Craft&Making Saturday Clubs Celebrate End of Year with Exhibition at Somerset House

27th July 2023

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13-16-year-olds from the inaugural four Craft&Making National Saturday Clubs (NSC) celebrated their end of year by attending the NSC’s Summer Show at Embankment Galleries, Somerset House from 15-18 July. Their crafts were exhibited to the public alongside works from all the clubs (94 clubs in 7 subjects, representing 1,700 young people) – showcasing the ideas, creativity and innovation of young people across the country.

Club members’ families and friends were invited to visit the exhibition and attend Graduation Ceremonies to celebrate the young people’s achievements. At a VIP private view for NSC partners and supporters, leading industry figures, policymakers, education experts and media, guest speaker and QEST Ambassador Jay Blades MBE spoke to a full crowd, commenting “It’s a legacy of change that’s started here. It’s something really beautiful for the future.”

The Craft&Making Clubs are run in partnership between NSC and QEST, with support of Howdens, and give young people the opportunity to develop their creativity, explore the world of craft, and practice their hand-making skills. Weekly classes have been led by professional tutors at the host institutions, and club members have also taken part in masterclasses with industry professionals including QEST Alumni.

Of a ‘Thinking through Making’ masterclass run by Daniel Durnin at the City of Oxford College club, one member wrote: “I really enjoyed looking out of the box for possibilities in wood work, like the chance to reimagine an old piece of furniture.”

Each club is wonderfully different, but shared national events – like the Summer Show – bring the network together. Another shared project is the annual self-portrait project, which introduces club members nationwide to ideas of self expression.

“I think that’s why I enjoy the Saturday Club so much, because there’s just so much inspiration to be found from the people around you.” – Club member.

The inaugural four clubs were hosted by City & Guilds of London Art School, City of Oxford College, Birmingham City University and MAKE Southwest. QEST is delighted that all four clubs will repeat this coming academic year, with more set to join them. 

Image credit: National Saturday Club

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