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Artists design 'lessons in a box'

Contains Art, working with Onion Collective, have been working with local primary and first schools to create special creativity lesson boxes for teachers.

Designed by artists from all over the country, the boxes will contain a series of ‘lessons in a box’ with all the tools and materials needed, helping kids to experience and explore artforms and techniques that are not often encountered at this age.

Initially we are creating three boxes in each series: metalwork, modelling and architecture, all available for hire by schools on a half-termly basis, and in time we will add to this collection. Each box has a STEAM learning link and covers a ‘future world’ theme, designed to highlight important global issues and inspire students to actively make a positive contribution.

Throughout this spring, summer and autumn, artists are leading workshops in schools to test and demonstrate their boxes with local school children and teachers. The first artist to lead a creativity box workshop was artist and blacksmith Dot Kuzniar. We will be showcasing the different artists so you can keep in touch with what boxes will be available.

Dot Kuzniar

Dot Kuzniar is an artist, sculptor and designer. She has a fine art background and 16 years' experience as a working blacksmith. Her work incorporates traditional forging skills into her contemporary metal sculptures.

Dot’s creativity box explores the theme of community; students will explore their thoughts and ideas around community, and what it means to show kindness, demonstrate empathy and respect diversity whilst learning metalwork skills.

Old Cleeve First School

Testing the box with Year 1 and 2 children from Old Cleeve First School, Dot has been using foil and thin metals to allow children to explore by themselves how to make different textures and marks. These foils will come together to make a collective hanging mobile.

Minehead First School

At Minehead First School Year 4 children cut, filed, hammered and punched a foil ‘patch’. The aim for this box is for children to convey messages they are passionate about in the world. The patches will then form a quilt and become an installation displaying all the children’s messages about the things they care about.

Crowcombe Primary School

With Crowcombe Primary School, Dot has been working with Year 5 and 6 exploring different tools used to form and bend metal sheets and wires. In this box, the final outcome will be for students to create masks using wire mesh and sheets, formed and joined together.

Cat Smith, Education Officer at East Quay says: “Dot’s workshops were a pleasure to be part of, the kids have loved having someone different in class, she’s been one of the first visitors at the schools since lockdown. We hope that schools will really enjoy these specially designed boxes that aim to bring ambitious and creative lessons that are fun and easy for the teachers to deliver whilst promoting skills progression and a broader experience for learners.”

The boxes will be available for schools to hire via East Quay’s website from 2022.

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