Making Feedback Constructive

Piece under discussion by Anne Marquiss

Makers spend a lot of time working on their own and often have few opportunities to talk about the development of their work and get a fresh perspective on it and their practice. Getting feedback on work can sometimes be a hard experience and to make this process easier AAS has developed Constructive Feedback sessions.

AAS with funding from a Look Again Create Networks Grant is offering makers the opportunity to take part in a Constructive Feedback session where they can receive feedback on specific work or an idea in development in a friendly and supportive space and give their responses to work by other participating makers.

I received insight into how my piece was viewed and it uncovered layers of meaning in it that I was too close to the piece to see.

Helen robertson – shetland

Makers who have taken part have described it as enlightening to discover how other makers viewed their work and said it sparked new ideas for developing it. It helped them to develop how they explain and talk about their work and they enjoyed the opportunity to see and learn more about what other makers were doing. They found it a supportive, encouraging and friendly space.

Jeweller Lucy Walsh who previously participated in 2018 said “It was lovely to be with a group of people in a similar position to me and to realise that we all have insecurities around the question of ‘am I good enough?’ Everybody was nervous before the process and buoyant afterwards.”

Each participant is asked to present one work/idea, which can be finished or work in progress. The maker is asked to consider in advance what they would like to get from the session, such as being able to discuss work they feel is not yet fully resolved or to test new ideas in development.

There are spaces for six makers to take part in two 3 hour workshops. Each session will follow the four step process. Each maker has a turn to be the Presenter with three people presenting work/ideas during the first workshop and the second three presenting during the second workshop. When not presenting your work, you’ll be a Responder and respond to the work by the other makers in the group. It will be the same maker as Facilitator for both workshops and more information on the process and advice on photographs will be provided before the session.

The facilitators have been trained by AAS and are AAS Professional Members with their own practice. 

I found the constructive feedback sessions to be such a positive experience which sparked lots of interesting and revealing responses from makers across lots of different disciplines, which is a unique offering for many makers who are often working in isolation.

Aubin stewart – aberdeen

The next two workshops will run from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday 15 February and Tuesday 22 February 2022, and by signing up to the session, you agree to attend both workshops. Sessions are FREE for Applied Arts Scotland Members. They are also open to non-members who pay £25. This is the same price as one year’s Professional Membership of AAS and Associate Membership is £15, so if you want to participate it may be worth joining AAS to do so and also access the other benefits of membership.

Members can book their free place using the password provided in the Members Bulletin or email with the subject Constructive Feedback Password to request it.

The process we call Constructive Feedback is based on the Critical Response Process developed by Liz Lerman as a means of providing practical, useful and constructive feedback for any creative discipline.

As part of the training our facilitators took part in a session and we are sharing in this blog their responses to the experience.

It’s a supportive atmosphere that is encouraging and enlightening for all taking part. It’s fascinating to see the work of other makers and learn about their thinking behind it.

ANNE Marquiss – aberdeen
Process work, Yellow Broom

I came away with ways of seeing and paths for development I hadn’t previously noticed or considered.

Clare waddle, yellow broom – grantown-on-spey

Listening to the other participants how they see your work and the questions asked by the group on all participants’ work shown, is extremely beneficial. The sessions are a friendly and supportive space, building a wider community within Applied Arts Scotland.

louise barrington – orkney

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