Archive for November, 2012

Mapping Heritage Craft

Major new UK report on the Heritage Crafts sector, Mapping Heritage Craft… “…the first comprehensive study to define, categorise and examine the size and shape of the Heritage Craft sector […] “77% of those within the sector do not currently undertake activities to pass on their skills and knowledge to another generation of workers.”

Virtual Community Summit

Virtual Community Summit, 7th Feb 2013. About managing and curating virtual communities. Sadly, it’s London and £345. But, interesting.

Katherine Morling in Stoke

Some of Katherine Morling’s new ceramic sculptures, based on creatures depicted in the ancient Staffordshire Hoard. New publicly-funded £70,000 commission for the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent. The show opens today, in the Staffordshire Hoard show at the Museum.

“In His Imagination”…

The Economist fisked

Dave Harte fisks the recent Economist article on Birmingham. It seems their article was broadly factually correct, although a few of The Economist‘s facts are just a little squidgy as usual (I read it weekly, and the corrections page is often more chunky than it should be). Although Dave himself appears to have forgotten about […]

The Birmingham Girls

A talk on “The Birmingham Girls: Women Designers of the Arts and Crafts Movement” on 11th December 2012, at The Open University in the West Midlands, 66 High Street, Harborne, Birmingham.

Hot air and ice-cream

A friend asked about the myth of Mrs Thatcher and the invention of ice-cream. I did a bit of digging in Google Books and other scholarly and first-hand sources, and came up with the sourced facts… Thatcher was a research chemist, at J. Lyons at Cadby Hall in Hammersmith, for two and half years. She […]

Express and Star digital facsimile edition

Wolverhampton Express and Star newspaper launches an exact digital facsimile edition for just £1.49 a week… Not sure if it includes all the supplements (jobs, houses, etc) but I’d assume so. It’s searchable by keyword, but you can’t copy-paste stories (to Instapaper/Kindle, etc). To quote a story on a blog, though, you could easily just […]

Library of Birmingham call

The new Library of Birmingham is seeking proposals via the RGF for new digital products and services which are focused on… * developing audiences * opening up digital access to the Library’s services and collections * bridging the gap between digital channels and the physical building * exploring new business models Individual projects should last […]

City TV

City TV has been awarded Birmingham’s new digital television station. Due on air on Freeview before the end of 2013.

Light House shines

Congratulations to the Light House art-house cinema in Wolverhampton. They’ve just crowd-funded their new digital projection equipment. They launched the Kickstarter-like campaign on AngelShares back in early Spring 2012, aiming for £7,500. After nine months, they’ve now reached their goal, and the new projectors will be in place in January 2013.

National Gardening Leave

My thoughts on the NEF’s “National Gardening Leave” proposals.


What if you could blend a woolly LETS-like skills time-bank scheme with a more proven form like Kickstarter, such that people in a travel-region could pledge their skilled time (rather than money) to a project that had specific stepped goals? Local business sponsors might have a small part to play, providing a little money for […]

Tindal Street Press

A major regional print fiction publisher is to close. Birmingham’s Tindal Street Press is set to be sold to a large London company, with the loss of four jobs, according to The Birmingham Post. The Arts Council RFO 2012-2015 settlement gave Tindal Street £40K of Arts Council funding for 2012-13, with another £40K in place […]

Foursquare opens up

Foursquare has opened up its basic location and venue info, so you no longer need to actually register to see the hot spots on a map, and to click through to the page for each venue/location. Foursquare’s initial location search system seems a little confused: tell it you’re in “North Staffordshire” and it takes you […]

Feathered Rocketeer

Feathered Rocketeer attendee portrait by Soulstealer — at the Steampunk Convention in Lincoln, England, September 2012.


Selfstarter. Open source code for building your own crowd-funding service. But with Kickstarter and IndieGoGo pulling in the crowds, would anyone use yet another clone, no matter how shiny you make it look? I guess it’s the same problem that many shiny new buildings such as schools have. How to get the best people, which […]

Make Space

Running an arts conference or a creative thinking event? Thinking about how best to tweak and twist the spaces available to you? Make Space.

“Robinson Crusoe guiding his Raft up the Creek” by Samuel Palmer

“Robinson Crusoe guiding his Raft up the Creek” by Samuel Palmer. My picture of it is a rubbish colour-shifted digicam photo of the original, in low light, which totally fails to catch the subtle central sunburst. There’s also an unfortunate carpet-reflection which appears to continue the sea horizon into the land. But an image of […]