Arts Derbyshire


Derby Museums inspires future craft-makers in new partnership with Heritage Crafts

Derby Museums this week announces its partnership with Heritage Crafts, launching the first of many workshops in its Craft Skills for the Future programme that aim to inspire young people to become craft-makers at the Museum of Making. 

With a shared vision to inspire young people to discover making and develop their creative skills, Derby Museums and Heritage Crafts will co-produce a vibrant programme of craft workshops and courses throughout the year, designed to enthuse and encourage young people about the possibility of craft as a career.

The Craft Skills for the Future programme, which will take place at the Museum of Making, builds on Derby Museums’ established STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) learning offer, which is supported by industry partners Rolls-Royce and IMI plc to develop relevant skills for a future workforce. Students from primary and secondary education will be invited to participate, as well as school leavers and those not in education, employment or training up until the age of 24 years. 

The Museum of Making, which celebrates Derby’s rich 300-year history of making and innovation, provides the ideal backdrop for this activity, with those taking part being offered access to the museum’s unique Studio and Workshop spaces as well as gaining from one-to-one support from the museum’s specialist tutor-technicians. 

Steve Smith, Workshop and Studios Manager, said: 

“The Workshop is at the heart of the Museum of Making project. Fitted out to deliver authentic and practical making activities, with equipment including a CNC machine, laser cutters, forge, and professional equipment for woodwork and metalwork, the comprehensive nature of workshop spaces will enable the Museum of Making and Heritage Crafts to develop contemporary, practical craft-related programming to engage young people.” 

“The Museum of Making also has versatile studio spaces for young makers, which can be utilised for making projects including ceramics, jewellery, woodworking and textiles. We are really excited to partner with Heritage Crafts, enabling these unique facilities to be used by more young people who will experience the benefits of making and hopefully see themselves as future craft-makers.” 

Catherine Putz, Derby Museums’ Director of Programmes, said: 

“Through our partnership with Heritage Crafts, we want to inspire young people from all backgrounds to be proud of their civic and creative heritage and to experience this heritage first-hand through experimenting in our workshop and maker spaces. We want to provide them with new opportunities to discover their practical skills in making and innovating, to show them they have many more options and potential career avenues than they may have realised.” 

The programme’s first workshops will take place at the Museum of Making on Friday 24th March with secondary school students invited to try rug-making and tapestry, led by established crafts practitioners, Denzel Currie and Abigail Wastie. These workshops will bring participants face-to-face with craft professionals and, alongside experimenting with materials and techniques, will encourage them to think about the possibilities of craft as a career. 

Craft Skills for the Future: Empowering the Next Generation – a special seminar at the Museum of Making, run by Heritage Crafts on the same day – will bring together heritage craftspeople, educators, policymakers and young people to discuss how the interests and perspectives of young people can be reflected in the decision-making to safeguard craft skills for the future. SUPPORTED BY | 01332 641901 | 

Daniel Carpenter, Executive Director of Heritage Crafts, said: 

“Our mission is to support and promote crafts as a fundamental part of our living heritage. We believe that the value of our craft heritage comes from the diversity of skills and traditions across all of our communities, wherever they originated and whenever they were brought here. Through dialogue about craft, we can learn from many traditions, acknowledge past and present injustice, and strive to create a future that is fairer and more equal.” 

“The next generation faces unprecedented challenges in relation to the environment, the economy and what constitutes fulfilling and ethical work in an ever more populous world. Among the tools they will need to face these challenges are undoubtedly the knowledge, skills and practices that have been built up over generations by heritage crafts practitioners.” 

More workshops in the Craft Skills for the Future programme will be confirmed soon. Young people and educational institutions wishing to take part are encouraged to contact Derby Museums for more information at: / 01332 641901. 

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