The MMM strategic initiative tests the idea of income sustainability in the craft/design sector.
In late 2004, the Visual Arts/Craft Board hosted a focus group of 15 makers, thinkers and entrepreneurs from across Australia. The group looked at career development patterns that are happening right now, and framed a program that encouraged makers to think ‘from maker to manufacture to market’.
The MMM program was released on 1 February 2005, with three grants of $30,000 on offer. Submissions received covered furniture, jewellery, kitchenware, lighting, textiles, tiles and other special items. Often the target markets were identified as ‘apartment living’, tourism and the gift market.
Using four selection criteria (artistic merit of the prototype, calibre of the artists and other professionals involved, evidence that the project is well planned, and evidence of the commercial viability of the end-product), the following three grants were awarded:
Rod Bamford (NSW) $30,000 to develop and market a high quality porcelain bowl that utilise photographic surface imagery, taking as its theme genetically modified fruit and flora;
Bianca Looney (Vic.) $30,000 to develop and market 3D tiling systems under the brand name Z-Series, which takes as its starting point textures relating to the Australian landscape; and
Oliver Smith (ACT) $30,000 to develop and market stainless steel production cutlery.
The timeframe for these projects is 9-12 months. The development of the projects will be progressively publicised, so that the learnings from these projects can be shared.
MMM is an initiative of the visual arts/craft board of the Australia Council.