Serendipitous North / Craft

As part of Serendipitous North, Deirdre Nelson has taken residency as Timespan’s Maker-in-Residence.  During her time in Helmsdale Deirdre ‘ Mapped-Makers’ uncovering the making that happens in everyday situations, tracing the domestic spaces where this happens and mapping the creativity in the village. 

As Maker-in-Residence, Deirdre navigated the village and surrounding area seeking those who are dab hand at DIY, great at making fabulous cakes and can fix any tear in any garment; she was mapping the makers of Helmsdale celebrating the everyday forms of making that aren’t normally considered a form of craft.

Deirdre has created a digitally printed map of Helmsdale that has been developed by the community, adding symbols and stories of making through time; Deirdre chose a map from Timespan’s Archive which had previously been modified by the community; the new map was designed to be shaped by the community over a period of time, whether it’s a story about the blacksmith who pulled some teeth, or the tale of the fantastic fishing flies created in the high street.

deirdre nelson mapping

The residency included a series of events, including ‘A Makers-Journey’: as part of the heritage programme’s Modern Pilgrimages events, Deirdre traced the makers of Helmsdale, exploring the places which housed old discos, shoemakers and photographers.

Take a look at some of the items #Made-In-Helmsdale                     


Screen shot 2015-03-10 at 10.20.39Screen shot 2015-03-10 at 10.21.25Screen shot 2015-03-10 at 10.21.02

Screen shot 2015-03-10 at 10.19.35

Screen shot 2015-03-10 at 10.20.02




Screen shot 2015-03-10 at 10.20.17




She was mapping makers using the social media site Twitter, exploring the ways in which we make connections online as well as in person and how we document these ways of making, you can follow her online mapping processes – m a p MAKING – here.

Maker-in-Residence: Deirdre Nelson 

Since graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 1992, Deirdre Nelson has pursued a parallel career in creating work for exhibition and commission and in working as an artist facilitator to various groups. Her nomadic nature and interest in communities have allowed her to develop work for exhibition and on residencies both in UK and Australia . Research, humour and craft technique contribute to projects dealing with relevant social and environmental issues whilst engaging communities in the process.

Take a look at more of Deirdre’s work here .