One Great Workshop Logo One Great Workshop


Nicola Ellis

Artist Nicola Ellis invited individuals, groups and companies who are connected to the steel industry in Sheffield, to a special event on Saturday 20 June 2014.

As part of her research into the culture surrounding metalworking practice, Ellis invited guests to share experiences and reflections of working in the steel industry in the city in the past or present.

Nicola Ellis' ongoing work explores developing techniques within welding and steel fabrication. Interested in the culture surrounding the steel industry, welding and bespoke production, she encourages discussion between those who are central to, or on the periphery of this culture, past or present. The event enabled Ellis to learn from guests' individual experiences whilst uncovering the common ground between them. Steel Experiences helped the artist develop new sculptural work, and understand where she fits within the wider context of industry and steel fabrication.

Dr Joe Smith and Stuart Mitchell in Conversation

One Great Workshop convened an informal conversation between Dr Joe Smith and Stuart Mitchell. The evening's discussion explored the past, present and future of energy and industry in Sheffield, in relation to the wider Stories of Change project and themes of climate change and manufacturing.

Joe Smith teaches Geography at The Open University. His research spans environmental history, policy and politics and he has consulted on over 30 hours of BBC broadcasting on environmental themes. Joe currently leads two AHRC funded (£1.9m) research projects: 'Earth in Vision' and 'Stories of Change'. He is Director of Smith of Derby, a 160-year-old public clock making company.

Stuart Mitchell makes bespoke custom knives. He has worked from his workshop in Portland Works since he joined his mum and dad's business "Pat Mitchell Knives" when he was 15. He started his own business in 1996, and has since gained an international reputation for exception quality and design. He is the chair of Portland Works Little Sheffield Ltd, a community benefit society that owns and manages this grade II* listed cutlery factory. Over 500 shareholders successfully bought the site in 2003 to retain it as a place of making in the city. He has recently appeared in the UK on Heritage Heroes and Ade in Britain, as well as Japanese television demonstrating his craft.