CAA in Education 2001

Spring/Summer  :  Autumn  :  Winter



Spring/Summer 2001


'Take Shelter'

This is CAA's only project working with a special needs primary school and holds a distinctive place in our Outreach Programme.

'Take Shelter' involved Year 3&4 pupils in the exploration of the ideas of shelter and the construction of three temporary shelters located in Regent's Park, London. 'Take Shelter' introduced Regent's Park, unknown to all but one child, as a specific 'green space'/place. And, it introduced the children to two professional makers, artist Jenny Leach who led the overall project, and CAA member Susie Thomson (baskets). The children built a lakeside tepee and a quiet, magical sanctuary amongst cherry trees. They experienced stable and mobile shelters through paddling boats and making their own parasols. In rain and in sunshine, the children worked outside investigating, making and installing the shelters throughout the park.

Jenny Leach is a certified BSL signer with over ten years teaching experience. Her ability to communicate directly with deaf children while conducting practical making sessions is distinctive and made 'Take Shelter' extraordinary and an excellent model. Basket maker SUSIE THOMSON brought her expertise and skills to the project when she conducted the construction of a willow based woven tepee.

'Take Shelter' received enthusiastic support from the Regent's Park Director and staff, and the London Deaf Access Project at the British Deaf Association who thought it was a wonderful example of good practice for both the deaf and hearing - formal education and artistic communities.

A video of the project is being produced by Kim Jacobson and Jenny Leach. If you would like to know more about 'Take Shelter', please contact Kim Jacobson, CAA's Education Officer.


Storage Furniture       

The final results of a year-long project with Year 11 GCSE Design & Technology students were exhibited at the school's Open Evening on Thursday 3 May. The wide range of products designed and made by the girls clearly showed creativity and knowledge of materials. Furniture makers BEATRIZ MATUD and ALEX MACDONALD, whom the students met earlier in the Autumn 2001term 'Meet the Maker' sessions, positively inspired and motivated the students work.

Special Projects

At Brecknock Primary School CAA member, ROBERT COOPER was the fourth CAA maker working with students to create figurative 3D characters in wire. SARA ROBERSTON (ceramics), JULIE ARKELL (papier mache), and JANET BOLTON (textiles) conducted previous practical workshops. CAA was commissioned to organise this Gifted & Talented Initiative project by the school's art teacher.

HANDS ON! 2000 -2001 was funded by Save & Prosper Educational Trust, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Clore Foundation. In-kind donations of materials used in the construction of 'Take Shelter' were made by VV Rouleaux Atelier, London and Highland & Fox (umbrella makers), Sheffield.



Autumn 2001


PGCE Art & Design

In 1999, we initiated a partnership project with the Institute of Education to provide craft based training as part of their year long initial teacher training (ITT) certificate programme. This project received recognition by London Arts as a model of good practice and since the first year, over 230 students training to be Secondary Art & Design teachers and 11 tutors and technicians have been involved in 18 practical workshops and lectures. The first year focused on 'metal' and last year featured 'textiles'.

The 2001/2002 theme is 'Drawing In Contemporary Craft', focusing on the vital relationship between drawing and contemporary craft practice. CAA makers Mo Jupp, Robert Cooper and Julia Griffith-Jones conducted simultaneous all day practical workshops for 80 PGCE students. Though all the students have a fine art degree, few have any experience of working in the applied arts.

The makers presented distinctive aspects of contemporary craft practice - different media, styles, methods, techniques and approaches to their 'use' of drawing and making in 3D. The workshops aim to motivate students and instruct them in some/particular techniques and skills they can use and develop into curriculum for their teaching practice. This theme was chosen to highlight the use of and role of drawing by contemporary makers and its connection with applied arts and crafts traditions as seen in the British Museum's collection. The workshops were devised to link with the nationally organised 'Big Draw' scheme. Throughout their course, the students will visit the BM, to study and sketch the objects and artefacts; taking account of them in their own context as well as in relation to contemporary craft.

If you would like to know more about each of the workshops, contact Kim Jacobson, CAA Education Officer on 020 7436 2344, Tuesday/Wednesday.

Special Projects

The Coal Crafts Team, 'Thirteen Hands' exhibition opened in November at the West Highland Museum, Fort William. The exhibition tours to 11 venues in the Highlands and Islands throughout 2002 and 2003.

This original exhibition was curated by a team of primary school children from the Room 13 art project at Caol Primary School, Fort William. The exhibition presents the work of Britain's top contemporary makers representing 13 craft disciplines - textiles, glass and automata to bookbinding and jewellery. Fourteen of the total 34 exhibitors are CAA members. The majority of the makers created work specifically for the exhibition; some created pieces in direct response to information and raw materials provided by the team or by other children's groups throughout the Highlands.

The Crafts Team, in collaboration with a team of adult advisors, made all decisions from the selection of the makers and producing the catalogue to the colour of the plinths. The exhibition is uniquely theirs and is not just another children's exhibition created by adults. Their unique perspectives and input created an exhibition that is fun, exciting and educational.

An extensive education programme is an integral part of the project and schools visits are actively encouraged. Kim Jacobson, CAA's Education Officer worked with the team to compile and produce the programme that includes a handmade book about the makers, a handling collection and teacher's talks and resource packs.

Three of Scotland's top musicians are also involved - Charlie McKerron, Jim Hunter and Brian Mcalpine. They composed a piece of music inspired by the crafts to be heard on audiotapes for the visually disabled, and as part of the exhibition.

Practical workshops for children conducted by participating exhibitors as well as music and writing workshops are planned at each of the venues. Some of the work produced in these workshops will be incorporated into the exhibition as it tours.

To connect with children around the world, digital technology and the use of the website is integrated into the exhibition. Visit the website to find out more.

The project is funded by the Scottish Arts Council, National Lottery and Highland Council.



Winter 2001


In response to the great success and good fun of the 2001 HANDS ON! 'Take Shelter' project with Frank Barnes Primary School for Deaf Children, (see education Summer 2001) the school requested CAA's involvement in their re-design of the Reception and Year 1 garden. The resulting project is residencies with HEATHER BELCHER and SUSIE THOMSON for the construction of felt and willow structures specially designed for the youngest children. Working with children aged 2-6 years old during the month of January, a tent was made with Heather and a basket and live willow grove was built with Susie; all large enough for children to enter and sit in.

The 'Thirteen Hands' exhibition of contemporary British crafts curated by children received rave reviews and critical acclaim from both children and adults. The participating makers have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this highly original exhibition. The exhibition itself and the special workshops conducted especially for art and primary teachers awakened teachers to the diversity and concerns of contemporary crafts and their makers and inspired them to plan and conduct refreshingly new craft based projects. The practical workshops for children led by the exhibiting makers, and the associated music and writing workshops have been wonderful and energising experiences.

'Thirteen Hands' begins its tour of the Highlands in the Outer Hebrides, presenting the work of the 14 CAA makers included in the exhibition at the following galleries:
An Tuireann Gallery, Skye 19 January to 23 February
Taigh Chearsabhagh, Lochmaddy, North Uist 2 March to 13 April
An Lanntair, Lewis 26 April to 18 May

Contact Kim Jacobson, CAA Education Officer for more information about our Outreach Programme.

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