Voluntary Arts has set up a new online network to connect anyone working, volunteering or participating in crafts in all its forms, including heritage crafts, amateur crafts and those involved with crafts education, organising, delivery and promotion across the UK and Ireland.

We are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with the Heritage Craft Association to co-host regular monthly #CreativeNetworkCrafts Zoom sessions, that take place on the first Friday of each month from 9:30 to 10:30am, and will focus on a different theme each month. This new community shares ideas, inspires and supports each other through lockdown and beyond.

Next #CreativeNetworkCrafts Zoom Event - 'Craftivisim' on Friday 7 August

Please join us for the next #CreativeNetworkCrafts meet-up on Friday 7 August from 9:30am-10:30am when the theme will be 'Craftivism'.  We are delighted to announce that we will be joined by Sarah Corbett, author, award-winning activist and founder of the global Craftivist Collective.  Activism often conjures up quick transactional signing of petitions, clicktivism, loud and aggressive ways to demand justice. Sarah is going to talk about how activism can also be slow, quiet, small and compassionate AND make real positive change in our world.

Photo: Sarah Corbett

Sarah set up the Craftivist Collective in 2009 after demand from individuals, groups, campaign organisations and art institutions around the world wanted to take part in her unique methodology to craftivism (craft+activism) called ‘Gentle Protest’. Corbett has helped change laws, policies, hearts and minds through her slower, quieter and more intimate form of activism rooted in neuroscience and positive psychology that uses the process of craft to help the changemaker engage deeply and thoughtfully in social change issues. And uses the handmade objects as either encouraging gifts for decision-makers or small pieces of provocative street art. 

We are also pleased to announce that our second guest is artist Julia Davis-Nosko.  Julia works in text and clay, often outside, telling stories in different ways making both forms and words at the same time.  Using natural elements (herbs, seeds, petals) her work explores the idea of following more closely the cycles of life; recently her material remains as greenware (unfired clay).

Julia will be demonstrating and running an optional activity (see below more about this) whilst telling us about a craftivist project she worked on in Routsi, Arcadia in Greece, where she was able to combine her love of making clay forms (practice) with deep involvement in making a more sustainable, kinder world (activism). 

Photo: Julia Davis-Nosko

Optional Guided Activity

Whilst discussing her work Julia will make a 'Magic Dome', a small simple clay form decorated with petals and herbs, inscribed with a favourite word. Everyone is encouraged to join in with this optional activity, although you can always watch and listen if you prefer.  

If you'd like to take part you need to collect the following items together beforehand, so that you have everything you need to hand on the day:

- A small fist sized ball of real clay, don't worry it won't need firing, we're making a greenware piece 
- A few seeds - sweet peas are ideal, but any seeds should work
- Petals, fresh herbs, any spices you like smell of from your kitchen
- A wooden spatula
- A cocktail stick or fine pencil

This short guided activity will take around ten minutes, and there will also be time for networking and a 'Craftivism' themed discussion during the breakout session.

To join this conversation visit our #CreativeNetwork (click here) and look for the #CreativeNetworkCrafts Join button just before 9:30am on Friday 7 August 2020.

You can also join our Facebook Group (click here), to continue the conversation, share ideas, ask questions, post videos, inspire and be inspired, connect and create.

The next #CreativeNetworkCrafts Zoom Meet-up will take place on Friday 4 September at 9:30am.  Guest and theme to be announced soon.

These online events are part of Voluntary Arts' regular #CreativeNetwork - a daily online get-together open to anyone involved in arts, culture and creativity who would welcome the opportunity to talk to others about dealing with the current situation, the challenges of working from home and what we can do together to make positive changes in difficult circumstances.  To find out more visit https://www.voluntaryarts.org/creativenetwork

Everyone is welcome!