Member Focus – The Benefits of Teaching Weaving to Children and Young People

Table-Loom-Weaving-Workshop-Bedale-High-School
One of the joys of my job is being able to share my passion for woven textiles with others, this is especially true when it comes to sharing this with children and young people. My name is Agnis Smallwood and I am a Designer Maker Researcher and Educator specialising in woven textiles. I live in Leeds and as a freelancer work within my home city as well as across Yorkshire and beyond.

By Agnis Smallwood 

One of the joys of my job is being able to share my passion for woven textiles with others, this is especially true when it comes to sharing this with children and young people.

My name is Agnis Smallwood and I am a Designer Maker Researcher and Educator specialising in woven textiles. I live in Leeds and as a freelancer work within my home city as well as across Yorkshire and beyond.

I have shared my passion for weaving with children and young people both within communities and within primary and secondary education for over a decade. When I visit schools I am often introducing a traditional craft and sharing new and unfamiliar techniques. As well as students working independently, my role can also involve designing a collaborative outcome. Ensuring that every person’s woven contribution is equally included and valued. This can mean so much to students to see their work displayed for the whole school to appreciate.

My work within schools can also be about providing an opportunity for GCSE students to engage with a contemporary maker answering questions about my career and helping give another perspective on their projects. Equally important to me is to encourage teachers and help them broaden their weaving skills to share with those they teach.

I hope students take away that being a craftsperson and working within the creative sector is a viable career path. There are so many different jobs within textiles alone and many thousands across the creative industries as a whole. I had imagined that I would go on to study for a degree in graphic design. It was only when I had the opportunity to weave, whilst studying on an arts foundation course, that this changed. Although not every student will become a professional weaver I think it is important for students to have wide ranging cultural experiences so they are aware of the many possibilities for the future. It is hard to imagine enjoying a career if you have never experienced an aspect of it before.

Weaving can provide an impactful opportunity beyond learning a new skill and all this teaches. The repetitive nature of weaving can contribute to creating a relaxing but equally absorbing experience, increasing wellbeing and health. Excelling at a new experience can increase a students confidence overall as they appreciate the talents that they are developing whilst at school. This can go beyond weaving and raise their aspirations across their learning leaving them with a sense of pride.

It is always a privilege to be invited into a school and help add to the rich range of cultural opportunities teachers provide for their students.

www.agnissmallwood.co.uk 

Photo credit: Agnis Smallwood 

Read more...

End of Year Message

And suddenly it’s December! As we wind down towards the end of the year, it feels the right time to reflect on what has been achieved this year as a partnership! We have continued to strengthen work in our priority areas: Youth Voice, Skills and Progression, Advocacy and Comms, and Health and Wellbeing.

Read more »

Our website uses cookies to improve your experience. Click here to read our cookie policy to learn more.