Make something and learn new skills.

It can be anything you would normally make in a Stitch Club session or another Art project you have in mind. It can be a new  skill or process for you or it can be something you are familiar with but want to develop. For the Arts Award it can be any Art form, but for me to be able to assess it properly it would be best if it was ‘visual arts’.

The project needs to be challenging and build on your interests, skills and knowledge. It should be fun and something you will enjoy making. Throughout its creation you should keep a record of your progress and reflect on how it is developing. The emphasis of this is your design and creative choices and how they are (or are not) achieved. As you reflect on your project remember that things are seldom ‘wrong’ but there things you might not love and things you may choose to do differently next time.


Experience an arts event and share your views – tell others why you liked it or why you didn’t.

There are plenty of on-line exhibitions and arts events that you can ‘visit’. You could also watch an Arts program (from the Sewing Bee to Grayson Perry’s sessions or a podcast). You then need to reflect on your experience and produce a review. This review then needs to be shared with others. You could publish it on our blog, discuss it with your family, in a video chat… However you decide to do this it must somehow be recorded/evidenced for assessment.

This part is to allow you to think about an exhibition (or other arts event) and its creative impact. It is your opinion that is important: it is OK to not like something, as long as you can think about why. It is important that these thoughts are shared and, preferably discussed.


Research your favourite artist, designer, illustrator… How do they make their art? how did they get to where they are now, what else do you find interesting about them? Why do you find them inspiring?

You can present this information in any way that you like: a poster, collage, film, piece of art, powerpoint, zine, blog piece. As long as you do not just present the facts about their life, but think about how you feel about these facts.

Try to use different research sources, not just wikipedia. Why not send them an email? The Voice website, books, TV, film, radio, there are many sources of information. It is important to keep note of your resources.


Share an Arts skill with others – show your friends how to do something or demonstrate something you are interested in.

It could be a particular embroidery stitch, sewing on a button, sewing a creation you have designed, photography, a painting or pencil technique. Stitch Club participants are great at helping each other out with ideas and skills. This is a more formal example of doing this.

You will need to plan the activity (think about who would want to know the skill and the best method for teaching it to them), deliver the activity (could be online by recorded or live video, step by step written and illustrated instructions, or in person to your household). Then reflect on how it went – for you and the participants. This will probably include asking your participants as well as looking at what they produced.


Each participant creates a Portfolio containing the planning and evaluation of each of the activities you complete. We will discuss and work on the portfolio as we go, but you should choose a format that works for you and which the assessors will find easy to use.

At the moment Trinity College are requesting that Portfolios are submitted on line (we do not need to send your work, just images of it). The best formats seem to be
– a personal Facebook page
– the Arts Award site ‘Voice’
– the Stitch Club website (you send me the info and I will upload it).

All of these options allow you to choose to keep the pages private or to share them.  You may have access to another method, let me know. If you are not happy working on line we will have a think about alternatives.

It is best to work on your Portfolio throughout and to share it with me as you go. Once we are happy that it is ‘finished’ it will be sent for moderation where an Arts Award Moderator will check and confirm that you have achieved your Bronze Award.

The key things that need to be in your Portfolio for each separate part are your plans, your notes about what actually happened (we know things don’t always follow a plan), feedback from others, your thoughts on what you have achieved and how you would do it differently next time. 

How will it work?

We will work over a period of 1-10 weeks (with time at the end to finish off Portfolios). Each week we will meet up on Zoom. The zooms will be led by me, but are for you all to help each other and share ideas. During that meet up we will:

  • share progress on the activity set the week before

  • introduce the next part

  • discuss ideas and how each person would like to work with it.

Before the meeting you will need to have a think about different things (outlined in the weekly plan below). After the meetings there will be a follow up email from me clarifying what we discussed.

In between the Zooms you will need to work on the goal set ready to present at the next meeting. It will not be necessary to finish everything in between, but it will be helpful to get as much as possible done. It might be good to have a quick email catch up before each meeting so that I can prepare anything that would help support you.

It will be really important that you get in touch if you need any help, to share an idea or just check something. I will not always be able to reply immediately, but will work out a good time to set aside for me to help as many at once.

By August we may be able to meet up in small groups at the studio. I am making some changes to it to give us some outside work space. It will of course depend on the most up-to-date safety guidelines.

The following is a guide to how we can work. In practice we can tweak as we go. I know that some weeks it will be possible to do more than others. We will take this into account as we go.

We will have a few rules for the Zoom meetings to ensure safety of everyone participating.

The cost of participation will be £60 plus £25-30 for moderation and certification (the latter depends on the number of people participating and goes directly to Trinity College). 

