by Lieta Marziali, Contemporary Art Jeweller and Directory Maker
When the Crafts Council called for makers to register on to the Inspiring The Future database, I jumped at the chance to be able to take my skills and experience into state schools to talk about the world of work. The database was created by charity Education and Employers to match volunteers from all walks of working life with schools in their area who would be able to talk informally to pupils of all ages about their educational and career background and how they reached they current position.
Within a very short time of signing up, I received several messages from Norfolk schools requesting a variety of contributions, from speaking in the classroom to attending a careers fair to mentoring opportunities. My first involvement was with the Harleston Cluster Career Exhibition at Norwich Cathedral in December 2015. The fair was aimed at 7-13-year-olds and the school had asked for an interactive stand which would not only offer information about my sector but also show the relevance of subjects pupils learn at school. As a jeweller, I was thrilled to be able to show them how much, as a self-employed maker, every day I still have to rely on my knowledge of maths, geometry, English language and literature, history and science, at the very least!
Moving forward three months, I am now very proud to have been accepted as part of a team of long-term Year 9-10-11 volunteer mentors at North Walsham High School. Many of of my mentor colleagues are drawn from large companies from the world of big business in finance, energy and other major sectors. Part of my role will be to show my mentees that the path of a sole-trading woman in the creative industries is a very viable option.
I am extremely thankful that the Craft Council decided to partner with the Inspiring The Future scheme, as it is important that we collectively continue to raise awareness of the possibilities offered by a creative career. From my experience so far, the database really seems to work well. No matter how many hours you are willing or able to commit, I would urge anyone to sign up to it and help shape the future for the next generation. You can find the database at www.inspiringthefuture.org
NOTE: Pictures of the Norwich Cathedral event are available, with permission already obtained for publication.