Lesson 1 – Conscious Crafting

Conscious Crafting is a company offering workshops for community groups within the mental health, community services and leisure sectors. The approach intertwines self-development and creativity, using the power of visual arts and crafts to explore positive, conscious themes such as abundance, new beginnings, energy and community to name a few.

Origins of the Methodology

Our methodology was developed by Suzan McCreadie, drawing upon her background in graphic design from Academy Minerva in Groningen, The Netherlands, and her experience with Astar process art courses under the guidance of Gail Schoeman as well as educational principles of the Steiner philosophy. Conscious Crafting shares connections with art therapy however always focusing on positive themes and providing participants with pleasing and satisfying results, as well as a deepened insight or a more positive outlook on life.
 

Explanation of the Methodology

The heart of each workshop is a conscious theme, introduced through a short guided meditation. The crafting or visual arts used are vehicles to deepen the understanding of the theme. For instance, in the “Happy Hippy” workshop, participants reflect on a list of positive character traits, inspiring a set of colours to adorn a dreamcatcher. In “Packed with Positivity”, participants select or formulate positive affirmations and create beautiful cards to be used in daily life.
 

Why we work This Way

We chose this methodology as it sits comfortably between art therapy, Astar process art and mainstream craft sessions. It doesn’t require trained therapists like art therapy, it aims for a pleasing end result unlike process art, and it adds a deeper layer of awareness and conscious themes that mainstream craft sessions lack. The need and curiosity in society to explore deeper meaning, relationships and fulfilling activities is shifting and opens opportunities for those wanting to use creativity to make connections.
 

Benefits of the Methodology

Our methodology engages participants in a way that could complement other self-development activities like yoga or meditation. Participants leave with a sense of accomplishment, joy, greater insights, empowerment and positive self-awareness. The group setting encourages gentle interwoven sharing, fostering friendships and camaraderie.
 

Practical Examples

In practice, the methodology shines through in workshops like “Weaving Safety” Here, participants start by reflecting on where their personal boundaries lie, which inspire the a woven basket as end result. This physical, creative process is linked with self-awareness, giving participants a tangible representation of where their boundaries lie.
 

Elevating Well-being through Purposeful Workshops

The workshops are meticulously designed to inspire participants to tap into their creativity and discover new ways of self-expression. They serve as a platform for promoting mindfulness and self-reflection. Each workshop carries a conscious theme, introduced with a guided meditation at the session’s onset. To engage all senses, the workspace is complemented by a supporting playlist for background music. The sessions conclude with reflecting back on the process, fostering a safe space that encourages people to open up, bringing trust back, and allowing new friendships to form.
 

Sustainability Considerations

Conscious Crafting takes a proactive stance, making conscious choices about materials where possible. The creative process aligns with a broader awareness of the world, incorporating sustainability, ethical sourcing, and environmental consciousness into each workshop. Many workshops use waste materials or upcycling principles, as well as natural materials. Examples of workshops with recycled materials include Practice Makes Perfect, Coral Craft, and Vibrant Vortex.
 

Conscious Crafting for Clients

For organizations, the methodology yields valuable visual outputs and participant feedback, serving as excellent visual resources for reporting to funders and stakeholders as well as marketing. Workshops can be funded through mental health, environmental and creative budgets. The workshops can be funded by mental health, environmental and creative budgets. Depending on the needs and capacity of the participants, workshops are recommended to suit the organisation.
 

Bringing the Methodology to Life

The blend of physical, creative processes and self-awareness sets Conscious Crafting apart from art classes or craft clubs. The selection of workshops is dynamic, continuously evolving and refined based on feedback from participants, facilitators and funders. However, the core elements of the workshops are always the same as they are tried and tested. A full overview of the workshops can be found here, or they can be searched by audience, series or capacity.

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