Common questions about Make Works
What is Make Works, and what does it do?
Make Works are factory ﬁnders, on a mission to make local manufacturing accessible. Think of it like a public library. An open resource that lets you discover the relevant skilled people, places, tools and materials that allow you to manufacture, make or repair closer to you. Learn more here.
The platform allows individuals and companies to find and get in touch directly with the factories, makers, material suppliers and workshop facilities we have visited, filmed and photographed in their local area. Learn about How Make Works Works here
How do I use Make Works?
You can search or browse for manufacturing processes, materials, machinery or equipment you need. This might be for a design brief, new artwork, a hardware product, outfitting a shop, props or set for a show, or just something for your home - anything physical you need to make or repair. Find out more about how to search Make Works here.
Once you have found a factory that suits you, get directly in touch to start making.
How is it useful?
Finding fabricators or facilities near you can be difficult, time consuming and frustrating. Many of our listed factories are hidden away on industrial estates and can be found nowhere on a Google search.
We've done the hard research work so that you can explore the processes, materials and machinery you need to fabricate work.
Who is Make Works for?
Make Works was originally made for professional artists, designers and makers in Glasgow, who were struggling to find the practical people and places to make things themselves, or get things manufactured.
We want Make Works to be used by everyone. Tens of thousands of people now use the site on a monthly basis ranging from individuals and hobbyists to new brands and businesses and museums and universities, along with the artists, designers and architects who we had in mind when we first started out.
Where did the idea for Make Works come from?
We are designers and advocates of locally sourced production. From our own experiences, we recognised the frustrations, difficulties and challenges of finding fabricators to make art and design work. Learn more about our story here.
When did Make Works start?
Make Works as an organisation has been running since 2012. We launched our web platform in early 2014. Find out more here.
Why is Make Works important?
Factories, makers, material suppliers and workshop facilities exist all around us. We want to show you where these people are and how easy it is to work with them so that we can make it easier to produce things more sustainably, more locally, and support small scale busineses and skill in the process.
You can read more about this on our About Make Works page.
Do you sell things made by local designers, makers and artists?
No, we don't. Make Works is specifically focussed on addressing the practicalities and production processes of making.
There are lots of great platforms selling both locally or distributed produced work such as The New Craftsman, Made in These Isles, Open Desk, Precious Plastic, Distributed Design Market Platform and Etsy or Folksy - as well as many local retail spaces and pop up shops.
How it Works
Searching Make Works
I can't find what I'm looking for on Make Works. What should I do?
The search function on Make Works works better if you are searching for a process or material (like 'letterpress', or 'acrylic'), so try that instead of a finished product (like 'scarf' or 'bag'). Read our Search Tips here.
In some regions you can also get 1-1 sourcing assistance if you become a Patron of the site.
What if a factory has not got back to me?
If you haven't heard back, then we find that a follow up phone call works a treat!
What if I have a bad experience with a factory?
Make Works verifies and visits each and every listed factory so we expect you to receive a good service. Although we’re not responsible for the level of service, we certainly want to know if you've had a bad experience. If this is the case please get in touch with your regional Make Works and we’ll do all we can to help.
If we find this problem with a fabricator or supplier continuously then they will be removed from Make Works all together.
What do I do if a factory asks for drawings, and I don't know how to make them?
We can recommend designers and consultancies that specialise in these skills; or you can take a look at our production guides.
Creating and preparing files can be very time consuming for manufacturers and makers, so don’t be surprised if they’re not always willing to produce them for very short runs.
Being listed on Make Works
How does my factory get listed?
Check whether you fit our Listing Criteria, then fill out our form or send us an email.
If you fit the criteria we will verify your information, then arrange a time to come and visit you to film and take images. Learn more about how to get listed on Make Works here.
What are the benefits of being listed on Make Works?
Being listed on Make Works gives you an opportunity to be found quickly and contacted directly by new customers that are actively seeking local fabricators. We provide high level photography and film. Our goal is to encourage more individuals and companies to manufacture work locally.
How much does it cost to be listed?
It is completely free to be listed on Make Works.
Can Make Works listings include other creative practitioners, e.g Photographers or Animators?
We are focused on the production of physical works and are therefore working with manufacturers, material suppliers and trades. There are other networks that list a wider remit of services under the production of creative work, such as the Creative Edinburgh members list.
How do I edit the information in a Make Works listing?
At present we have not created a login function for companies to edit their information. If you have changed address, added new services or contact details then please email your regional Make Works.
Who can view listings?
The information displayed on Make Works is open and anyone can use it to search and find content about manufacturers, materials, processes and machines in the local manufacturing industry.
