Bliston Craft Gallery, ‘Craftplay’ 2013-2014

The Craftplay project brought together WAVE and Craftspace who worked together at Bilston Craft Gallery to deliver a programme of creative engagement sessions with early years’ children. The project engaged with children and their carers through working with craft makers to explore creative play and the natural environment – investigating the part craft plays in developing a sustainable future. By taking the world around us as a teacher and actively interacting with, The Craftplay project sought to inspire children with an appreciation of the environment and its systems, and to enrich their self-belief through creating things themselves by hand.

There is an acute need to support basic wellbeing in the area immediately around Bilston Craft Gallery which has high concentrations of children living in poverty and high levels of deprivation. The sessions provided by the Craftplay project offered a rich, inspiring and fun learning environment where curiosity, confidence and social development were nurtured. In order to chart the progress of their project, WAVE and Craftspace created a great blog.

Read a Case Study of the project – Bilston Craft Gallery – developing outdoor play


The project mission was to grow partnerships and get more people involved with the work we do. To develop networks amongst specialist practitioners- and to improve our expertise about craft-led creative play in order to become better connected & more supportive of local communities.

Highlights included commitment by teachers and parents to 3 year olds walking and playing outdoors. Beautiful objects and quality crafts were produced and used with early years.

Challenges included the fact dissemination remained focused on quantity rather than quality and engagement across hierarchies in the organisation was challenging at times.