Spotlight on makers at the Derby Mini Maker Faire

Recently the Derby Mini Maker Faire returned for its fourth year. Pete and I spent the day manning our Ablewild stand at the Derby Mini Maker Faire and were really excited to meet other makers in Derby. I didn’t get to spend much time wondering around the fair but I did get a chance to talk to some of the interesting makers that we have here in Derby.

As I am a designer, I was mostly pulled towards the design-related makers. I was inspired by the work that people were producing and also loved that some used very traditional techniques whilst others were using new technologies. Here are some of the people I spoke to…

The Small Print Co.

Phil from the Small Print co

The Small Print Co specialises in artisan letterpress printing and love typography. It is run by husband and wife team Chris and Hannah. They print on vintage presses using original type, some of which dates back to the 19th century. They produce small runs of hand printed and hand finished cards, gift tags and prints, work on commissions including business cards and wedding stationery and run workshops. Phil from the Small Print Co. helped me make a letterpress print of TEDxDerby which is now proudly displayed on our office wall. It was really cool to see such a traditional printing technique up close. Check them out at

Letterpress printing process



Morgan Barke is a self-described professional “maker” located in Wirksworth, Derbyshire and is passionate about all types of engineering: mechanical, electronic and software. He is a regular at Derby Makers which is a group that meets in Derby Museums’ Silk Mill every Wednesday. Morgan is passionate about the maker movement and says “it is a great demonstration of the benefits of sharing and exploring ideas openly, enabling both the projects and the people to reach their full potential.” To give back to the community and further empower the free culture and maker movement, he develops all his projects freely and openly, for all to enjoy, share and engage with. Some of Morgan’s most stunning pieces on sale at the Mini Maker Faire were laser engraved skateboards and laser engraved rolling pins, indented to make a raised texture when rolling. See Morgan’s work and get involved with his open projects at

Anne Clark Handmade

Anne Clark knitting

Anne is on the TEDxDerby team and is responsible for all of the interesting tweets on the TEDxDerby twitter. In addition to helping TEDxDerby, Anne works on many projects, recently these have been based around yarn bombing. Earlier this year she organised a group of knitters to knit over 500 animals, insects and flowers that were hung in Belper Parks Wood. The installation, called the Woollen Woods, was part of Corridor Arts ‘Here and There’ Art Walk. It was also part of Belper’s Art Festival in May 2015. Anne was recruiting more knitters at the Mini Maker Faire as she has an upcoming project to yarn bomb the Memorial Gardens in Belper with Christmas-themed wooly things. Keep up to date with Anne’s projects at

Derby Makers

rope making machine

Derby Makers is a group that meets at Derby Silk Mill every Wednesday. The group is aimed at any maker, including craft, electronics, robotics, woodworking and model making. Their intent is to build a local community of people who have an interest in making something regardless of any existing skills or experience. At the Mini Maker Faire I watched a demonstration of rope making. This was a very popular activity and I saw a lot of children at the event with pieces of rope they had made. They also had a robot called SID who has been made entirely at the Silk Mill. To find out more about the Derby Makers, visit their website