The ECA and Arts and Crafts

The ECA has long recognised the importance of Arts and Crafts.  This interest is reflected in ECA organised conferences on Arts and Crafts and in its support and delivery of projects and events that have integrated or focused on this subject. 

Examples of past ECA events can be seen below. 


Family Learning Workshops - Art and Learning for Enivironmental Sustainability

The Association provided 4 family workshops in May 2013 at Tuckswood Primary School in Norwich which linked art and learning about enivronmental sustainability.  These were divided into Herbs for Us (two linked sessions) and Nature Detectives (two linked sessions). All workshops were kindly sponsered by a donation from the John Jarrold Trust. 


Herbs for Us
In the first workshop participants decorated plant pots and then planted herb seeds in them once they had dried.  There was a display of fresh herbs that could be touched, smelt and tasted, so people could decide which herbs they would like to grow.

The second workshop focused on cooking with herbs using simple, healthy and low cost recipes.  A cookery teacher demonstrated how to prepare the recipes; participants joined in and also tasted the food made.  Everyone took home a specially created recipe book featuring the recipes used in the workshop and information on growing herbs. 

“Good fun”
 “Looking forward to trying out the recipes at home”

Examples of participant feedback

Nature Detectives

During the first workshop families carried out a nature survey of the school site, learning about the plants and creatures that live there.  There was also the opportunity to make a bird feeder out of a recycled plastic bottle which families could then take home with them.

In the second workshop participants took nature and plants / animals that they had found in the previous workshop as inspiration to create painted stones.

“I’d like to take part in more activities”

 “It’s nice to have the opportunity to learn with my daughter"

Examples of participant feedback


Art 4 You Workshops and Exhibition - Big Draw events October 2012

The Association held 2 art workshops for families  at Tuckswood Primary School in Norwich followed by an exhibition of the finished artwork.  70 people participated in the workshops, which encouraged participants to create images based on their memories of Summer 2012 using a range of media such as paint and collage materials.  The work was exhibited at the primary school at which the workshops took place and then exhibited at the local library and family centre.


 “Would love it to be a regular activity”

“I love this...everybody has had a really good time...everybody has a smile on their faces”

“It was lovely to come here after school and enjoy art with my family”

Masie, Mummy & Nanny had a lovely time spending time together making great pictures”

 “This is so fun, I have enjoyed this

“Lovely craft session, lots of wonderful making bits”

Examples of feedback recieved from workshop participants 


Drawing TogehterDrawing Together - Toys and Pastimes, Big Draw event 15 October 2011    

'Drawing Together - Toys and Pastimes' was an intergenerational art day held as part of the Big Draw 2011.

The event was held at The Base, a family centre in Norwich.  The older and younger participants came from the surrounding day centres and primary schools.

With the help of an experienced reminiscence worker participants explored toys and pastimes of both generations together.  This helped to provide inspiration for the following communal artwork which they produced with the help of a professional artist.

After the activities everyone sat together to eat a provided lunch.

Feedback received from participants young and old, the centre manager, reminiscence worker and artist was very positive, with many people asking when the next event would be.    

"I enjoyed meeting lovely people"

"I have enjoyed this morning engaging with the children"

"I enjoyed listening to the memories"

"Lilian enjoyed everything"

"I liked the painting bit and making the hands"

"Enjoyed everything, very well organised, lovely lunch"

"Great !!!" 

Examples of workshop participant feedback 



Innovation and Inspiration: The crafts in Adult Learning 15 September 2007Puppetry

The event included presentations from Paul Devlin, Information and Research Officer for Voluntary Arts England, who spoke about the issues surrounding the Arts and Crafts in Adult Education.  A follow up article written by Paul, for the ECA, can be found by clicking here.  Eithne Nightingale, from the V&A, talked about 'Inspired by....' the V&A's annual art competition for adults on part-time courses.  Gemma Khawaja, a talented puppet making student described her experience of being an adult learner.


Valuing Adult Learning in Arts and Crafts 11 June 2005

Among the speakers at this conference were Reemer J Bailey, Co-ordinator of Voluntary Arts England and Keith West, Artist in Residence at N&W Essex ACC in Harlow.  Participants were encouraged to discuss examples of their own experiences in adult education and the Arts and Crafts.  The day included a visit to the International Arts and Crafts exhibition.


Arts, Culture and Lifelong Learning 20 October 2004

Contributors to this event included Tristram Besteman, director of Manchester Museum, Jenny Chapman of the BBC and Consultant Vanessa Bone from Creative Cultures.  A private view of the British Museum's travelling exhibition 'Buried Treasure' was organised for delegates.