Case Studies

Craftspace have been working with early year’s children since 2004. We have worked in many settings, including nursery, stay and play and women’s refuges. We’ve worked with children, their parents/and grandparents and early year’s staff.

All of these projects have been led by Artist Makers and have encouraged open ended play with a wide range of materials including clay, plastics, metal and willow.

A toddler concentrates as she spreads paint onto paper with her hand. She is messy and calm.

Makers and Movers

bought together a maker who works with metal and a movement artist. Having a baby during lockdown presented challenges of isolation and anxiety for families. The project created a safe social space to explore creatively.

A older man teaches a child how to use a hammer and nail.

Making Together at Birmingham Settlement

was an intergenerational project in which a textile artist, potter and a silversmith offered drop in sessions for families and older people.  Participants were able to try out new tools and materials alongside building relationships across the generations.

a flower design made from cut and coloured metal.

Making Together in Refuge

connected with families who had experienced domestic violence.  Led by metal artist Melanie Tomlinson and jeweller Rita Patel the sessions offered new experiences, helped families to reconnect and built confidence.

Finding Spaces

focused on one artist and one material. Willow artist Laura Ellen worked in 3 different nursery settings across Birmingham encouraging open ended play and creating unique willow commissions.  The sessions expanded the understanding of willow and how it can inspire imaginative play.

A small child and an adult hold a piece of wet clay and mould it together.

Treasure Boxes

was the first of Craftspace’s early year’ projects. In this project 3 different makers; a plastics artist, a potter and a jeweller worked for an extended period of time with nursey age children and their parents/carers and a play and stay group. This projected focus on maker led creativity to support parenting.

Where Next?

Explore materials in your setting

5 key things we’ve learnt

Adult and very young hangs reach for clay spinning on a potters wheel.

Makers and Movers

Building physical strength and skills in early years.

A toddler concentrates as she spreads paint onto paper with her hand. She is messy and calm.

Making Together: Women living in refuge

2019: Exploring metal with Rita Patel and Melanie Tomlinson.

Various materials lie on the table with 3 hammers.

Making Together at Birmingham Settlement

2019: Discovering materials with young children and families.

An older man works with a young boy hammering a metal punch.


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