Crafty women

Branding / Design / Exhibition / Interpretation / Print

To celebrate the Women’s Institute’s centenary year in 2015, the Avon Federation of WIs judged the very best of its members’ arts and craft skills and were very proud to present an exhibition of the winning pieces at the M Shed on Bristol’s harbourside.

We were extremely excited to work along side the Chair of Avon Federation of WIs to curate, design and promote the whole exhibition. It was a low-tech and low-budget project but we had lots of ideas!

In the very early stages of the project we knew that we wanted the exhibition to have a handmade, humble feel. Following this idea, we got in contact with Bristol Wood Recycling Project to ask whether they could help us with the materials. We were extremely grateful that they ended up lending us almost all the materials we needed to display the items. In addition, we used creative cardboard engineering for some of the smaller, more intricate pieces and as building blocks for other displays as well as rope between beams to hang knitted clothing.

Members of the public came along to see the very best examples in painting and drawing, knitting, photography, dressmaking, cross stitch, bead work and a wealth of other categories for one weekend only. Live demonstrations took place throughout the weekend and a showreel about the WI was set up thanks to our liaison with the National Federation. On the way out, visitors could find out more about the WI and where their local one met. This included a new illustrated map of the federation area.

We had one day only to build, set up and display all 300 pieces before the doors opened to the public. Then only the Monday morning to dismantle, pack and tidy away the whole exhibition. It took a lot of team work and planning but was a big success.

“The Way was a saviour for the Avon Federation of WIs. We were organising a large Craft Exhibition to celebrate the WI centenary and had no idea how to approach anything apart from the crafts. The posters, fliers and catalogues were designed and printed by India in an eye catching way which we would never have imagined! The design ideas for the display at the Mshed was superb with lots of help on the day. The visitors made lots of remarks about how great the displays were. Our Heartfelt thanks go to ‘The Way’ who were always at the end of an email to help calm my nerves.”

– Donna Butcher, Chair of Avon Federation of WIs