Interview with Hendrik Jan Hoekstra of FC about Craft your Future on

Hendrik Jan Hoekstra is innovation supervisor at D’Drive, the mbo course for creative industry and pedagogical work at Friesland College in Leeuwarden. He advocates a ‘revival of the makers’. Because only with enough money or good ideas, we cannot make the country future-proof. What is needed is sustainable makership. An optional subject Repairing or Repair Skills in the vmbo prepares students for that, Says Hendrik Jan.

At D’Drive, we have a printer that precisely sprays patterns onto textiles. That way there is almost no cutting loss and you need as little material as possible. Both Creative Craftsmanship and Fashion students experiment with this by printing on linen. In Friesland, a lot of flax used to be grown. We wonder: can linking traditional crafts and innovative technology help to find circular solutions? These lessons ‘From flax to cloth’ – or ‘From flax to lab’ – are part of the European project Craft your Future.

Workshop craft and 3d at Hogeland College, May 2021

In May 2021 we gave a workshop at Hogeland College in Warffum. The students were introduced to design, local materials, crafts, new techniques and the local value chain model from House of Design. It was nice to see how enthusiastic the students became of creating something with their hands.

Check the video:

Creative solutions
“I really like it, I’m getting all kinds of ideas.” – says one of the students, after we asked them to think of a sustainable product as an alternative to single use plastic. They came up with creative solutions to recycle plastic and to shop without packaging, and they used the local value chain model. After this first lesson about the working method of House of Design and the project Local Making Place, they followed a workshop by three professional designers.

‘As long as it bends’
The first day they learned to braid. Under the guidance of designer Esme Hofman, they made a basket of willow twigs. The technique that was used is called “random weaving”. Esme gave a short presentation about her work, materials and craft. It quickly became clear that there are countless possibilities. ‘You can actually braid anything, as long as it bends.’ The students picked it up quickly and were surprised at their own results.

Digging and drilling for clay
On day two we started to work with clay. At half past nine in the morning we were – defying wind and weather – digging and drilling behind the dike at Noordpolderzijl. After about half a meter, the clay appeared that we were looking for and took back to the classroom. Designer Marc Paulusma then explained to them how to process the clay before you can use it. With Tinkercad, the students made their own 3D design and Marc had brought a 3D clay printer, which he used to print a cup. “I am pleasantly surprised at the designs they have made” – says Marc.

Thumb jar
Clay specialist and craftsman Wybren Veenstra took over the lesson in the afternoon and briefly told about the history of clay in Groningen and showd products that are and were made of clay. Then the students made different shapes, including a thumb jar, in order to get to know the material and the different techniques. Wybren gave tips: how they can handle the material the best way and how they can decorate the shapes.

Excited about creating
Looking back at the lessons, the students were especially enthusiastic about making something. They think it is special that they have made something with their own hands that comes from their own neighborhood: ‘It is special that you can make something like this out of a tree!’ During the making, you saw a nice concentration and focus in the students. We also see that the students have a talent for a specific material or technique. For some students the braiding goes very well and others are better with clay.

The involved teacher and director of the school are very enthusiastic and mention the added value of these lessons for the students. In addition to your head you also need to learn with your hands and it also adds meaning for the students.

Due to corona we had to adjust the program slightly, but we are very happy with the final result. We will soon discuss how we can take this further. Together we design the future!

Here are some pictures of the lessons:

Making the local value chain

Esmé Hofman showing different products

Students braiding and wickering

Digging for clay

March Paulusma explaining 3D printing with clay

Craft workshop at Biosintrum in Oosterwolde

Yesterday afternoon Frank Hiddink (#LearningHubFriesland) and Eileen Blackmore (photo #HouseofDesign) gave an active workshop in the Biosintrum in Oosterwolde with teachers from the Stellingwerfcollege and primary schools CBS de Paadwizer and CBS De Akker: Experience!Together we developed first new ideas for combined lessons and continuous learning lines in the field of technology and circular 👐✂️👕📝🍀We used the Craft Your Future card game for it by the way. Do you also want such a set (and you want that!), Contact Learning Hub Friesland!

Multiplier event Simmerskoalle Flaaks – Summerschool Flax, 14th of July 2021.

During the summer holidays we organized the first ‘Simmerskoalle Flaaks’ in Bollingwier. We did this together with the European project Craft your Future to raise awareness of flax as a raw material for a circular and plastic-free future.

The Simmerskoalle got the participating students, entrepreneurs, policy makers and local residents to think about the transition to plastic-free. With lectures by Eileen Blackmore and Thomas Eyck, among others, but also through workshops.

