The Kraftworks program is designed for students aged eight through fourteen. Many of our Kraftworkers have younger siblings. We know it makes things easier for parents if they can drop off all the kids at one venue. So we have introduced an Apprentices program that caters for younger siblings. The objective of the Apprentices' program is to keep younger siblings entertained in a safe environment while their older sibling(s) get on with the program.
The Apprentices program is unstructured. It's all about having fun while everyone else gets to work. It is important to note that Apprentices must be school age and attending school. They must have experienced the teacher/pupil relationship and be comfortable with it.
Apprentices may attend one three-hour session on any given day.
Apprentices are welcome to join us for lunch. We can even organize a lunch order for an Apprentice if need be (lunch orders are placed at 10:00 for a 12:00 delivery).
So whether they're joining us for the Morning or the Afternoon Session an Apprentice is more than welcome to join us for lunch as well.
Painting figurines is a fascinating pastime that allows people who do not see themselves as having any artistic talent to explore their creative side. There is a degree of modelling skill in assembling the figurines, a measure of artistic skill in painting the figurines, and a touch of overall creativity in placing the figurines within a larger scene (a vignette or diorama as they are known). The great thing about figurine painting is that it is artistic yet almost entirely process-driven - making it a great choice for people who believe they have no artistic ability.
Many students believe that they have no artistic ability. If this is the case, overcoming this belief is our first task. How we do that is quite straightforward. When a student is asked to draw something they are being asked to represent a three dimensional space (what they see or imagine) in two dimensions (the surface of the paper). This is a complex task - and most figurine painters can't do it! Figurine painting is almost the opposite of drawing. It involves putting paint (a two dimensional material) onto the surface of a three dimensional object (the figurine). How you do that is more of a logical process than a drawing process. And it is this that let's us say with confidence:
We can teach anyone to paint.
At Kraftworks we have our lunch between 12:00 and 1:00. During this time there is no craft activity. Instead we eat lunch, watch DVDs, and play tabletop games. At each Kraftworks location we have organized a local eatery to provide a lunch order service for staff and students. Lunch orders are placed at 10:00 for a 12:00 delivery.
Making jewellery is a challenging yet rewarding passtime. There are many different techniques to learn. Each kit in our Jewellery Making program makes a specific piece of jewellery and contains all of the components needed to make the item. Instructions are clear and concise with photographs guiding the student through every step. We provide all of the tools needed to assemble the piece, and expert tuition is available every step of the way.
Jewellery making is a great passtime that can be a good money earner. Our beginners course covers beading (also known as stringing). Beading is fun for anyone with an interest in jewellery and is quite easy to do. Stringing beads requires concentration and fine motor control. Our intermediate course covers stitching. Stitching involves weaving seed beads. Seed beads are very small - it takes patience, persistence, and concentration to stitch beads successfully. Our advanced course covers wire-working. In particular it focusses on chainmail - linking jump rings to make decorative patterns.
Anyone who completes our jewellery making course will have access to a life-long passtime.
Plasterkraft is our most popular activity. It is also unique to Kraftworks for Kids. A Plasterkraft kit contains a variety of plaster blocks of various shapes. When assembled according to the instructions they make some kind architectural structure - a room or a building of some kind. These structures are often themselves modular, allowing them to be interconnected with other kits to make larger structures. Best of all, these larger structures can be used as the playing surface for a variety of tabletop games.
Plaster of Paris has a dry compression strength of around 2,000 psi. It produces a cast that chips and cracks easily, absorbs paint like a sponge, and shrinks extensively as it dries. In our Plasterkraft activity we use Hydrostone TB. It contains gypsum and a small amount of cement, which produces casts with a dry compression strength of around 10,000 psi. It produces a cast that rarely chips, handles paint well, and doesn't shrink much as it dries.
Making a Plasterkraft kit is a three step process: prepare the casts for gluing, glue the casts, and wait patiently for the glue to dry. Preparing the casts involves a small amount of sanding of the blocks to ensure that the surface to be glued is flat. Casts are then glued together using a PVA glue called Bondcrete. This product seals the plaster and bonds the plaster. Waiting for the glue to dry requires the patience of an Ent (or access to a dehydrator, which is our Plan B).
Painting large objects utilises some of the techniques taught in the Figurine Painting activity. The plaster is undercoated, then the base colour is applied, then the drybrush layer is applied, and then the highlight colour is applied.
Plasterkraft: Fuel for the imagination!
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.
He who masters patience masters all other things.
Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.
The common thread that binds all Kraftworks activities is their practical nature.