Breathing life into Crafts for young people
Feedback to the Scottish Arts Council Crafts Strategy two years ago revealed that in recent years crafts had to some extent been out of fashion in education and there was a shortage of good craft components in art and design courses in schools. To address this need the Scottish Arts Council adopted a commitment to work with the education sector to ensure every child has experience of making. The first step towards this has been the launch of a three year programme of schools crafts residencies.
The ‘Butterfly Effect’ proposes the idea that the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil sets off a Tornado in Texas. If this notion is true, that a very small activity can become amplified and strong enough to change the future, then we are hopefully about to see it in action in Scotland.
Over the past year a variety of crafts residencies have been taking place in schools across Scotland which were aimed at giving school children the chance to experience and understand contemporary craft. As suits the subject, the initiative has been approached in a very creative and individual manner by bringing craftspeople into schools to work with young people and get them inspired.
||In East Dunbartonshire the children went ‘Animal Crackers’ creating large papier-mache sculptures of sharks, dogs and the Loch Ness Monster, while in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland there was an outbreak of small metal birds, a giant metal stag, felt covered stones and clocks.|
Children in West Lothian who learned to work with glass – designing, fusing, copper foiling, cutting, grinding, leading, soldering, cleaning and patina – felt it helped them to be more creative, share their ideas and work out problems.
It was this range of skills that had been identified as one of the many benefits of the initiative along with improved spatial awareness and a positive understanding of makers and what they do. It may even encourage some pupils to consider crafts as a career choice.
Supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council