How do I report incorrect information on Make Works?
We try to make sure that all company information is up to date and as accurate as possible. If there is an error please get in touch.
I'm getting spam emails, or irrelevant requests from Make Works users. How do I stop this?
You can report spam or irrelevant messages to email@example.com We will aim to educate our users in best practice for contacting makers and factories.
I would like to remove my listing on Make Works. What do I do?
We would be disappointed to remove a listing on Make Works, but if your business has changed, or you simply wish to do so, please send us an email, and include your reasons for not wanting to be listed anymore.
I have a technical problem or support issue I need resolved: who do I contact?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you come across an issue on the site. We will try to have it fixed as soon as possible.
I have an idea for a new feature on Make Works - who do I tell?
We love hearing feedback and your ideas. Let us know!
Why we are free
Make Works is free to use; and we don't charge a fee for factories to be listed. So how do we deliver our services at the moment, and how will we make money in the future?
We list factories for free because that is the most democratic way to make this platform accessible, and ensure people are listed for skill quality, not ability to pay.
Accessing Make Works is free because we believe that the information we are collecting should be open and accessible to everyone.
Make Works was started using overdrafts and credit cards, before being built using arts funding and grants from organisations such as Creative Scotland and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation. We have received some small grants from foundations and trusts, and made small amounts of money from giving talks, workshops and from working on side projects with organisations such as the British Council. We were also invested in as part of Seedcamp.
In 2015 we made Make Works available to people that wanted to start it outside of Scotland and began to look at alternative methods of funding.
In 2016 we began to use crowdfunding platform Patreon to fund our activities, transitioning away from the traditional grant-funding model.
In 2018 Make Works gifted the assets and platform of the project to Fab City Barcelona. We are located at the Fab Lab Barcelona at IAAC, The Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (private education institution). The goal is to have the HQ distributed across the Make Works regions. Which enables each region to act locally and still be globally connected.
Make Works is part of the Distributed Design Market Platform (DDMP), funded by Creative Europe, which acts as a platform to exchange and networking hub for the European maker movement. The initiative aims at developing and promoting the connection between artists, designers, makers, and the market.
Not for Profit, Self-Sustaining and Independent
Make Works is a company limited by guarantee. This means that we function as any other limited company would; but the profits we make are reinvested back into the company.
This means that money we make goes back into supporting local manufacturers, sustaining our environment and enabling artists, designers and makers to make.
It also means that we are able to remain independent of where we take and shape the company in the future.
Why is the Patreon in dollars?
Patreon is a US-based site, which only uses US$ for payments. Each month we transfer our total earnings from Patreon into pounds.
How does this support Make Works?
The Make Works Patreon funds the Make Works Backbone, which is based at Fab City Research Lab in Barcelona. We take responsibility for connecting the global community aligned with the Fab City Vision, communications content, creating a support system for new regions, and establishing a sustainable business model. You can make a donation specifically to the region near you here.
Do Make Works make money any other way?
We do still receive some small grants from foundations, trusts and public funders. We also make small amounts of money from giving talks, workshops and from working on side projects. We also ask the regions for a contribution fee to help us cover web development costs for everyone, which is worked out based on their budget.
I don't understand some of the terms used. What is the difference between fabricator or supplier for example?
We have a glossary index of technical terms and phrases that we use. You can view the Make Works glossary here.
What if I'm not sure what process, material or machine I'm looking for?
Take a look at our production guides in the first instance. You can also contact us to request a list of recommended designers and engineers to help better realise your project, or check out facilities that specialise in prototyping and early design stage testing of ideas.
Filming and Factory Visits
How often does Make Works film and visit factories?
Each Make Works region has its own team which will be out on the road filming regularly. Most regions have a waiting list for new listings.
How does Make Works find factories and makers to visit?
We are constantly researching local industry and suppliers. We often work from a list of processes and materials that we haven't yet covered in-depth, so we try and find them; seek out recommendations for companies or even walk around industrial estates mapping them out and seeing who might be inside!
We're always happy to receive recommendations and suggestions – If you know of a fabricator, material supplier or facility that should be listed on Make Works please let us know
Do you charge for filming and photography?
No, we list factories on Make Works for free and this includes the filming and photography required for the listing. Factories can donate to regions directly if they are pleased with the work.
If you wish to produce a bespoke film or develop a wider project then contact us, and we can put you in touch with recommended photographers, filmmakers and design consultancies.
Can I come to join you for factory visits?
