Museum of Making Space to Grow Residency

Are you an early-career artist or maker? If so, this residency may be for you.

The Space to Grow Residency is for new and emerging artists and makers, working in any discipline. You have started your journey as an artist and/or maker but are in the 1st 5 years of your creative career. Perhaps you are developing a new product or body of work, prototyping in a new material or method, exploring new skills, perhaps you just need time and space to think and play. This residency is intended to support you to further your thinking by providing a dedicated 14sqm studio space and access to the Museum of Making workshops. It also comes with a small stipend for materials and resources, and advice and mentor support. 

Museum of Making Space to Grow Residency Call Out – September 2021

October 2021 – March 2022

Find out more about the residency below, you can also download this information here, or watch or listen to this information here.

About the Museum of Making

The Museum of Making inhabits Derby Silk Mill, widely regarded as the world’s first modern factory, part of the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site. With public spaces, exhibitions, workshop facilities, and access to 30,000 objects, the new museum charts the progress of Derby’s manufacturing and creative history, and the people involved. Could you be the next Derbyshire person to make history through what you make and create? 

The Museum of Making Space to Grow Residency

At the heart of the Museum of Making is our commitment to supporting people to be inspired by the makers of the past and be empowered and supported to become the artists, creators, makers, and innovators of the future. We do this through creating maximum access to the collections of making and social history, and through programmes designed to support experimentation, creative ideas, and skills in making and creative practices. 

Our Space to Grow Residency will be the very first in the newly opened museum. We know this last 18 month period has been extremely challenging and the road has been rocky for many established artists and makers. For those starting out in their practice, it has been equally difficult. The Space to Grow Residency is intended to give you the space, time, and support to explore and develop your creative practice, in any creative and making discipline. 

Who is eligible for the Space to Grow Residency?

Freelance artists and makers in the first 5 years of their creative career, who live in Derbyshire. We expect this to be an individual, but partnerships can also apply. If you are applying as a partnership, the stipend will remain the same, and agreed workshop time will need to be shared between you. 

What will I have access to? 

  • Space and Equipment

As our Artist/Maker in Residence, you will have access to your own dedicated studio ‘The Cocoon’. This 14sqm space is on the 3rd floor and has a beautiful view across the Civic Hall roof to Derby Cathedral. The Cocoon has a sink (with clay trap), work table, and chairs. You will also have access to a kitchen area (with sink, microwave, kettle) and fridge space. Our fully fitted workshops and studios have equipment to work in a wide range of materials, with equipment including a CNC, wood and metal lathes, forge, crucible, pottery wheels, laser-cutter, vacuum formers, bench saws, jewellery-making bench, kiln, 3D printers and more. You will have regular access to this equipment and be given support to develop your knowledge and skills in using it. Take a look at this video to see the facilities:

  • Mentoring and advice

Supported by the Derby Museums team and partners in Derby and beyond, we will put together a mentoring and advice support package designed around your particular needs. That might including business advice, fundraising knowledge, and/or artist/maker network development. 

  • Membership and Stipend

The Space to Grow Residency comes with one-year Museum of Making membership, giving you access to The Prospect co-working hub and workshops (on a pay-as-you-go model), plus discount in our shops and cafes for a year after your complete your residency. In addition, there is a £2000 stipend to support you with equipment, child care costs, travel expenses, whatever you need to help you have materials, space, and time during the 6 month period. 

  • Our other museums

Not only do you have access to the Museum of Making, but you will have access to our other museum sites, The Museum and Art Gallery, and Pickford’s House. Access to collections in-store at these museums could also be facilitated. 

What is expected of me?

This residency is designed intentionally without any specific outputs, beyond supporting you to grow your ideas, have time to experiment and develop your thinking, skills, and practice. However, we would work with you to explore how you might share what you are working on through the residency opportunities. This might take the form of talks or workshop sessions, or working with the team to develop a learning activity or showcase event. We can also set you up with a dedicated blog on our website. Our expectation is that you are willing to explore and make the most of these opportunities.

We also expect you to make the most of the time you have at The Museum of Making, working in The Cocoon, utilising the workshops, exploring the collections.* Therefore, would like you to be at the Museum of Making 2-3 days per week, during museum opening times.** 

*Currently (Sept 2021), COVID restrictions have been lifted to the point where we can facilitate this residency onsite. If this position changes, we will work with you to find the best way of delivering the maximum residency experience possible. 

** Opening times are as follows:

Tue/Wed – 10am-5pm

Thu/Fri – 10am-7pm

Sat – 10am-5pm

Sun – 10am-4pm

How to Apply:

Applications can be made in writing, or by downloading and completing an application form, or by video, audio or typed submission using our Video Ask platform.

Your application should include a response to: 

  • Who are you and what are you passionate about? 
  • Tell us about your creative practice so far. 
  • Why would this time and space be important to you and why now? 
  • What do you hope to discover or achieve through this residency? 
  • How will this residency help you grow as an artist/maker? 

Please do not worry about spelling, grammar, video, or audio recording skills. We’re interested in who you are and what you would like to explore through this residency. 

Applications are welcome from artists and makers working in any discipline, and with a cross-disciplinary practice.

If you have further questions, please submit them here.

Deadline for applications is 9am, Thursday 23 September. 

Recruitment Milestones:

Recruitment launches: Wednesday 8th September

Deadline for submissions: Thursday 23rd September, 9am. 

Committee reviews: Monday 27th September. 

Follow up interviews: 9am-1pm Wednesday 29th September

Confirmation of selection: 30th September. 

Residency begins: Week beginning 4th October


The Space to Grow Residency 1 is generously supported by Arts Council England.