Creative textiles workshops in primary schools


Coming up with workable activities for primary schools is an interesting challenge. I’ve done a few in the last year or two that I am really pleased with. Working with under 11s is exhausting and rewarding in equal measure. I’ve had the luck to work on some longer-term projects recently which have really allowed me to experiment and try more complicated work than a day activity allows.

Large hanging #3

Last term I worked with a small village primary school creating wall hangings inspired by World War II and local history in the village. We used images of residents during the war, plus maps and photos of the local area to create collages and printed designs. Over the course of the project we used freezer paper stencils, bondaweb, patchwork and hand sewing. We looked at silhouettes, tessellating shapes, transparency, design skills, planning and measuring and of course hand stitch.

Silk printed hanging

Large hanging #2

At the moment I am working with a large school experimenting with fabric manipulation to create a costume inspired by the fashion gallery at Snibston, starting with threading a lot of needles!

Threading a thousand needles

We are using calico to create new shapes and structures, looking at pleating and gathering as our inspiration and experimenting with folds and scrunches.

Folding workshop with primary school

Folding workshop with primary school

Folding also comes in with my paper workshops:

paper installation.jpg

oakthorpe paperwork2.jpg

I also run teacher training workshops and am planning to set up regular twilight sessions at my studio next year.

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