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Craft in Action (CAN) website. It made me think about what I do and how best to describe it to other people. It is definitely a challenge finding a balance between the two but I think I have been lucky that each seems to dovetail fairly successfully. There are always times when there is too much or not enough happening.


At the start of each year I try to plan out potential key events – when there are craft shows or exhibitions or my Etsy shop needs a seasonal upgrade. When I have a period of teaching or creating learning programmes and resources I try to book time with myself to go and make.


What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do? I have been fortunate to work with a huge range of people in many different settings. The most rewarding aspects are seeing how much enjoyment people garner from making things, the sense of achievement they gain and then taking something away with them –


104 | ukhandmade | Spring 2012


which can be an actual object or the desire to continue after the workshop ends. The best compliment is when people say ‘I really enjoyed that, I’m going to try that at home’. When I am working with children and they start singing whilst they are working – and the very best is when they say ‘that went too quickly’. Suspension of time is the creative side of the brain being fully engaged.


How important are Arts and Crafts to schools and local communities? I can’t stress enough how important they are! One example was a series of jewellery-making workshops I led at a local authority museum that wanted to broaden its audiences. I worked out fairly low-tech but hopefully interesting sessions for several paid sessions which attracted the usual audience – they are the backbone of many museum programmes. I then linked up with the Community Education Officer on a nearby council estate in a deprived area of the town. The workshops followed the same format but took


place in an estate porta-cabin and were to attract young adults and local mothers, free of charge.


The work from all participants was put on display in an exhibition in the museum’s community case and the council estate jewellers were invited along. For some, this was the first time they had set foot in a museum or gallery since primary school and they were thrilled to see their work in the gallery. The recognition of their creative work was bolstered by receiving a workbox of basic tools and materials which they have used to make items to sell to friends and family.


In schools I have engaged with teaching staff who value Arts and Crafts skills and creative thinking. In 2011, I worked on a four metre long mosaic of the school logo to be put on display on the outside entrance wall to the school. My


was a link corridor so the whole school community from pupils, cleaning ladies, parents and visiting


‘studio’


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