Learning resources

learning in our gallery

You'll find plenty of learning resources about craft here on our website and when you visit.

There's lots to help you find out about  how the craft in our shop and exhibitions is made. Information is available in the gallery and here on the website. You will find interesting facts, ideas and background material (see right for archived PDF resource notes) which can include historical, technical background information, biographies of craftmakers, definitions, facts about the craftwork, the general subject area or craft discipline..

We provide hands-on making activities in the gallery for visitors of all ages to create work in response to the exhibition.
ARTS_AWARD_Discover_info sheet
Learning groups can also use our gallery for their ARTS AWARD! 

View resource sheets: PART A: discover   PART B: find out    PART C: share

Arts-Award-SUPPORTER-badgeHow we can  help with your Arts Award
More about Arts Award Supporting Venues

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What's on?

Exhibition: Dead on Arrival


The curious world of animal crafts

 23 Sep 2017 -Sun 05 Nov 2017

DOWNLOAD:  DEAD ON ARRIVAL -  exhibition information


WHAT'S IT ABOUT?  We decided to explore a new movement in craft which makes use of natural materials collected from wildlife such as birds and other creatures. These inclide fetahers, fur, horns, small bones and teeth remaining after an animal has died naturally in the wild. The ten artists that work with these materials have used taxidermy related

techniques and materials not only to celebrate the beauty of wildlife and but also criticise the way humans have in the past mistreated animals in hunting etc. Also their work comments on the way even now we still are still potentially damaging ecology through bio-genetic developments. The Plymouth Museum have also lent us a number of historical items made from animal parts which were once used as fashion accessories or ornaments such as  insect wing bags, tortoiseshell combs and of course ivory.

None of the exhibitors' work in Dead on Arrival was made from a living thing intentionally harmed. All were ethically sourced, collected and found after natural death occured.

What you will find - up-cycled animal models, mainly under glass cases - which look like mythical beasts from stories or legends.
Framed art - displaying a mandalas (circle shapes) of feathers and other beautiful found natural objects.
Necklaces made from silver, antlers and feathers found in the woods.
A photograph of a bird with a cupboard for a body!

WHO?  Find out more about our ten exhibitors - click each name to view website:

Bethany Robinson - Jewellery; Anthea Walsh - Embroidery & vintage taxidermy; Janec van Veen - Taxidermy Hybrids; Libby  Ward - Jewellery; Paul Biddle - Photography; Stevie Leigh-Smith - Theatrical Jewellery; Rebecca Black - Bovine bone jewellery; Fiona Dean - Taxidermy; Silvy Wetherall - Sculpture; Ellie Birkhead - Sculpture


  • Do you think some of the creatures on show are supposed to be from the past - or the future?
  • Do you know what a Xenomorph is? Or even a Chimera?
  • How could taxidermy be related to taxomomy? (Both appear in this exhibition ...)
  • How can you tell which items are from Plymouth  Museum - and which are from today? How could you tell, if they weren't labelled?
  • Do you think taxidermy is a craft? Or a science?
  • What do you think about historic explorers and collectors who used to bring back specimens from their travels? Some may have thought about conservation and preservation - others may have been big game hunters. (Look up Humbollt)
  • Why is conservation of wildlife so important today? 
  • Do you agree with hunting animals for sport or to make ornaments, cures or perfumes out of?
  • Can you find out about other famous artists who have used real wildlife in their work. What was the idea behind it? Do you agree with what they have done?
  • One artist has made work honouring a hand made industry which is now very rare as they are all being mass-produced in factories. She uses traditional materials to make this household item. Who is the maker? What's the object - and the dying industry she's remembering?

Key areas of learning: Art & Design, 3-D Design, Contemporary Craft, Design & Technology; Technology, Design & Craft, Applied Arts, Contemporary Design,  History;
Primary/secondary: Design and technology (ICT) Art and Design; Media Arts; Creative & Media.
BTEC Art & Design; Media, Miced media Sculpture, Photography, Ceramics, Glass, Metalwork. 
A/AS: Design & Technology – Product Design; 3-D Design, Textiles; Design & Textiles; Media Studies; Applied Art & Design; Art & Design - Graphic Design, Graphic Communication; Art; Craft and Design; Photography, 3-D design; Communication & Culture; History of Art; Media Communication & Production.
Foundation & Further (degree): Art; Fine Art; Art & Design; Creative Arts; Visual Arts; 3-D Design; Contemporary Craft; Design & Technology; Applied Arts; Contemporary Design; Contemporary Crafts; Sculpture, Drawing, Illustration and Print, Silversmithing and Jewellery, Curatorial Practice; Museum curation;

DIY: There is a DIY making area in the gallery - The Curiousity Cabinets -  with self-led creative activities based on the exhibition. You can create your own mini-chimera using clay, fake fur, feathers. googly eyes and other materials to make up a mythical beast of your own. Curate it yourself and add a label with a fantasical name to display in the cabinet! 

WHAT ELSE IS ON? Members Showcase on til 9 October: Deborah Treliving Artist and Gardener - monoprint work
Granite Elements exhibition - artists' response to the old granite tramway at Yarner. On til 15 October 2017.

