Unlock your Hidden Talent with free creative workshops at Fab Lab Plymouth

Hidden Talent in Devon is an exciting new project that enables people from a range of backgrounds to access creative workshops and learn new skills.
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Running until December 2019, Hidden Talent in Devon aims to give a broader range of people the opportunity to take part in workshops and short courses that they might not otherwise have access to. Fully funded by the European Social Fund, Hidden Talent in Devon workshops are being offered to participants for free.

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Alongside Plymouth College of Art's Introduction to Digital Photography course, Fab Lab Plymouth are offering an exciting introduction to Fusion 360 software with their "Design and Make (Almost) Anything" course.

Aimed at giving people an overview of digital design and manufacturing, the course takes place in our fully equipped digital fabrication laboratory. 

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Starting on Monday 16 April, this is an eight week programme that will offer participants the chance to get to grips with Fusion 360 software, a complete 2D and 3D design and manufacturing package, before developing a personal project.

Book your free place now - and if you miss out on a place, don't worry - keep an eye out for news of more Hidden Talent courses coming in June 2018.


Making the Abercrombie Awards

Every three years Plymouth City Council hosts the awards to celebrate the role of architects, designers and building companies in shaping the city. The awards, which were named after the architect responsible for the plan to rebuild Plymouth after the Blitz, takes a look at a huge range of work from small conversions and projects to transform open spaces to multi-million pound housing or business projects.

'Thank you again for being so easy to work with through this process, you made it really easy from start to finish (although I'm sure it wasn't for you!!) and the end product was such excellent quality. Everyone was exceptionally pleased, it's something that stands out rather than being just another piece of glass to stand in a display, people will really want to display them.'

Cherokee Mahoney, Plymouth City Council 

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Cherokee Mahoney, Plymouth City Council

The awards were designed by Jason Marks of Fab Lab Plymouth ( They were made by Fab Lab Plymouth and the glass artist Amy Whittingham (glass artist and technician at Plymouth College of Art). 

Features of distinction from each selected building or space were used as starting points to develop a series of bespoke awards. After initial concept sketching on paper the designs were drawn up in Rhino 3D (a computer aided design program). These designs were then 3D printed at the Fab Lab. Amy Whittingham was subsequently able to take these prints, make plaster moulds from them and cast the printed forms into glass. The glass forms were then finished, sand blasted and polished. The text was drawn up in Adobe Illustrator and from this stencils were cut from vinyl. The text was then etched onto the glass awards and, finally, the glass was mounted onto a hardwood base.

The awards are a combination of traditional craft practice and the the latest digital design and fabrication methods and techniques. Given the short lead time between the selection of the Abercrombe Awards winners and the presentation ceremony this was a challenging commission, but we are delighted with the results and we look forward to working with the Council again.

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We The People: Working with Claire Fontaine & Karst Gallery

We were approached by Plymouth-based contemporary art producer Vickie Fear to assist artist Claire Fontaine and the Karst Gallery in the production of the artwork 'UK (Burnt /Unburnt)' which formed part of the exhibition 'We The People Are The Work'.

UK (Burnt/Unburnt), (2011-17) is a map of Great Britain composed with matchsticks planted into the wall and subsequently ignited. The aspect of the shape of the country once burnt becomes a shadow that keeps in itself the marks and the traces of the extinguished fire. 

Conceived by the artist Claire Fontaine as the trace of an action that we witness in the aftermath, as a sign of a tragedy that we perceived too late. This work whose form is at the same time a painting (made by the fire), a sculpture (of the remanence of the matches) and a video (showing the action of the burning in the space), acts as a strong disturbance of the white cube: its pungent smell invades the space and incongruously brings a sense of danger and precariousness to the visitors.

Fab Lab Plymouth were commissioned by We The People Are The Work producer Vickie Fear to help create a large map of the UK, that would span four 8ft x 4ft flameproof MDF sheets, with 58,000 individual holes to hold matchsticks. During the private view of the exhibition, these matches would all be lit.

58,000 match sized holes was no problem for our large 8ft x 4ft CNC router, so we set to work preparing the cutting file and started machining. Check out the below images showing the map after being lit, with burnt areas and smoke marks filling the gallery walls.


'We The People Are The Work' was envisioned to be:

"A poetic and emotional exploration of our feelings during unstable and trying times, it suggests that the events unfolding across the planet are the cause of the climate change inside our souls."

We The People Are The Work was presented by PVAPG (Plymouth Visual Art Programming Group), a partnership between The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, KARST, Peninsula Arts at Plymouth University, Plymouth Arts Centre and The Box, Plymouth

We The People Are The Work was part of Horizon, a collaborative two year programme of visual contemporary arts, funded through Arts Council England's Ambition for Excellence fund and led by Plymouth Culture.

To find out more about We The People Are The Work, visit their website here, and get in touch with us via to discuss any large scale CNC machining jobs you or your business may have in mind.