Teachers’ Events Archive

Inspired by……Art Den at Astley Hall, Chorley

4-6.30pm, Weds 18 January 2017

Astley Hall, Chorley

Astley Hall, Chorley

On January 18 we ran our latest ‘Inspired by…’ session for teachers at Astley Hall in Chorley, where our invited artists Art Den inspired teachers with their printmaking session inspired by the wonderful plasterwork ceilings at the Hall.

This session was a chance for teachers to recharge their creative batteries and work with artists, designers and makers. The event allows teachers to meet other creative teachers, try out new techniques, develop their own creative talents and get inspiration to take back to the classroom.

Feedback from the event was very positive and teachers had lots of ideas about what they would like the venue to offer to schools:

All teachers who attended said they found the evening useful. They were also asked about whether they enjoyed it, what they liked best and what they would try out with their pupils, here are some of their responses:

• The cutting out to make patterns
• Yes it is easier than I thought I have wanted to try printing for a while!
• Yes might try it tomorrow with poster paint!
• Definitely, I run papercutting classes already so this is an ideal add on to the class
• Yes-observational drawings from their sculptures
• Yes-the printing and looking at shapes in a space for inspiration rather than just “drawing things”
• Yes- you can make it as easy/hard as you want to make it good for all abilities

They were also asked what other evenings/activities for teachers they would like to see?

• History of the building. Stories linked to the hall
• Re-enactments
• Anything art, history or geography orientated
• Anything like this!
• Anything creative to introduce to the classroom
• Local History
• Computing and technology into history etc
• History/Geography (place/grounds/layout) has changed over time (photograph/walk etc)

We are now working with teachers to develop new learning sessions for Astley Hall, and held another teacher twilight session on 8 March giving a tour of the venue and encouraging teachers to put forward proposals for sessions they would like to see. Proposals are due in by 31 March and we look forward to receiving them.


Art Den provides tailored creative workshops and installations. Art Den was created by Adam Pryce (illustrator) and Mitchell Robinson (story-teller) with the aim to bring play and creativity to public spaces – these have previously included art galleries, National Trust properties and schools around the UK.

Astley Hall is a museum and art gallery housed within a Grade I listed historic house. The Hall is set within the beautiful surroundings of Astley Park. The Hall is perhaps best known for its stunning Jacobean plasterwork ceilings and the house is built around an internal Elizabethan courtyard.

For booking info see opposite. Places limited to 20 so book early.

Previous ‘Inspired by….’ Sessions

Julia Swarbrick's 'Inspired by....' session at Blackburn Museum October 2016

Julia Swarbrick’s ‘Inspired by….’ session at Blackburn Museum October 2016

Previous Teacher Sessions have included Artist Julia Swarbrick at Blackburn Museum in October. Feedback was fantastic:

“Excellent session. Leaving feeling confident to teach and inspire children throughout the school to use a range of printing techniques. Taking back to school some wonderful pieces of work which I am very proud of! Julia and Steve were excellent – lots of knowledge which they shared – will help me to plan many cross-curricular art sessions” –  Simone

“A great workshop that left me feeling inspired and creative. I came away with useful ideas for the classroom and can’t wait to try them out.” – Ursula

“Really enjoyed all the activities – Julia was very informative and supportive and encouraging. Thanks so much – I feel like I’ve learned lots!” – Janette

Lee Crocker at Haworth Art Gallery  – see our April newsletter feature. Where Lee inspired teachers with his sketchbooks and attendees took a sketching tour of the gallery.

We invited stitch artist Bella May Leonard (previous artist-in-residence at Gawthorpe Textiles Collection) to devise a session inspired by Queen Street Mill.

Using this amazing site as a starting point for making, her workshop invited teachers to interpret pattern and colour into tactile, textural samples. Engaging with motifs found in the textile factory’s architecture, machinery and calico, this session was designed to excite and activate your creativity.


Stitch work from Bella May Leonard Teachers’ Session at Queen Street Mill Textile Museum.

Please see our October 2014 newsletter feature on the sessions and comment from V&A on the success of these.