Event Spotlight: Electrocraft!

Explore a world where hand crafts and electronics meet! At Bobbin and Ink, they're celebrating the first ever SYDNEY CRAFT WEEK and its inaugural theme: Handmade in a Digital Age, with their collaborative workshop Electocraft!

The Bobbin and Ink team love hand craftsmanship as well as working with technology (especially sewing machines) so, in partnership with tech/style lovin' Working Cloth, they've pulled together a fun-filled tinkering session to get you thinking about how craft and technology can work in harmony. Electrocraft will introduce you to creating simple circuits using conductive thread, paint, tape and LED lights. They'll show you how to work them into everyday handcrafts involving paper, fibre and electricity. Learn about basic circuit theory and create your own custom light-up card or felt badge to take home. This workshop is perfect for adults and kids 8+. All supplies are included in the price to ensure you take home a little self-made electronic gift.


Your friendly guides in Electrocraft! are Laura Walsh, of Bobbin and Ink, and Lauren MacDonald, of Working Cloth. Both are textile-wrangling, science-lovers who often muse on the weird divide between makers working in the world of lo-fi hand crafts and professional craftspeople, technicians or scientists working in the commercial end of production, product development or in labs testing/developing the fibres we use. Pattern makers use mathematics, printers work with ink chemistry, sewists manually or digitally programme the settings of their machines (stitch length, width, patterns). These all involve mixing creative ideas with logical thinking. STEM education is becoming increasingly popular in schools but there is a huge portion of Australians who have no idea how electronics work on a basic level, despite using smart phones, fitness tracking watches, bluetooth devices and other forms of wearable technology on a daily basis. Laura and Lauren are friends drawn together through a mutual love of textiles, handcrafts and the role technology plays in future directions for both. This is designed to be a thought-inducing workshop that participants can take ideas away from. They hope that you will enjoy these cross-disciplinary explorations and use them to spark your own experiments!


Laura Walsh is the Captain at Bobbin and Ink and has been a commercial screen printer, predominantly working in textiles (t-shirt and yardage printing), for the past 7 years. Her passion is teaching people to perfect their prints by improving their manual techniques and technical understanding of the different tools and chemicals involved in commercial screen printing. Her work involves digitally editing and developing client's artwork for print, programming and running embroidery designs through machines, manually printing and sewing up garments / items for clients. She has also been geeking out recently, playing with wearable circuit components and would love to show you what she's learnt!

Lauren is the founder and passionate maker behind the textile studio, Working Cloth. Her work, predominantly using linen and other natural fibres, explores a rich history of traditional handcrafts in quilting and needlework across different continents. She previously spent several years working in fashion production houses in London where drafting, pattern adjusting, manual machining and technical trouble-shooting were daily requirements. Her previous studies sparked an early interest in fibre-technology and the technical potential that older techniques have for new and exciting applications. Currently working alongside sound artist Alyx Dennison, Lauren and Working Cloth are exploring cross-disciplinary spaces in the upcoming multi-media exhibition for Sydney Craft Week: D I R E C T I O N S (which you should also check out).


When: Sunday 8 October, 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Where: Bobbin and Ink , 412 Parramatta Road, Petersham

Glenn Barkley ceramics. Photo by Leeroy T

Images and Words: Laura Walsh and Lauren MacDonald