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The CraftCourses Guide to becoming an Arts and Crafts tutor

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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.

Do I need a qualification to be a Craft Tutor?

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:

  • City & Guilds have a number of Teaching and Learning qualifications that you can complete at Colleges and Training Centres across the UK 
  • Creative Education runs a one-day course called Outstanding Learning and Progress in Art. The course is aimed at secondary school teachers but will show you how to deliver outstanding lessons, making them highly successful and engaging for your students. The course is held at venues across the UK and costs around £300.

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!)

Pen & ink art
Wire sculpture
Mosaic
Linocut printing
Stone carving

What is the market for learning arts & crafts?

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 .

Life drawing
Blacksmithing
Raku glazing
leather bag making
Spoon carving

Venues: where to host my course or workshop

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.

Machine embroidery
Woodturning
Cyanotype printing
Painted embroidered hares
Knife making

Pricing: what should I charge for my workshop?

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.

Photography
Mixed media sculpture
Willow sculpture
Wild foraging
Dry stone walling

 

Marketing: how do I tell people about my creative workshops?

  • You can list your workshop on Craft Courses (Register free) making sure you include all of the words people might use when searching the internet. Good quality photographs are key too (and you can have up to 20 on each CraftCourses listing).
  • Utilise social media – set up Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and/or Pinterest pages to promote your workshop on community and craft groups. Ask your friends to share details of your workshop with their contacts.
  • A ‘Google My Business’ page is free to set up. You can describe your business, add photographs and your contact details. This will improve your visibility on Google too.
  • Print flyers and posters and distribute to local schools and colleges, art and craft shops, libraries and craft fairs – think about where your target audience spend their time. Make sure you include full details of the course, your experience and don’t forget your Call to Action – tell people how they can book a place.
  • If you have a mailing list then make sure you let these people know about your new course or workshop. Anyone that comes to your course should be added to your mailing list  (with their permission – find out more about GDPR)!
  • You could create a short film to give people a flavour of what they’ll be learning (go to youtube.co.uk and enter ‘craft workshop’ in the search box for examples of other arts and crafts tutors doing this.
  • Set up a website making sure it’s optimised so google and other search engines can find you. We already know that people are looking for craft courses so make it easy for them to find you.
Animal husbandry
Botanical illustration
Cheese making
Glass blowing
Glass fusing

Legalities: insurance, health and safety, copyright & design protection, terms & conditions

Insurance

An arts and crafts tutor may require a number of insurance policies, including:

  • Public liability insurance, which covers arts and crafts tutors against claims from students and members of the public injured or adversely affected as a result of their activities.
  • Employers' liability insurance, which is mandatory as soon as you become an employer.
  • General insurance cover, which will be needed to cover the tutor's premises, equipment and supplies against accidental damage, fire, flood, theft, and any business interruption arising as a result.
  • Cover for use of any vehicles for business purposes, which must include a minimum of third party cover. Cover can also be obtained for supplies and equipment stored in the vehicle. 
Specialist insurance for arts and crafts tutors is available from insurers such as Craft Insurance. 
  • The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 stipulates that implicit within any contract for services that they must be carried out with reasonable skill and care, within a reasonable time and at a reasonable charge. 

Health and Safety

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!

Working with children

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).

Copyright and design protection

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

Terms and conditions (the ‘Ts and ‘Cs’)

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:

  • Pricing and payment details, including the hourly rate and when payment is required.
  • The time and venue of sessions.
  • Any materials or supplies that are included in the price.
  • Cancellation policy.
  • Refund policy.
  • A data protection agreement confirming how your customers' personal details will be stored.
Bread making
Candlemaking
Chocolate making
Floristry
Painting

Useful research relating to Arts & wellbeing

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

Cake decorating
Card making
Embroidery
Encaustic art
Furniture painting

 

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!

 

 

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