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education professionals could all see the work in progress. This was a real ‘win’ for the project as 240 children aged 3 to 7 came and helped me in small groups, but it was being able to see the way the work progressed that was most important. They were horrified when I smeared black grout over the tiles until they saw the finished effect the following day! The pupils offered opinions, asked questions, made observations and wanted to be engaged with the work. I have helped support this particular school in their Artsmark Gold Award application this year, so fingers crossed whilst they wait to hear.


What advice would you give to someone looking to start workshops or thinking about teaching in schools? Never say no! Sometimes I have said yes to a project and wondered what possessed me, but surprising things happen and I have developed some long-term client relationships from unexpected encounters.


106 | ukhandmade | Spring 2012


Some of my work has come through recommendations but I also send out mailings to schools in the autumn term with examples of previous projects, quotes from teachers I have worked with and my website is proving important. Use Twitter and LinkedIn to keep your profile interesting. Make contacts in local authorities who may have an interest in engaging communities


with


creative workshops. Register or join networks like Group for Education in Museums (GEM), Engage or the Arts and Crafts Councils.


Make sure you have a clear briefing about what the outcomes and objectives of the workshop are and who is setting those objectives. Is it the funding body, the organisation or the participants? What are people expecting to gain or experience during the workshop. Ensure you know who is responsible for what actions and payment terms. You may be asked for a CRB check and evidence of Public Liability Insurance.


Tailor what you plan to do with the potential participants but without being too prescriptive. Think carefully about what the middle ground might be and have something in reserve to extend what you are doing – maybe another material, tool or technique. I like to offer several outcomes from one workshop – in a


recent museum-based mosaic


workshop I brought along several sizes of backing boards so people could choose to make a coaster or a teapot stand. Some folk brought pre- drawn designs along, others wanted to copy something I had brought along as an example and others just wanted to experiment. People like a reasonable choice of materials.


I always hope for each person creating something unique – particularly in school there is nothing worse than 30 variations of the same design. Aim to provide a framework to the workshop but not hard and fast outcomes.


Always check out the space you


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