Getting creative in a co-operative community is far from a pain

Keen to spend your Saturday mornings more productively? Look no further than Jangling Space for a creative, community-based and environmentally conscious co-operative.

The pilot for this new artistic venture has launched in Govanhill Baths in Glasgow, welcoming members of the local community to get together, connect and craft handmade products every Saturday.

One of the main sources of inspiration behind Jangling Space was the Men’s Shed movement, the UK-wide initiative facilitating spaces for men to work on projects autonomously in a friendly, inclusive venue.

But this co-operative caters to an even more diverse audience. Everybody is welcome to enjoy the informal atmosphere, access to materials, and ability to work at their own pace – all free of cost!

On the topic of co-operatives, Brian Morgan, one of Jangling Space’s founders, is conscious that people can get them confused with a certain supermarket. In reality, he believes co-operatives like this one are incredibly important for naturally building community spirit and making individuals feel part of something bigger than their selves.

“Co-operatives inherently make people feel like they belong. Although you’re talking to me today – you need somebody to get things started – eventually in Jangling Space, everyone will have an equal say in how things are done…and that’s the whole point, it’s about building that sense of belonging.”

Currently, the group are creating stained glass panes, modelled on the co-operative’s home in the baths. Intricate, colourful and ornamental, the panes aren’t just striking – they’re genuinely Glaswegian.

Materials used for these creations have been sourced from the streets of the city, giving the group’s creations an environmentally conscious edge, alongside that added authenticity.

Brian believes this to be a unique selling point of Jangling Space.

“One part of the co-operative is about coming in and making things…but it’s also about going out and finding things! Every Jangling Space piece has a found bit of Glasgow in it.”

Although the co-operative has only been formally operating in the baths for little over six weeks, it already enjoys glowing testimonials from local community members.

Lynn from King’s Park attended her first session recently after spotting flyers and following the co-operative on social media. Already, she praises the experience highly.

“It’s a craft that dates back hundreds of years. You don’t see up-to-date stained glass windows, do you? So it’s good to learn something different. You never know what could go on your CV…!”

A volunteer at her local church, she suggests these new skills with stained glass could eventually help rectify a recent tricky issue.

She laughs: “The kids broke the church window. Maybe I could put this to good use – you never know, I might be able to go and fix it for them for free!”

Although Lynn is a new visitor to Jangling Space, she would already recommend attending to anybody, regardless of their background or ability.

“The atmosphere is laid back, with very nice people. The people who run the workshop are interesting, they explain how to do things easily and you can create beautiful art!”

But it’s clear that the beauty is not just in the art; the relationship between members and realisation of personal creativity is what makes Jangling Space stand out. With plans to craft more handmade pieces, boost membership and even run an online shop, this co-operative is truly a space to be.

Jangling Space runs every Saturday from 10-1pm in Govanhill Baths. For more information go here

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