The Familiar and our Popup Workspace
The popup shop at Carousel in Headingley was an opportunity to showcase our ceramic products – necklaces, brooches, bangles & spoons – alongside our clay workshops. The aim was to have a street presence where we could promote the studio and chat to passers by. The popup shop is smaller than our permanent ceramics studio in Roundhay. However, because it doesn’t contain all the tools & kit needed to operate a ceramics studio we were also able to invite bigger groups, more frequently, into the space. We hosted a range of introductory clay workshops in the Headingley space. The workshops covered coil building (Coil), spoon making (Whittle) festive bell making (Chime) and decorative ceramic Christmas decorations (Scatter). The larger space meant we could also accommodate larger private group bookings.
While at the popup I hosted a team away day for a group of work colleagues. This particular group frequently take meetings away from the familiarity of their regular working environment. They clearly place importance on community and belonging. It was an affirming group dynamic and refreshing to deliver a workshop in this context.
My experience working in a team was always enhanced by the conversations we had informally – over lunch, at our cheese & wine club and at the end of year shows. The most memorable and cementing cross-institutional experience was meeting people across a workbench and chatting. Not about anything structured – but just meeting the person and getting to know them better. The opportunity to build a community-minded workplace, through engaging in activities not related to the necessities of day-to-day roles, is something I’d like to explore further and for Sunken Studio to facilitate.
Yesterday I listened to a show on Radio 4 discussing modern working life – how less people are doing more. I’d be keen to learn what companies, institutions and organisations do to look after their most valuable resource. What does your employer do to look after you? What does your team do for itself?