Love or Money? A maker discussion about models for postcapitalist creativity

Garland Threads

2 March 2017

Sunday 19 March 2017 11 am – 3 pm
Growing Abundance
cnr Templeton and Barker Streets

We are hosting an event during the Castlemaine State Festival on Sunday 19 March 11 am – 3 pm to discuss lived experiences of craft-making and creative practice. The venue will be Growing Abundance, cnr of Templeton and Barker streets, in their community garden area (enter through Growing Abundance). Our discussion will form the basis of an article for the June issue of Garland magazine. We are keen to draw together a range of creative practitioners who can contribute to a discussion about surviving and growing in their practices—what methods, workarounds, relationships etc. make it possible to work, and live, as they do.


The current principle of a “creative industry” is the production of things for sale, whether ceramic mugs, theatre tickets or websites. Creating things for consumption can water down the individuality, expression, connectedness and humanness that could, and perhaps should, exist at the centre of creative practices. We are interested in how makers are adapting their practice and livelihood to become even partially less reliant on direct product/service sales. Are there opportunities available now that can renew access to core values in a creative life, independent of fashion and the market? And is it possible to also sustain a standard of living that might include paying a mortgage or having a family?

The purpose of this workshop is to document and develop models for creative sustainability for future collaborative consumption, which may provide a platform for others to share their experiences and potentially build future structures together. This means we can begin to value more those non-monetary outcomes, such as social good, reputation, skill and barter.

Workshop Plan

With this in mind, the event is framed in a practical perspective with discussion and interaction centred on simple, grounded, practice-based creative expressions. We thought it appropriate for each of us bring two items which we can talk through from personal experience.

We are interested in objects, systems and services practitioners have made which may not return direct profit, but are nonetheless deemed important in their overall practice; these activities may be labour- and resource- intensive to produce, and not make immediate sense in terms of direct profit, but contribute to the survival of the practice (for example, blogs, systems of exchange, bespoke tools, etc.). This object could alternatively be a non-commercial artefact made by practitioners (that is, made outside work practice) that contribute to livelihood and hold high personal value, intrinsic usefulness, personal fit and sense of accomplishment (self-made fashion, furniture pieces, social contracts).

We thought we could each bring a small amount of food to share for lunch that has in some way been sourced through a non-monetary negotiation (bartered, swapped, gleaned). (We will also have a food provided by Growing Abundance.)

We will use these objects and experiences as a way of exploring a range of propositions as means and pathways of bringing greater support, dignity and viability to our creative practice alongside/outside standard commercial models.

If you are interested in attending and would like more information, please email 

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  • petrus spronk says:

    thank you for your email, plus article. i am happy to partake in the discussion and as a result be a part of the event. funny thinh happened. i write a column for the local Daylesford paper, the advocate and for this week’s publication it was dedicated to my garden, I’ll send it per email. Greetings Petrus