, creating, learning and fun!

A family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, Assemble is a place where visitors can discover the creations of makers, engineers, tinkerers, crafters, hobbyists and more. There will be lots of fun, hands-on activities for makers of all ages.

Makers at the event include artist Stephanie Sian Coley who, in partnership with Surtal Arts, will be creating a show-stopping lantern sculpture to head up the Derby Lantern Parade on 13th November as part of Derby Season of Light.

First time Assemble makers, Abdullah and Abdulrehman Uddin (brothers aged 8 and 9), will also be sharing their video game coding skills as part of the event:

We will be coding using the programming language, SCRATCH. We’ll demonstrate how coding works by making computer games (Catch the Ghost, Car Racing, Rock Band) and animations (Lost in Space). Making something new gives us joy and lets us bring our imaginations to life. We’re excited to meet like-minded makers at Assemble and share our passion for coding as well as our ideas and learning with others.

Assemble is generously sponsored by Rolls-Royce and supported with funding from a National Lottery Project Grant from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Gill Fennell, Community Investment Manager at Rolls-Royce said:

Our city of innovation is built on making, where skill and imagination come together to create world-class made products. Assemble: Derby’s Making Festival is not only a wonderful celebration of all sorts of makers and making but really is for everyone, so come along, be inspired, be encouraged and have a go at some of the making activities on offer!

The event takes place on Saturday 23rd October (10am-4pm) in the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill. Admission is £4 per ticket and must be booked in advance (free to under 16s). More information about the event and booking details can be found at: or by following @derbymuseums on Facebook and Instagram, and @MuseumofMaking on Twitter (#AssembleDerby21).

To book tickets, visit the InDerby website.

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