The Bakery is an innovative creative programme that is setting up a digital design and manufacturing studio staffed entirely by young people. It is inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen apprentice programme and Blackburn's embedded culture and tradition of "creativity, industriousness and graft" that is currently undergoing a new resurgence across the town.
It's our ambition that, over time, The Bakery will operate as a self sustaining commercial studio, competitively tendering for and executing commercial client projects, as well as developing new recruits.
The Bakery is motivated by design and innovation as a potential career path for young people from across Blackburn and Darwen including those who may be struggling with, or who have fallen out of mainstream education.
No previous experience is necessary. The Bakery looks to develop raw talent and deliver a training programme that, over time, gives participants the practical, design and business skills that they will need to run the studio. It runs from The Making Rooms - Blackburn's brand new FabLab offering state-of-the-art digital manufacturing facilities to all within the town.
The Bakery is a key extension of our practice and way of working to develop work with people and communities. It is a partnership with The Making Rooms and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.
The Bakery has completed its first major commission - a clock designed with the first intake of young people. We started in October 2016 with the Tick Tock Workshops - an introduction to electronics and digital design based on time. Over the course of the next three months we made egg timers, digital alarms and clocks. In January 2017 we began to build our own. Fast forward six months and we've created a monster! Around 1.2 metres in diameter, it will first tour to the schools from which the young people have been drawn and will then be permanently installed in the public workshop space at The Making Rooms.
The clock was unveiled at the first National Festival Of Making in Blackburn, 6th and 7th of May 2017. The young people engaged in the programme have undertaken around 45 hours of training in developing the clock and can already demonstrate competancy in electronics, coding, computer aided design, laser cutting and assembley of parts.