What we do
Why is Craft Education important?
Engaging young people in craft through formal and informal learning is vital to the future of a vibrant sector that seeks to attract a diverse range of innovative, creative thinking and practice, a broad scope of career progression routes, and an increased profile. We do this by engaging a diverse public with a wide range of learning opportunities.
Craft is good for you; once acquired, its skills are with you for life. Research has shown that ‘the nature of craft education and the skills that it engenders are more widely applicable to areas of work, and everyday life, than a purely vocational view might suggest… Craft education appears to impart new styles of thinking, acting and problem solving to its students, which may be more appropriate than traditional learning systems, in our changing culture’ (New Lives in the Making, Crafts Council, 1998).This has been called ‘intelligent making,’ encapsulating the multifaceted and joined-up learning processes relevant to the digital age. This simple message applies to everyone: try making and you might find yourself with a new skill, a new talent, or even a new career.
Participation & Learning – what we do:
• We hope that by increasing understanding of and engagement with contemporary crafts, we will increase demand and strengthen the sector in its entirety.
• Inclusion is central to our strategy. We concentrate the delivery of our message in those areas where it is most quiet but also, perhaps, most wanted.
• We are currently working with partners around the country to create a national programme of participation projects in schools, galleries and public spaces.
• Our ambition is to create a national public event to inspire people around the country to get actively involved in making and seeing craft. Watch this space!
Benefits to the Learner of 21st Century CraftDownload (253KB Word File)
Benefits to the Learner of 21st Century CraftDownload (179KB Pdf File)
How do we define 'Craft'Download (246KB Word File)
How do we define 'Craft'Download (177KB Pdf File)
Craftivism: the art of co-production
Craftivism: the art of co-production by Zoë ShearmanCraftivism: the art of co-production (170KB Word File)
Craftivism: the art of co-production
Craftivism: the art of co-production by Zoë ShearmanCraftivism: the art of co-production (165KB Pdf File)
In addition to our departmental programmes we also facilitate participatory elements to other events, adding value for diverse audiences. These include:
- Past –
Origin Interactive 2009 – Somerset House, London.
6-11 October 2009, and 13-18 October 2009
• Last year’s Participation and Intervention programme focused on contemporary basketry. Spanning traditional functional forms and highly conceptual installations, the commissions drew attention to the scope and multiplicity of this exciting discipline.
‘Craftivism’ – Arnolfini, Bristol.
12 December 2009 to 14 February 2010
• ‘Craftivism’, curated by Spark-Plug awardee Zoe Shearman, Director of Relational, was a participatory exhibition, responding to the resurgent interest in craft as it relates to socially-engaged art practices.
• Read Zoe’s article about the experience of collaborating with the young participants involved in Craftivism artworks (see downloads, above).
- New –
Craft Educators Forum – the professional hub of the Craft Action Network
• This forum is composed of representatives of key organisations, agencies and institutions at the forefront of developments in craft education, coordinated by the Participation & Learning Team.
• More information on our development strategy coming soon.
See: What’s on