This summer New Brewery Arts has seen over a hundred children and teenagers take part our annual Summer Craft Clubs. The studio is once again filled with colour, feathers, mod roc and all manner of other materials and equipment. Hannah Ellis, our children’s tutor, creates a unique environment where the students hang their work on the walls with pride and leave telling their parents what they have learnt that day. This part of the day is my favourite. As I sit in the office, I can hear the children excitedly telling their parents the story behind their painting or the processes they went through to make that Lino Print.
Whilst it is obvious that taking part in a creative activity helps a child’s imagination develop, other vital skills grow too. The technical skills gained whilst taking part in a craft activity are crucial to everyday life. At a recent talk at the V&A museum, it was noted that teachers were seeing a growing number of children reaching secondary school unable to use objects such as scissors. A similar example was shared by another speaker, where a growing number of university level medical students were unable to carry out simple stitches. It is believed that, as cuts have been made to art and design education in schools, levels of dexterity have decreased. Whilst these examples may seem quite extreme, it highlights the value of craft education; creating is not just about the result, but about the action, the making. From this we can learn all kinds of dextrous skills that may serve us well later in life.
A by-product of Craft Clubs is the mess, the busyness and the phrase “don’t worry we can fix that.” Sometimes the excitement all gets a little too much and some paint may splatter where it wasn’t meant to. When making and creating, things occasionally go wrong and learning what to do when that happens is a valuable life lesson. Because, let’s face it, that has happened to us all. Iteration and coming back to the drawing board with a new angle with confidence is an invaluable skill. In these uncertain times being able to take a problem and think creatively about the solution is a brilliant achievement. We believe that learning in a supportive and creative environment is key to gaining the ability to learn from our mistakes.
With September around the corner and the schools starting again, we see the start of our weekly Art Clubs, which are almost fully booked. This shows us the value you hold for art and craft for children too; thank you. We will also be running Craft Clubs in October half term (which are on our website, with more to follow, especially for 11 – 17 year olds) and a couple of Day of the Dead themed craft workshops for 5-8 years and 7-12 years as Hallowe’en falls in that week! We cannot wait to see what your children create this term and what they learn!
By Yolande, Education