The Red House Glass Cone, Wordsley is part of Dudley Museums Service in the West Midlands. The Museums Learning team have been delivering Bronze Arts Award since 2014. The offer originally started as a holiday school; young people between the ages of 12-16 signed up for an intense week during their school summer holidays. Students came from various local schools and many did not know anyone else on the first day. A hard, hot week culminated in the young people inviting friends and family in to be taught how to make a fused glass keyring.
Secondary School Offer
A week in our glass fusing studio is now offered to local secondary and special schools as part of their annual ‘enrichment week’. The week is intense; we make this very clear to students who sign up that we are NOT the easy option; we even set homework!
Each day is split into different elements – inspiration, design, making in glass and reflection. Students learn various techniques in our glass fusing studio, watch a hot glass demonstration, meet a resident artist who works in the glass industry, learn about the history of glassmaking in the area and exhibit their work in our community gallery.
Two members of the Learning Team, both trained up to Silver level split the workload. One member focuses on the artistic development and learning new skills; the other leads the reflection and gathering of evidence for the portfolios. A participant commented: ‘For me the week has shown me how to do new types of art and how to appreciate new and different art forms. It has inspired me to make things that challenge me.’ AH
Arts Award is a fantastic way of showing young people the real world of the arts; how real people have made it their career. As a Visitor Attraction with many designer makers on site we have the perfect environment to be able to show participants the reality of a career as an artist. The sharing skills is the part they all worry about; they have to step out of their comfort zone and actually have a go at teaching, in their school, to a younger year group. For all the adults involved, this is our proudest moment. Watching them share their skills, the smile and relief on their faces when they have finished is special – and the experience will form a lasting, positive memory.
Kate Figgitt, Lifelong Learning and Access,Dudley Museums Service