Another awesome project has come to The Old Print Works, making us proud once again of our fine city! Made Welcome is a series of workshops run by a group of passionate, skilled and hardworking creatives from right here in Birmingham, which has set out to equip and empower the refugees of the city with a whole range of useful, creative life skills. So without further ado, let’s shine a spotlight on our first featured artist, the incredibly talented Mel…
Name: Melanie Berman
Workshop: Embossed book covers, covered metal boxes and mixed media mirror frames
What is your occupation?
Artist/ Carer/ After school care assistant
What medium do you work in?
Pewter sheeting, paint, fabric, and paper.
What does Made Welcome mean to you?
I gain pleasure from giving ability and knowledge to people who think that they ‘can’t’….. Giving empowerment to people of all backgrounds and abilities and working with people who derive pleasure in seeing a beautiful end result.
What do you cover in your workshop?
I teach the fundamentals of metal embossing and how it can be used to adorn everyday items.
Where are you from? How long have you lived in Birmingham?
I’m from Cape Town, South Africa, but I’ve lived here for 22 years.
What inspires you as an artist?
African art, nature, embossed silver books and old buildings.
How did you find out about Made Welcome?
Through being at the Old Printworks..and through Tessa!
Why did you want to get involved with Made Welcome?
I enjoy delivering workshops and working with people form different backgrounds, and Made Welcome seemed like an especially worthy cause.
How do you think Made Welcome will benefit the participants?
I think it will give them the empowerment to use the skills they have learnt to start something of their own one day, maybe!
What skills do you hope to teach the participants?
How to emboss metal sheeting and how to use it to enhance everyday items. Also to give ideas on how to make one’s own items, for their own homes/uses.
How have you found participants have received the workshops so far?
All participants have enjoyed the course!
How has Made Welcome benefited you as an artist and personally?
Teaching adults has given me a different perspective on the way I usually teach – I am used to doing children’s workshops!
Have you previously worked on any similar community projects?
Yes, in South Africa, but with children as opposed to adults.
Has Made Welcome made you want to get more involved in similar community projects?
How can we find out more about your art?
I am currently not on a website, but as soon as I have broadened my horizons, I will be on Facebook under ‘Chameleon Crafts’
You can check out more from Made Welcome on Facebook here.