North East Connected

Boost for Craft Industry as Regional Arts College Offers Chance to learn a New Skill

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 16.57.23A north east art and design college is helping to boost the regional craft industry as it launches its latest programme of artistic short courses to encourage new skills in the creative sector.

Cleveland College of Art & Design (CCAD) is now offering a variety of craft-based courses designed for people looking to develop their artistic skills or considering a career in the creative industry. Based at the college’s site on Green Lane in Middlesbrough, the courses are available for people of all ages and abilities and include printmaking, digital photography, ceramics and garment alteration. Ranging from four to ten weeks, the courses are start from as little as £50, or free with the Community Learning Fund, supported by Middlesbrough Community Learning.

As highlighted by the national BBC Breakfast programme recently, the craft industry is worth £746m to the economy but fewer people are taking up craft-related courses nationally.

CCAD has introduced a range of courses with a creative focus to inspire people to take up a new skill or develop an existing talent, offering an opportunity to turn a hobby into a new business, such as painting and life drawing, learning to sew, comic illustration and Chinese calligraphy.

Visiting lecturers include sculpture artist Stephen Beardsell, who has exhibited artwork at a solo exhibition in Mayfair and Jayamini De Silva, a Sri Lankan artist specialising in Chinese traditional paintings and calligraphy who studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.

Artist Caroline Forknall is leading a 10-week course on Mixed Media Design Craft, where participants will create art works on a themed project using a variety of media such as paint, clay, ink, metal and fabrics. The course is aimed at beginners who wish to develop an artistic flair, or professional creatives who are looking to take their skills to the next level and develop their work portfolio, helping to contribute to the local craft-based economy.

Eyv Hardwick, a successful designer and Professional Studies and Academic Links Co-ordinator at Cleveland College of Art & Design, member of the Crafts Council Directory of Makers and a passionate advocate of keeping craft skills alive.

Selected by the British Council, Eyv is currently representing the best of British contemporary design when she exhibited a series of hand hooked recycled handbags alongside leading artists Damien Hirst and David Hockney, as part of the ‘Creativity is Great’ exhibition at the British Consulate in New York.

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