Ready, set, make

4600 Gifts mass-making workshops arriving in Cathedral Square.

Craftspace’s 4600 Gifts free mass-making workshops arrive in Cathedral Square, Birmingham from 13th–15th May 2022. Presented by the Birmingham 2022 Festival, 4600 Gifts is an invitation to the people of Birmingham to join Craftspace in welcoming athlete to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Working with artists and participants from across the city, Craftspace are making 4600 hand-embellished gifts, upcycling locally-sourced materials into messages of welcome, made with love in Brum.

The workshops in Cathedral Square will take place in a marquee on the grass, hourly slots can be booked on Friday 13th May from 2.30pm–5.30pm, Saturday 14th May 10am–6.30pm and on Sunday 15th May 10am–5.15pm. On both Saturday and Sunday, from 1.45pm a BSL interpreter will be available to support the workshop sessions.

Deirdre Figueiredo, Director of Craftspace said: “We’ve been delighted by the imaginative, collective can-do spirit, friendly exchange and uptake to-date by people across Birmingham demonstrating that we are really a city of makers, keen to welcome new people to Birmingham, and we hope as many people as possible join us in Cathedral Square from the 13th–15th May.

“Participants don’t need any experience or know-how to take part; we provide everything needed to wrap, knot and stitch and each participant will add their own message of welcome to their finished gift, ensuring a message of welcome for every athlete arriving for the Games in July.”

Tim Hodgson, Senior Producer for the Birmingham 2022 Festival said: “It’s traditional for athletes to receive gifts from the host city as part of a Commonwealth Games but for the Birmingham 2022 Festival we are taking this one step further, and reimagining what it means to be the workshop of the world, in this unique project.

“Led by a fantastic team of artists and designers and created by us, the residents of the city, together we’ll place a personalised gift and message of welcome – made by the people of Birmingham – into the hands of every athlete.”

The gifts themselves are made from metal washers which are upcycled by wrapping, stitching and knotting with yarn and fabrics. All materials are sourced locally, most of the yarns are from The Birmingham Scrapstore, with colours chosen to reflect the flags of the Commonwealth nations and territories, and the metal washers are from Oldbury based Stephens Gaskets.
The artistic team for 4600 Gifts is made up of a mix of product designers, artists and designer makers including Pottinger + Cole, Laura Nyahuye, Mahawa Keita and Kalandra McFarquhar, all based in the West Midlands.

Workshop places are free and all materials are provided, each making session lasts between an hour and 1 hour 30 minutes. More details can be found at, on Twitter @tweetcraftspace, Facebook @craftspace, Instagram @craftspace_ #4600Gifts #B2022Festival

From 30th June–9th July, a 4600 Gifts showcase will take place at the Library of Birmingham. A selection of gifts and messages will be on display, hand-made by the people of Birmingham, further details on the showcase will be released in early June.

Pics – Hayley Salter