When we visit factories we have a particular process in order to collect information, film and photograph what we need per listing quickly. If we are aware that an individual is looking for a process or material in particular, then we may email that individual in advance of a visit if we are visiting somewhere of direct interest.
I live in London/ Sheffield/ Berlin/ Abu Dhabi/ Philadelphia (etc). Can I set up a Make Works network here?
In March 2016, we opened up the Make Works platform so that people in other parts of the UK (and further afield) can start their own open-access local manufacturing directories. To find out more, and how you could get involved and start your own Make Works, read more here
How is Make Works funded?
Does Make Works charge to access the information listed?
No. Make Works can, and will always be accessed for free. Read more in our why we are free section.
Will Make Works sell my information or data?
Do you pay yourselves for working on Make Works?
Each Make Works region is run differently. Here at Make Works HQ we use grant funding to ensure that our team and contributors can be paid a fair wage. We do not support unpaid internships, or reduced fees for working artists, designers, startups and freelancers.
Images and Film
Make Works media is licensed through Creative Commons. It means that others can share and share alike as long as Make Works is credited as the source of the image.
Can we use Make Works images and videos in on our own website or publication?
How can I embed a Make Works video on my website?
We host our videos using Vimeo. When displaying Make Works videos on your own website, please use our official embed code, which is available by clicking on the "embed" /. Please do not edit films and videos.
If displaying video stills as part of a screenshot as part of a publication, make sure Make Works are credited with a direct link where possible.
Can you send us high-resolution images for use in print?
Yes, though we charge an admin fee to cover the time for this service. Find out more here.
Can you send me your raw film footage to use in my own work?
Unfortunately we do not have a capacity in studio to distribute raw footage from the film archive. If you know of a project or fund that could help us develop this please do let us know.
Can we screen or exhibit your film?
Yes, depending on the event. Just send us an email with details.
How can I use the Make Works logo?
The Make Works logo can be used for Press and Media. When using the Make Works logo to talk about the organisation or our work, we prefer if you only the official, unmodified files to represent our brand. These can be downloaded here. Please ensure 150% buffer space around the logo. The logo should not be modified, altered or used in a confusing way, including suggesting sponsorship or endorsement by Make Works, or in a way that confuses Make Works with another brand. The Make Works logo should not be used in merchandise or tangible goods. Please do not use the Make Works logos in your avatar on any service.
What font are you using?
Akkurat Pro, created by Lineto.
Studio Projects, Residencies and Talks
How do I get involved in residency programmes?
I have a great idea for a project about design / manufacturing / craft / open / films / research / environment / local economies - can we partner up?
We do get involed in some other projects as design consultants, so if you have a project you would like us to be involved in then get in touch with the details, and what sort of involvement you are looking from us. From there we can let you know if we are interseted in being involved.
Will you come and speak at our event?
We are happy to give talks and lectures about our work, and the ideas/practice around it. If you would like Make Works to speak at your conference, event or festival then please get in touch.
Please note that we tend to charge a speaker fee for this service.
If you would like to get in touch with a specific region, find their contact details here
I have a great idea for a product! Can you give me design or manufacturing advice?
We can support you if you are having trouble finding a manufacturer, but Make Works are not a design consultancy. We provide 1-1 manufacturing support as a reward for Patreon patrons, or can recommend a number of designers and design agencies that can help with design development and technical considerations before manufacture.
Can Make Works do a personal introduction to a factory or maker for me?
I am a student / researcher / arts organisation / business, and I am interested in the work Make Works have done for my study or project. Can we meet to learn more about this work?
We wish to share as much of the knowledge we have gathered as we possibly can. Due to a large number of these requests, we cannot meet with every individual. We will make the best effort we can to answer your queries and questions, but please bear in mind we are a very small team, and make sure you've looked through the information available on our website before writing to Make Works with any questions.
Will Make Works sponsor the production of my product?
Make Works does not have the financial capacity to sponsor production of products or artwork.
I would like Make Works to publicise or promote my business. What can you offer me?
Make Works is not an advertising platform. We can improve the visibility of your business if you fit the factory listing criteria or if relevant, featuring you on our blog. We can also offer sponsorship opportunities for our publication, studio projects and public events.
Where did the name Make Works come from?
We went through hundreds of ideas for names in the beginning of Make Works. From 'Who Does That?', to 'Maker-Speed-Dater'. Eventually the name was refined (with the help of Philip Blaikie) to use the two words that sum up what we hope this will enable you to do: Make Work.
Press and Media Resources
We have a range of resources available on our Press page, where you can find press releases, image libraries from the tour and directory, Make Works logos and more. For further press enquiries please contact email@example.com