CAKE @ MCDC workshops


Our first two workshops at the Manchester Craft & Design Centre have gone really well. It was lovely to see some new faces, and to have a different space to work in and respond to.

At our first group, we experimented with writing short poems inspired by our names. Each poem had to start with ‘In my name…’, with the writer then going on to describe what they found there.


As an example, I used one that I wrote a few months ago at a writing workshop led by poet Mandy Coe:

In my name is a country house
with peacocks on the lawn.
A river meets the fishing lake
where swans swim up and down.
The peacocks cry ‘Eeeyah-eeeyah!’,
the swans say not a word;
While from the house the people watch
the many kinds of birds.

If you have five minutes, I really recommend giving this exercise a try. It’s great fun and a good warm-up for your imagination. When I tried it again at the first MCDC workshop I came out with something totally different:

In my name a sail flaps loose,

rigging hands, sullen from crosstrees.
Ankles dangling; capital punishment
in His Majesty’s Navy.

I have to say, execution isn’t something I normally find in myself, but some of my favourite books are Patrick O’Brian’s series set during the Napoleonic Wars. I’ve never channelled it before, but I suppose it felt like speaking to me on that day! If you do try it, please post your results in the comments.

Piece by &made.

Piece by &made.

We also spent some time in both workshops looking at the Forming Words exhibition, discussing the pieces, and responding to individual artworks. It’s been a really interesting experience to have so much stimulus so close at hand when running the writing exercises.

There are two free workshops left, on Friday 30th August and Friday 13th September. We’d love to see you there if you can make it. If enough people come along, we’d like to put together a book of the work created by the group in response to the exhibition.

Also, if you’re free tomorrow, head along to MCDC for their special Bank Holiday weekend event!


4 thoughts on “CAKE @ MCDC workshops

  1. Hi Sarah. I was at the first workshop and found it really stimulating. In particular I found the exercise requiring to write about a hot sunny situation (can’t remember the exact brief) without using the word “hot” and it’s synonyms quite challenging. The others in the group seemed to take it in their stride. Sorry I can’t get to the next two.
    Also some great art/craft on show.

    • I’m really glad you got something out of it – for the next couple of weeks I’ll try and remember to post on the Friday about what we’re doing in the workshop, so people can join in online when they have time if they want to 🙂

  2. I enjoyed the workshop on 16 Aug; thank you for sparing your time to encourage us. Using one of the exhibits as inspiration for a short piece was – well, inspiring! I’ll be able to come on the 30th so look forward to more creativity then.

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