Black Spot has two parts – Inkspot and Metalworks
The members of Inkspot all attend Scope on Teesside, and have various physical disabilities. They share an interest in art and design and create their own works using various practical techniques, photography and digital manipulation.
Articulate has supported various residencies with the group, with artists and crafts people, generating a body of original artwork, handmade paper, weavings, etc. One of these residencies is with cartoonist and graphic artist Suzy Varty, who will work with the group to look at the marketing of cards in general and to develop the ‘marketability’ of Inkspot products in particular.
The group investigated selling designs to agents, manufacturers and direct to shops, to see what course of action is best for them, could be all!
Inkspot also offer a print service for designing one-off cards, posters,etc.
Upsall Hall at Nunthorpe in Middlesbrough is a large training centre for adults with learning difficulties. It specialises in rural crafts, and has a farm, large gardens, glass-houses with tropical plants, and really good pigs!
The metalworking group there were given a forge which they did not know how to use, but participants there, and the group instructor, were all keen to learn. Articulate funded and supported blacksmith David Stephenson in a residency there, during which he oversaw the installation and set-up of the forge, and taught basic blacksmithing and safety techniques.
The group continued to work with David, and developed a basic range of garden and rustic hand-forged products, which they will market from the centre, but also, through garden centres and craft galleries, in the usual commercial way.
The group also contributed to the design of, and then fabricated a large sculpture to be sited in the grounds, and to be a headline design for their brochure.
Both these groups of people have gained skills and confidence from their engagement with the commercial world, outside of a day centre. The drama and power of forge-work, the pleasure of other people buying your designs, are experiences the groups would never have had without these initiatives.