Yarn bombing outside the Old Library during Voluntary Arts Week

yarn craft bomb

Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting or graffiti knitting.

“A type of graffiti or street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.”

Loom knitting
Jayne using the knitting loom made by men’s shed to produce yarn bombing materials

All of the art and craft groups that Artisans Collective facilitate at The Old Library Arts, Craft and Heritage centre in Prestatyn will be taking part in Voluntary Arts Week as well as receiving help from Men’s Shed Prestatyn.

Voluntary Arts Week takes place each May, in cities, towns and villages across the UK and Republic of Ireland. It’s a chance for people to get creative – sharing what they already do, or trying something new for the first time.

Creativity comes in many forms, from music and singing or visual art and craft to digital art and even cooking or gardening. However you choose to express yourself, you can take part in Voluntary Arts Week between 6-15 May 2016.

Aimee’s Art group and Yvette’s Crochet groups are working hard to prepare, and Steve and Pete are busy procuring materials for the outside displays. Meanwhile Jayne is busy knitting using the loom made by a Prestatyn Men’s shed member for part of the yarn bombing.

How it all began

The first Voluntary Arts Week took place in Scotland in May 2011 but, like most good ideas, we borrowed it from someone else.

Since 2007, thousands of people across Belgium have been enjoying the annual ‘Week of Amateur Arts’ (or WAK as it’s known there) and we thought a similar event would work well here.

In 2012 Voluntary Arts Week was rolled out across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Hopes are high that it will continue to thrive and grow into the future, just like WAK – and you can help make it happen.


Busy times at The Old Library

Artisans Collective CIC of Prestatyn

Busy with lots of exciting plans for springtime and beyond in 2016.

As the weather is beginning to improve and the daylight hours are increasing nicely, the team at the old library in Prestatyn are busy planning and beginning to start work on our outdoor projects.

Alongside Prestatyn Men’s Shed we are busy starting to build our outdoor planters this week .

Aimee’s Art group are well under way with their work for voluntary arts week. 
busy art group
Jayne’s childrens art and craft workshops are busy creating lots of things linked to our Grow Wild activities. They are looking forward to helping with sowing and planting over the next few weeks.Kids bunnies

Yvette’s Crochet group are really producing some lovely items and to quote Yvette “Great company and laughter at today’s Crochetiquette class.

No crocodile tears over making our crocodile stitch flower.

I love seeing the progress and confidence that my crocheteers have gained over our time together; they make me very proud and happy”crochet example

It is not all about art and craft however as we are also involved with our local communities health and wellbeing, we hold Stop Smoking Wales sessions each Tuesday evening from 5pm, and are working with our town council and the Alzheimer’s society to help raise dementia awareness in our locality.

The monthly meetings for the walking festival are being held in the old library and it is nice to be working together to help promote the great things they are doing locally.

There are also literally dozens of other schemes and ideas that we are working on in the background that we know will benefit our local community.

We are really pleased to be proving our worth as a “not for profit” community interest company/social enterprise.

It is great to see our local health board and local councils starting to recognise the benefits of commissioning and procuring from social enterprises like ours.

Social enterprises place social value at the heart of how they work, and
believe that public services should be delivered in a way that provides
maximum public benefit to the local community.

Because of this, Social Enterprise UK has long campaigned for commissioning and procurement to take social value into account, to ensure that the full  weight of the public sector’s purchasing power is directed at achieving social and environmental benefits alongside financial efficiency.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act is a giant leap towards making
this happen.

The Act, which was granted Royal Assent in March 2012
and will be implemented from January 2013, will for the first time
require public bodies to consider how the services they commission and
procure might improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing
of the area.

There is more information here.

Childrens first Grow Wild activity of 2016

Childrens first Grow Wild activity of 2016

Pictures from our childrens grow wild morning where not only did the participants draw, create and talk about wild flowers and nature, we also planted some spring bulbs in terracotta pots that they had decorated.

It was touching that they wanted to give the pots to their mother as gifts for Mothering Sunday coming up soon.


Health Wellbeing at Men’s sheds.

Health and wellbeing for all in Prestatyn

I am a huge believer in “Men’s Sheds” and it is great to hear that the Men’s Shed movement has grown into one of the largest health and wellbeing programs in Western Australia.

But, according to WA Men’s Shed Association president Mike Wiggin, the change crept up on them.

“The Men’s Shed movement was originally driven largely by the need for older men to have a place that catered to their needs, a place to meet with other men and to work together in their own way and at their own pace,” he said.

“The real work of the movement – developing and nurturing the men’s social networks, physical and mental health – happened almost by stealth.”

Health at Men's Shed Prestatyn Logo

We are so proud at Artisans Collective CIC that Men’s Shed Prestatyn is going from strength to strength alongside our other community groups, and has been recognised by senior health professionals locally as contributing to community health and wellbeing in ‪#‎Prestatyn‬.

Like the Australian groups it has crept up on us in a way, with our enthusiasm for all things Prestatyn and community naturally evolving into where we are today and helping shape the future of our community interest company (CIC).

Artisans Collective CIC are a not for profit, social enterprise based at Prestatyn The Old Library, Art Craft and Heritage Centre, alongside retail space for local artists and craftspeople, we facilitate community health and wellbeing groups, with all work being carried out on a voluntary basis.