Browse past projects below to get ideas, inspiration and learn more about the great work being done across the country by the Design & Crafts Council Ireland's Education Panel as part of the CRAFTed programme.
Myths and Legends
School: Scoil Bhríde, 3rd Class
Maker: Aoife Thomas
Partner Education Centre: Donegal
Class Teacher: Mandi McDaid
Curriculum strands explored - History, Geography, Science, Maths, English, Irish, Visual Arts, Fabric & Fibre, Clay, Drawing, Print, Colour and Construction
The project in Scoil Bhríde was inspired by Irish Myths & Legends. The 3rd class students were already looking at Irish Myths and Legends with their class teacher Mandi McDaid. Aoife wanted to get the class to explore the chosen theme through the fabric of storytelling. The children studied a selection of Irish Legends in preparation for their work with Aoife. These included Setanta – CúChulainn, Oisin and Niamh in Tír na nÓg and Fionn MacCumhaill.
The group then compiled visual research, visiting Glenveagh Castle and Drumboe Woods in Donegal as inspiration for the project. Like Fionn Mac Cumhaill the group foraged, collecting items of interesting shape, texture and colour: leaves, cones and bark. Alongside studies of three Myths and Legends, the class created drawings, rubbings and studies of their gathered visual research. They incorporated the items collected as surface decoration for a largescale group weaving piece developed by the children. The group imagined the woven piece to represent the cape worn by Finn Mac Cumhaill, hunter gatherer and leader of the Fianna.
Having created initial work on the theme across other subjects, they had many ideas for what they wanted to create when allowed the opportunity. The project grew and developed from the ongoing discussions around the theme of Myths and Legends. Due to Mandi’s cross curricular approach in the classroom, the children could bring together knowledge, ideas and creative process to illustrate their thoughts using new found methods within a process led environment.
As a group we moved forward together in steps when learning a new process, to equip the group with a new tool for working creatively. The participants were open to learning and trying new processes. Each child could choose what element of the theme they wished to focus on when learning a new process. The success of this project came from meaningful collaboration, the group learned a number of new ways of sharing and illustrating individual ideas. The children could see that there were new and interesting ways to create work by hand. They could question and suggest ideas with confidence.
The children have since displayed their work in their own school to share the project with other classes and teachers. It gave the children a chance to review their work and explain how their work was created and the processes involved. In this way, the ideas and skills developed in their classroom were made accessible to all other classes.
Project Title: Mayan Art
School: St. Patricks BNS, 5th & 6th Class
Maker: Kate Murtagh Sheridan
Partner Education Centre: Carrick on Shannon
Class Teacher: Carmel Teighe
Curriculum strands explored - SESE, History, Irish, Music, Geography, Literacy, Visual Art, Drawing, Clay, Colour, Construction
The 5th and 6th class at St. Patricks BNS had been looking at the history of the Maya civilisation and decided to look at Mayan art as the inspiration for their CRAFTed project. The project began with an initial exploration of textures through outdoor rubbings and using found objects to imprint into clay. This was followed by some hands-on messy making as pupils took casts of their patterns in the clay using plaster. Throughout this process the class explored Mayan Art and made connections between the work they were looking at and the pieces they had made themselves.
During the project we also did some ‘nuts and blots’ activities where the pupils engaged in upskilling exercises to help them better understand the basic building blocks of visual art. The class were introduced to the concept of the colour wheel, and shown mixing and blending techniques. They also conducted a study on the human head and proportions of the face as the start of their design process for their Mayan bust. They were shown pinch pot techniques which they used to model their face and bust. When all of the essential and appropriate art elements had been covered they began the final head with confidence in their abilities.
It was important that through the project the children would gain a greater understanding of key historical events, and the way of life, in the time of the Mayans. These creative activities were enjoyable for the children which resulted in them learning without feeling as though it was taxing - they improved in both their knowledge of the specific civilisation and also on their abilities and confidence in their craft skills.
The Moon, Space and Beyond
School: Scoil Bhríde BNS, Tullamore, 6th Class
Maker: Caroline Conway
Partner Education Centre: Offaly
Class Teacher: Brian Maher
Curriculum strands explored - SESE, History, Geography, Literacy, Visual Art, Drawing, Clay & Construction.
The 6th class group at Scoil Bhríde Tullamore worked with craftsperson Caroline Conway. The pupils had been learning about the moon in other subjects on the curriculum which led to them coming up with the project title ‘The Moon, Space and Beyond’. The aims of the project were to provide a very hands on experience for the class that would introduce skills, broaden their frame of reference and engage them through a sensory experience that would provide a framework for subliminal learning.
Caroline, and class teacher Brian engaged in collaborative planning and so were on the same page throughout the project. This meant that Brian could include the theme in the teaching of his other subjects to keep the subject relevant between Caroline’s visits.
They started by looking at the 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing and the astronomical drawings made in the 1860s at Birr Castle. The class explored drawing in charcoal and soft pencils, creating depth and texture in their moon drawings. They also looked at and engaged in discussions about contemporary artworks related to the moon.
Caroline also held sensory days with the pupils where they made kinetic sand, oobleck, moon sand and 'Dancing with Dye' experiments. They looked at the science behind these things and used them to explore textures, vocabulary and emotions.
In the final two sessions they made clay aliens, paying attention to the nature of the material, how to join it, what is possible, refining and adding textures. The aliens and students were photographed with a green screen. Then images were put together with the sand environments from the sensory sessions to bring the whole project together in one fun image!
In the feedback from the class they described it as -satisfying, experimental, exciting, fun and creative. Caroline noted that through this project they were very engaged in the learning environment her and the teacher had create. The students were exposed to new experiences that led to increased learning opportunities for example with vocabulary. They also became aware of their own creative potential. The success of this project stemmed from it being responsive to needs and interests of the class group.
Project Title: Shanbogh 'Old Hut/Meeting Place'
School: Shanbogh National School, Kilkenny
Maker: Eamonn Tobin
Partner Education Centre: Kilkenny Education Centre
Class Teacher: Kate O'Keefe
Curriculum strands explored - SESE, History, Literacy, Visual Art, Drawing, Construction
Shanbogh National School in Kilkenny worked with craftsperson Eamonn Tobin on a CRAFTed project this year. As it was approaching the anniversary of the school the class teacher Kate O’Keefe, along with Eamonn and the children, decided that they would work on a project to commemorate the anniversary. The schools name ‘Shanbogh’ translates to ‘Old hut’ or ‘meeting place’ in English. This became to starting point of the project. The subject matter of the project naturally brought with it a sense of community and so it was only fitting to get the entire school involved from Junior infants up to 6th class.- as it was largely community based.
Eamonn and class teacher Kate O'Keefe engage in collaborative planning before the project began to ensure both parties were in the know. This collaborative planning resulted in Eamonn being able to tailor the project to the school and the local history of the area. They wanted to create an environment where the kids could congregate in the school grounds. The emphasis was on the importance of community.
The outline of the project was to create a sustainable willow dome community for the school to celebrate their 75th anniversary.
As it was a locally based project Eamonn felt that the students developed a new found appreciation of craft in their locality. He also feel that using a new material will prompt them to try new strands of arts/crafts in their curriculum going forward.
This project encouraged the children to work together, by including pupils from each class (Junior infants - 6th class) the project brought with it a sense of community, it also introduced the pupils to various new craft skills and processes that the students could take forward and use both in school and everyday life.