Launching its campaign Our Future Is In The Making: An Education Manifesto for Craft and Making, the Craft Council and its partners took to the House of Commons on to urge the government to engage. Jealous Gallery were delighted to be able to join them and treated the House of Commons to a live printing demonstration with artist and designer, Anthony Burrill, who produced bold and hard-hitting artworks for the campaign.
In the last five years, participation in craft-related GCSE high school exams fell by 25% and the number of higher education craft courses fell by 46%. This comes at a time when elsewhere around the globe, investment in creative education and making is rising. An education in craft develops creativity, inventiveness, problem-solving and practical intelligence. It also produces the makers of the future.
Craft currently contributes £3.4 billion to the UK economy and over 150,000 people across the UK deploy craft skills within a number of industries including fashion, film, medicine and engineering. Craft and making is vital to the UK’s society, culture and economy.
This had lead to the Crafts Council, along with partners, developing Our Future is in the Making: An Education Manifesto for Craft and Making in order to highlight the need for change and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn craft skills.
As Jealous Gallery developed the 5 key calls for action, they realised that the Manifesto needed to look as bold and confident – and as beautifully crafted – as the strong statements it contained. Working with graphic artist, print-maker and designer Anthony Burrill was a fantastic opportunity to create the unique artwork that formed the Manifesto cover.
On the day, the Strangers’ Dining Room at the House of Commons, with its highly crafted ornate ceiling and Pugin wallpaper, was the ideal place for MPs, policymakers and sector professionals to hear calls for action.
Edmund De Waal spoke eloquently about his journey into making and the importance of craft for everyone – and then the live printing of the Manifesto cover by Jealous Gallery and Anthony Burrill took place. Guests were able to create their own version of the cover on specially made screenprints, adding a creative and collaborative element to the event. This brought home the message about the benefits – and pleasures – of making by hand, just as the Manifesto champions.