EVENTS:  Fantastic for Families - Marvellous Mementos (25-26 Oct) FREE making days.

Free entry to exhibitions. Open 7 days a week 10am - 5.30pm

Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey, TQ13 9AF
01626 832223

Kids in the galleryArranging a group visit

We are open daily 10am - 5.30pm and delighted to have visits from schools, colleges and community groups to our gallery. Please let us know in advance about your group visit - we can offer a short introductory tour and discuss any specialist needs. If there are over ten please ensure the group is accompanied by an appropriate number of adults. Tutors can download resources in advance from this page.

There is a creative making area in the gallery, a cafe upstairs, adjacent and disabled parking and a large public park with playground just opposite our gallery.

To arrange a group/school visit please contact:
Philippa de Burlet (Education Officer): 01626 832223  

FIND US ... see MAP in adjacent column

POLICIES & RESEARCH: Art, craft & design - reading for educators

The documents below can be viewed or downloaded, and provide current research evidence and guidance for promoting art, craft and design in an educational setting to improve all round performance - also positive effects of these subjects on health and well-being.

Aesop-PHE-Arts-in-health-evaluation-framework studyGreat art and culture for everyone_ACEFuture in the Making-Crafts CouncilArt and Design Education Guide-ACE

JUly 2017 - Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbing is a published report after two years of research, evidence-gathering and discussions with patients, health and social care professionals, artists, arts administrators, academics, local government, ministers, policy-makers and parliamentarians from both Houses of Parliament. 


Archived exhibition notes

PDF education notes dopwnloadThe Summer Show 
(July-Sept 17)

PDF education notes dopwnload Off the Surface - contemporary embroidery
 (May-July 17)

PDF education notes dopwnloadPour Me '17 - the jug form (Mar-May)

PDF education notes dopwnloadGet Fresh '17 - contemporary craft by new designer-makers (Jan-Mar)

PDF education notes dopwnloadSouvenirs from Home 

PDF education notes dopwnloadSouvenirs 
Info. Pt. 1 & 2

PDF education notes dopwnload
Pine Feroda-collaborative making
of large wood cut prints. LAR-Print
PDF education notes dopwnload

Make it OK! (Mar-May 16)
Stitch, textiles, upcycled media

 LAR. Print

PDF education notes dopwnload

Line Up (Jan-Mar 16)
Interior styling: still lives

PDF education notes download
Michael Honnor (Sept-Nov 15)
Painting & printmaking

PDF education notes dopwnloadFreehand (May-Jul 15)
Craft made in workshops

PDF education notes dopwnloadRe-making the Past (Mar-May 15)
Craft and archaeology

PDF education notes dopwnloadGet Fresh'15 exhibitor info.

PDF education notes dopwnloadHome Ground (Oct 14)
Craft, locality, environment

PDF education notes dopwnloadMaterials Matter (June 14)
Raw material & craft

TEXTILES: How to... knit & crochet
CLAY: Modelling techniques 4 kids

PDF education notes dopwnloadBeyond the Book (May 2014)
'Book art' & bookworks

PDF education notes dopwnloadNarrative Remains (Jan 2014)
Words & making-resources

PDF education notes dopwnloadIntolace (Oct. 2013)
Lace-making exhibition

PDF education notes dopwnloadMake a Mark (Jul 2013)
Summer craft exhibition

PDF education notes dopwnloadTEN out of TEN (May 2013)
Craft Fair Winners

PDF education notes dopwnloadGet Fresh, 2013
'Emerging makers'

PDF education notes dopwnloadCraft & Design courses
 SW college/uni list

PDF education notes dopwnload  Facts: Christmas
  Craft traditions

PDF education notes dopwnload  Rivers & Streams-Jem Southam

PDF education notes dopwnload  Yarner Wood on show at Devon Guild
  Heritage & ecology of Yarner Wood

PDF education notes dopwnload  Reaching for Gold, Summer 2012
  Olympic facts

PDF education notes dopwnload  Flag facts 2012
  History & design

PDF education notes dopwnload  Engaging the Senses 
  What is 'Multi-sensory' craft?

  Blue-exhibition           PDF education notes dopwnload
  Indigo in ceramic & textiles

PDF education notes dopwnload 
  Ceramics: willow pattern

PDF education notes dopwnload  Voices, Jan-Feb 2012
  Textile facts: quilting

PDF education notes dopwnload  Signs for Sounds, Oct 2011
  Letterforming & calligraphy

PDF education notes dopwnload  Up-close, Mar-Apr 2011
  Printmaking facts

PDF education notes dopwnload
  Printmaking: a glossary

PDF education notes dopwnload  John Makepeace Furniture 2010
  Bio: a life in design

  PDF education notes dopwnloadTrees, wood
  & woodworking

PDF education notes dopwnload
  Design: a glossary

PDF education notes dopwnload
  Furniture: a history

PDF education notes dopwnload  Tall Stories, Mar-Apr 2010
  Automata/kinetic craft

PDF education notes dopwnload  Paper Works, Jan-Feb 2010
  Art of making with paper

PDF education notes dopwnload  In Tandem, Sept-Oct 2009
  Sculpture/furniture collaboration

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