Men in Sheds: Personalised Domino Stands

When you hear the term ‘maker’, what springs to mind? For most people it might be someone who is younger, or someone tech-savvy and knows their way around a computer. Well, at Wavemaker, we’ve seen makers of all ages and all ability. Don’t believe us? What would you say if we told you that on Thursday 2nd April we had a special visit from from a Men in Sheds group?

For anyone who doesn’t know, Men in Sheds is a service that supports older men and gives them a space where they can get together to learn and share new skills. Eight of these such gents came to join us to learn how to make personalised domino stands, featuring their names and an image, for their regular matches.

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“We thought it’d be good to do something.” Brent Sutton, one of the supporters who came to help out with the event, said. “The idea to make domino stands developed over a few weeks. We knew they loved dominos and we wanted them to have something to take away from it and give them a chance to do something that they found interesting.”

Making doesn’t have to be about making something overly high-tech or complicated. It’s more than just making thingamabobs or what-sits, it’s about creating things that are useful or beneficial people’s day to day lives. Having the chance to engrave the stands meant a lot to the group, as many of them had previous experience with creating objects, either through their previous jobs or hobbies.

“When doing a session around activities they got up to as kids, several of the men remembered making rag rugs at the fireside. We talked about other craft activities they learnt and one guy, Dave, a welder by trade, talked about how he taught his wife to knit, crochet and embroider.” Anne Kinnaird, from a participatory arts company called ‘Letting in the Light’, said.

They were enthusiastic about all of our equipment- discussing our 3D printer and asking about how the laser-cutter worked. We learnt a lot from them too, finding out about the lives of some of the men who came to visit and hearing some great stories.

It just goes to show, no matter how old you are, we can all learn from each other and we can all be makers.

To find out more about our DigitAll programme, visit our ‘Products/ Services’ page.

Mary FletcherDigitALL