Have you even taken on a task because you were expected to and then found yourself hugely thankful for the opportunity? That’s exactly what happened when I ventured into the classroom for seam Collective. As part of our shiftWorks project we were funded by the Arts Council and Somerset Arts Works (SAW) to offer textile workshops to schools and colleges in the region.
When I prepared my proposal I hadn’t expected the way this element of our project would effect my long term goals.
I ran a simple felt making workshop in three primary schools with kids ranging in age from 4-10 years. I felt enthusiastic about this from the onset, but didn’t anticipate that by the end of the first day I would be considering the possibility of running workshops alongside my practice. When I think back to the session I still get a buzz – so many brilliant things happened on those days including:
- The children really loved the sessions (admittedly I was up against column addition and literacy)
- I really loved the sessions (hey, I’ve been hanging out with kids everyday for nearly nine years now, and here I am getting paid for the privilege)
- I was actually quite good at it (admittedly having more energy and enthusiasm for infrequent sessions than if I was in the classroom everyday)
- It was fun
- The children learnt/experienced lots of new things and displayed enthusiasm, stamina, concentration, creativity, problem solving and team work
- I visited some stunning villages in Somerset including Montecute
Since the launch of the Craft Council’s Education Manifesto in 2014, (which coincided with the time my youngest child started school), I’ve been following with interest the ways in which craft is promoted in UK schools. With more funding to enable our youngsters to learn craft skills we will be encouraging creativity, inventiveness, problem solving and practical intelligence. Skills which will provide tomorrow’s creatives, designers, medics and engineers with the building blocks for their and our future.
As the Education Manifesto proudly recognises, Our future is in the Making, and I for one am excited about what the beautiful podgy hands in these photos make of their future and any part that I can play in it. #FutureInMaking.