As an experienced maker, creator or artist you’re ideally placed to share your skills and knowledge as a tutor and add an extra revenue stream to your creative business.
If you enjoy meeting new people, love talking about your craft and inspiring others to be more creative and learn new skills, then you could be the perfect tutor.
We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to setting up as a Craft Tutor which we hope you find useful.
There are no mandatory qualifications required to teach arts & craft workshops in the UK, but it would be beneficial to have some experience or understanding of teaching methods and how people learn (of course, different people like to learn in different ways!).
Although not legally necessary, there are lots of training courses that you can complete to help you gain teaching skills if you feel it would be worthwhile:
Potential students will expect you to have a high level of experience and expertise in your particular craft, so that you can answer any questions that arise.
Think about how you can demonstrate this when publicizing your workshops. Why should potential students’ part with their hard-earned money to attend your workshop? Are you a member of a guild? Have you exhibited locally? Have you won any awards? How many years of experience do you have? What qualifications do you have? What have previous students said about your course? (Glowing reviews are probably the number one goal for attracting bookings!)
We’ve been seeing rapid growth in the demand for creative workshops over the last 6 years and in the past 12 months over one million people visited the Craft Courses website to browse for a creative workshop or course near them.
An article in The Guardian in April 2017 stated that “market research firm Mintel reports a 12% rise in women doing some sort of needlecraft as a hobby in the last two years. A fifth of women under 45 are interested in taking up knitting and sewing, while 17% of men aged 16 to 24 are keen to try one of these pastimes.” And this trend continues across other crafts too…
From the same article Massimo Saracchi, executive chairman of the new DMC Group said about craft; “These are global trends happening right across the world: it is a huge and growing market. People are intoxicated by their phones and computers these days and want to take a break and do something with their hands. These are activities which tap seamlessly into the normalised behaviour for people to share their creations on social media.”
Social media platforms are creating huge communities of crafters who are inspiring people to try out a craft for themselves. And popular TV shows such as Kirstie’s Handmade Home, The Great British Bake Off and the Great British Sewing Bee are encouraging more people than ever before to have a go at craft.
According to Google Trends, searches in the UK for ‘Candle Making Courses’ increased by 200% in the past year and ‘Glass Blowing near me’ increased by over 250%. People are actively searching for creative workshops .
You could run your workshop from a dedicated studio or you could host the class at a local school, college or community centre. Some tutors are willing to travel to events or private homes.
You will need to bear in mind how many people will be attending the workshop, what you will be teaching them and how much space and equipment will be required.
Lighting is very important when you are teaching craft work and you’ll need to make sure there are toilet facilities and access to refreshments.
You should also consider parking, public transport and disabled access too.
We also publish the details of many creative workshop venues available for hire/rent across the UK.
Many arts and crafts tutors charge ‘pay-as-you-go’ rates, where students pay for individual lessons. Discounts may be offered for a block of lessons, which is usually payable in advance.
A good starting point is to check out what other people are charging for similar courses in your area on CraftCourses.
You will need to work out how much you need to spend on hiring a venue, supplying equipment and marketing and then factor in your hourly rate for planning, teaching and sourcing materials. You also need to consider how many people you can comfortably teach and then the cost of added extras such as supplying refreshments.
Typical rates for a 60 minute group class are between £20 and £40 per student, depending on the topic taught and if materials/refreshments are included.
An arts and crafts tutor may require a number of insurance policies, including:
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, all employers, including self-employed people, are legally required to assess risks in their workplace, including rented workspace, and provide health and safety training for employees such as workshop assistants. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publishes guidance about carrying out a risk assessment.
Arts and crafts workshop tutors and their students may come into contact with potentially harmful materials, including lead, ink, paint and adhesives. Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), they must have health and safety measures in place to protect themselves, any employees and students from hazards arising from exposure to these substances. A guide to the Regulations can be found here.
Inks, paints and adhesives must be stored properly to comply with health and safety regulations; this includes keeping the storage area well ventilated, storing certain materials separately from other equipment and supplies and placing heavy containers on lower shelves. See here for more information about storing arts and crafts equipment and supplies.
Tutors are responsible for any students or employees injured in their workplace or rented workspace. The HSE recommends that as best practice the first aid requirements of non-employees such as students should also be included in risk assessments.
Remember to keep a well-stocked first aid kit to hand at your studio or workshop in case of small injuries!
Arts and crafts tutors who run classes for children or vulnerable adults should obtain a DBS check (formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau or CRB check).
Craftspeople and artists are more aware than most of the importance of copyright; of course anyone planning on using arts or crafts designs, images or training materials, must ensure that they have permission from the copyright holder.
You ust always get permission to use your students’ images to promote your workshops; 'courses in progress' shots can be a valuable asset.
Under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988, original works of 'artistic craftsmanship' are protected by law. Tutors must also ensure that they avoid infringing other craft makers' intellectual property rights.
It is best practice for arts and crafts workshop tutors to write up a terms and conditions agreement which is shared with students via email prior to a course. These serve to usefully protect both student and tutor in the event of a misunderstanding or complaint. This should typically include:
In 2017 the All Party Parliamentary group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing published an inquiry report called: Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing which stated that;
“arts based approaches can help people to stay well, recover faster, manage long term conditions and experience a better quality of life… arts interventions can save money.”
Detailed in the report, an Arts on Prescription study found that two hours per week of Creative Arts such as drawing, mosaic or pottery sessions resulted in a 37% reduction in demand for GP appointments and a 27% drop in hospital admissions after 6 months.
Research done by AGE UK found that creative and cultural participation is the top-most contributor to wellbeing in older age.
The Crafts Council have lots of resources on their website about research carried out on the Craft Economy.
We hope this handy guide is a good starting point for researching becoming an Arts & Craft Tutor. This blog post is only intended as a starting point and you will need to double-check relevant legislation as they can change and be updated at any time.
Professional legal advice about the possible impact of legislation should always be obtained before making any business decisions.
Good luck and feel free to Contact us for a friendly chat!