Sunday 1 May 2022

Our Events: Makers Workshops

We ​run kite making and DIY makers workshops in festival​s and events. ​We don't charge participants a fee but donations are welcome to cover the cost of materials, parts, fixings, tools and transportation. Any profit from the event will be donated to Nolander, to support and sponsor refugees in Brighton.​ 

Makers is a DIY workshop taking place in private venues and festivals. I focus on using as much reclaimed wood, metal, tools and other materials to help reduce waste. I work across genres and materials to create practical and fun objects. My workshops are hands on and flexible and you’ll get instruction and inspiration to find your creative flow. I teach carpentry, metal work, electrical, mixed media art, dyeing and so much more.​ Some examples of my previous workshops are below. ​I have enabled participants to confidently design and make useful, functional and beautiful items; participants were able to make these in an hour without any previous crafting experience or DIY skills.

Rejuvenation; art presentation

I have a sculpture project in progress and will be seeking a place for displaying the item. 
Rejuvenation is bringing the spirit of a dead tree into a work of art while steeped in memories of warzone. The tree is reclaimed wood salvaged from near my home and combined with childhood toy making skills. I grew up in Afghanistan in the 80s and 90s, the war had destroyed the infrastructure, irrigation and the natural surroundings. The landscape was scared by destruction and death and we only had bombs and bullets for play toys. some of the bombs were designed specifically to look like toys targetting children. Some of my friends fell victim to butterfly mine but we all learned that what looks like a toy is dangerous and instead crafted our own games. we also used ammunition boxes, brass cartridges and other weapons as building blocks at homes or furniture. While we collected shrapnels and bullets for their metal.

I am using reclaimed material in this project: a salvaged tree, the old water heater from my home and spent ammunition to create a tree sculpture that was dead but the wounds are patched up in an attempt to bring back some life. The planter is a home item turned into a bomb, reminicent of war child play to turn everything into a weapon. The copper water heater is almost half a meter in diameter and was commonly installed in homes in England without gas supply. The sections of the tree are bolted together by mechanical means and the slits are treated as wounds but instead of stitches it is riveted and stapled together by steel. The timber is treated and waxed to prevent further decay and improve aesthetics. War is still raging in many parts of the world; while it has different causes and roots, its given different identities and purpose, it morphes and surges from the original cause. The people who are stuck inside it share a common experience of death and nothingness. The project is an attempt at rebuilding where war has defined everything, including our play and thinking. It's turning the spirit of war from destruction to rebuilding; from nothing into something.
Let's pause and remember that it's going to be a year since the Taliban occupation of Afghanistan where they have banned girls from school and caused famine, hunger and death.

About Me:

My name is Sanjar Qiam and I am an Afghan British maker and entrepreneur based in Brighton. I started in the media and cultural industr​ies​ in Afghanistan and moved to making and building after immigrating to the UK. I renovate houses, run Afghan kite making workshops around the UK and have set up a charity to support refugees. I also organise makers' groups for adults to design and craft material intended for daily use. Inspired by the art and craft movement​;​ I emphasise on practicality and fun in making.


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