To give you an idea, Abbas Davdani completed his Bronze Arts Award a couple of years ago with the above ideas. He is now thinking about what to do for his Silver Arts Award, which we can look at doing from September if anyone is interested in joining him.

The Planned Schedule

WEEK 1 – 9th July

  • Meet the others.

  • Introduction to what we will do: an overview of each of the 4 parts and how to record progress and thoughts.

  • We will then focus on Part A: Making. Specifically what you would like to create.

  • The idea is to make sure you know how to get started and what you will need to do so.

Before the meeting you should:

  • Think about what you like/don’t like to do and what you might like to make for Part A. This should expand on something that has been fun/rewarding to do before, or try a new technique or idea. It doesn’t have to be stitch related, but it should be a visual art.

  • If you have thoughts on the other parts bring them along too, especially if you have queries, this is not compulsory.

  • Email Sam with any thoughts and ideas you have before the meeting and ask any questions you have. If you are able to do this before the meeting I can try to get together any resources that might be useful.

Nothing needs to be finalised at this stage.

WEEK 2 – 16 July

  • Show and tell on the making/planning progress. Ask any questions about it. Get feedback from the group (if you want).

  • Discuss best way for each person to record their work: how to create a Portfolio.

  • Discuss Arts practitioners to research for Part C. Ideally everyone will have someone in mind before the meeting – maybe a couple of people.

  • Talk about ways of researching and recording the information.

Before the meeting:

  • Make a start on your creative piece for Part A.

  • Remember to record what you have done with photos, sketches of ideas, notes, thoughts. This doesn’t have to be in the final form at this point, but if you leave this to the last minute its a lot harder.

  • Bring along any ideas you have for recording your arts award portfolio.

  • Have a think about who you would like to research for your inspirational Artist. You may have a couple of people in mind. We can discuss and decide which one to pick during the call if that helps.

WEEK 3 – 23 July

  • Show and tell Part A: a quick update and opportunity to get any help needed

  • Show and tell on how you have decided to record your Arts Award

  • Show and tell Part C (artist research): what you have done, how you have presented it.

  • Introduce Part B (participate in an event): think of exhibitions or other participatory events that can be visited actually or virtually. Part of the criteria of Part B is to share and discuss your experience with others, this is the perfect chance to do this, but you may wish to write a review instead or as well as. We will do this over 2 weeks and allocate who will be when in this chat.

Before the meeting

  • Keep making, and recording your progress and thoughts.

  • Finalise how you want to present your portfolio – discuss with Sam during the week.

  • Research and present your inspirational Artist.

  • If you know of any Arts events you would like to participate in bring some info about them.

WEEK 4 – 30 July

  • Share Part B (exhibition) experience.

  • Introduce Part D ‘skill share’ and think of different skills you think would be good to share. We will talk about different ways of doing this.

  • Show and tell on Part A.

Before the meeting

  • Keep making, and recording your progress and thoughts.

  • ‘Visit’ and prepare a review of an Arts Event (you can discuss with Sam if you want)

  • Have a think of a skill you have that you might like to share – it doesn’t matter if you cannot think of one before the chat, but have a think.

WEEK 5 – 6 August

  • Share Part B (exhibition) experience.

  • Discuss plan for Part D. What skill you would like to share, how would you like to do it, what resources do you need to do it…

  • Show and tell Part A progress.

Before the meeting

  • Keep making, and recording your progress and thoughts.

  • ‘Visit’ and prepare a review of an Arts Event, if you are presenting this week and haven’t already done it (you can discuss with Sam if you want)

  • Decide what skill you would like to share, think of who you would like to share it with and how. There will be an option to do it to the group, but you may prefer to do it some other way.

WEEK 6 – 13 Aug

No zoom this week… catch up with your portfolio… pass on a skill

You can email Sam if anything crops up though.


WEEK 7 – 20 Aug

  • Pass on a skill … we will do this over 2 weeks having allocated the order during Week 5.

  • Show and tell how your part a project is going

  • Discuss how it is all going

Before the meeting

  • Keep making, and recording your progress and thoughts (unless you are finished of course).

  • Prepare to pass on a skill

WEEK 8 – 27 Aug

  • Pass on a skill

  • Show and tell Making project

  • Any other Portfolio bits to discuss

Before the meeting

  • Keep making, and recording your progress and thoughts (unless you are finished of course).

  • Prepare to Pass on a Skill if you are presenting this week

WEEK 9 – 3 Sep

  • Last zoom …

  • catch up, finish off, set deadline for finishing portfolio

Before the meeting

  • Send your portfolio as it stands to Sam so that we can look at what is left to do and put together a plan for how you will do it. Knowing where everyone is at will help set the deadline and enable me to book moderation.

  • Be ready to show everyone your progress.