Craft School: A summer of playful making, is a chance for children and young
people to get making and be inspired by the Crafts Council Collection and
brilliant creations made by school students from across the UK.
This summer the Crafts Council Gallery will become a hive of activity where
visitors can create, play, and experiment with clays, textiles, paper, and card at a
‘making table’ and meet others who also love craft. There will be a free weekly
workshop held every Wednesday in August, led by our friendly staff and skilled
Craft School will display six winning entries from our national school’s competition
Craft School: Yinka’s Challenge, developed in collaboration with multi-
disciplinary British-Nigerian artist Yinka Ilori. Learners from across KS1 – KS4 were
invited to explore themes of play, storytelling, and empowerment through
Out of the 100 entries that were submitted, the judging panel selected six winners
of the challenge including: the students of the lower primary class at Richard
Cloudesley Special School in Islington who were inspired by upcycling projects
by Yinka Ilori to create a mobile using decorated old CDs for their classroom: and
Diane Mwamikazi, a key stage 4 student at Bury College who created a colourful
and richly patterned miniature pavilion inspired by the clothing of her Congolese
and Rwandan family members. Collectively, these works celebrate making by
young people and explore how craft can be a place for young makers to develop
and reflect on their histories, cultures, and identities.
Alongside these schools’ projects, visitors will be able to handle and experience
craft by leading professional makers from our Collections. Each of these objects
explore ideas of materiality and play and include Colour Breeze#1 by
mischer’traxler studio, a 3-metre-long installation of paper-like circles which light
up in a vibrant display of colours once visitors interact with them: leather bottles
moulded on to found objects by Simon Hasan: and wooden objects by Howard
Raybould who was the head prop maker on the iconic film 2001: A Space
The Crafts Council believe that every child and young person has the right to
explore their own creativity through making. Making with their hands helps young
people to develop problem-solving and communication skills alongside practical
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
skills of creating, mending, and repairing. Craft de-stresses, empowers, and
contributes to wellbeing and happiness.
As craft education is in steep decline in UK schools, we have developed a teaching
and learning framework ‘Make First’ which is driven by learners’ own interests.
Make First encourages getting craft materials into students’ hands allowing for
open-ended and instinctive making through material exploration and
development. Craft School is an opportunity for parents, caregivers, and teachers
to connect with the Crafts Council.
Craft School is the perfect place for families, children, and young people to
discover more about craft, have a go themselves and start their own journey to
becoming a maker in a friendly and inclusive space.
Craft School is part of the Crafts Council’s Make! Craft! Live! programme. A
season of nationwide exhibitions, learning events, fairs, and digital activities that
celebrates the value of craft to empower, enrich and connect our society.
Crafts Council Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, 11am – 5pm. Drop-in or
book tickets in advance at
Graphic design for Craft School is by Daly & Lyon.
“I am trying to really encourage young people in schools to tell their own personal
stories within design, whether it’s about family or friends or experiences. I think
anyone trying to develop their voice in their making, my first tip would be to be
proud of your story and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable in your work”
Yinka Ilori, Crafts Council Trustee, and co-creator of the national school
competition Craft School: Yinka’s Challenge.
“We hope Craft School will inspire more people to experience varied materials,
learn new skills, produce pieces full of pride and find ways to express themselves.
But most importantly, we want more people to benefit from the magic and joy
Nicky Dewar, Director of Learning and Skills