We could not have wished for a better ambassador than Alderman Jelle Boerema of the municipality of Noardeast Fryslân, who took care of the opening of the day. According to him, flax can make a nice contribution to a broad prosperity along the Wadden Sea coast. In his opening words, Boerema discussed the value of flax for biodiversity and the contribution that the crop can make to the circular economy, partly due to its high insulation value. He also believes that the government has a role to play in this. This can stimulate development through sustainable tendering. In addition, Boerema pointed out the importance of flax for recreation and tourism. More and more people are finding their way to the Wadden Sea coast, he said. This trend dates back to before corona. “People appreciate our tourism products. A flax route and a flax museum fit in nicely.”

During the day we used the Craft your Future game to invite all different stakeholders to co-operate in small groups and develop ideas how we can use craft, flax, recycled linen into future projects and products.
It worked really great! The alderman Jelle Boerema proposed to use the game to develop ideas with the municipality employees too!

Photos Janna Bathoorn

Different stakeholders playing the CyF game
Workshop weaving duck baskets from flax

Multiplier event Craft Your Future in Spain: Crafts and New Technologies in a Circular Economy Seminar

Day celebrated on July 29th, 2021.

Multiplier event Craft Your Future in Spain, with the support of the Centro de Artesanía de la Comunitat Valenciana. Speakers: Prof. Fabricio Santos (Universidad Francisco de Vitoria) and Prof. Chele Esteve, PhD (Universitat Politècnica de València).

The event was held online for a Spanish audience and was organized by our partner Universitat Politècnica de València. The more than one hundred participants came from art and crafts 21%, design and architecture 22%, teachers and students from other centers 27%, other types of professionals 18%. The remaining 12% came from fields such as illustration, communication or public administration.

The video is only in Spanish:

Combining old crafts with new technology: 3D printed Middelsee pottery.

Eva Dijkstra is a student of Creative Craftsmanship at ROC Friesland College. Right now her work is presented at the exhibition at the Princessehof Ceramics Museum in Leeuwarden. But unfortunately, few people have seen her creations since the museums got closed due to the corona measures.

The stories behind her crated objects are worth telling and add a lot of value to the ceramics themselves.
Eva started to plan out this project when she was offered an internship at Lies Keramiek in Leeuwarden. The student had to dig the clay by herself to make it as authentic as possible, as well as to purify it and make sure it is the right clay to burn in the kiln. The process took some time, but eventually all the problems were solved.

However, after that Eva didn’t want to make your average turntable pottery. She came up with something completely different: she combined traditional with modern by making ceramic objects with a 3D printer. The process is art in itself – the clay needs to be put into the printer and it builds up a vase or jar layer by layer. She admits: “But sometimes nothing happened at all for weeks. The device had its own will.”

There are big hopes that people can see Eva’s creations again on the 9th of June but for now, thanks to these unusual circumstances, her pottery is the first long-term student exhibition in the museum.

Craft Your Future Makeathon aftermovie!

Instead of postponing or canceling the training week in Valencia, the Craft Your Future consortium prepared a Makeathon, where each of the countries was working on the same challenge, with the connection points online.

Within the two days of the Makeathon, students from 3 different countries (with about 10 different nationalities) and from 7 different schools worked on the societal challenge of heat stress. Heat stress is the result of stone-paved and walled cities with hardly any green to cool it during the hot days. Heat stress is becoming more serious now summers are getting hotter due to climate change.

Each group of students used the CyF cards to define the working components for their solution. There are four cards to choose from – craft, technology & trends, circular, and a wild card.

By the end of the second day, the students have finalized their prototypes (some teams even made more than one!), and were ready to present it to the rest of the group. It is great to see what amazing ideas young minds can create in such short time!

Makeathon | Valencia. Challenge: Design and build an element for your city, that facilitates or activates the circular economy

We organised a makeathon on 11 and 12 May, within the framework of the Craft Your Future project, with young people from Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Spain. In the Spanish case, more than 30 students from the Higher Technical School of Design Engineering of the Universitat Politècnica de València, met at the facilities of FabLab VLC Oceano Naranja. The challenge to be solved by the students was the search for circular solutions thinking about the cities where they live. The proposals and prototypes were presented to a team made up of professionals such as Loles Cebrián, companies such as Nometal 3D, the manager of the Association of Designers of the Valencian Community and David Rosa, technical director of Las Naves (Valencia City Council).

We counted those two days, among others, with the contributions of Silvia Catazine and Josean Vilar (from Naifactory Lab, Barcelona) talking about new crafters and circular economy, or Gema Roig and Julián Torralba (from Las Naves, Valencia) talking about circular projects since Valencia City Council.

To learn more about the initiative you can watch this video:

“Journey into the past” – Methodical game

Tryavna Art School – Bulgaria.

From 22nd to 25th February, a group of art students from “Tryavna Art School” came together to work on a methodical game. Their task was first to craft several wooden cubes with images, then to develop different game strategies with the cubes.

In Bulgaria, the students of art schools have to take two final exams at the end of their last academic year. One of the exams is in Bulgarian language and literature while the other one is in History of art. This second exam provoked the teachers in the Art School of Tryavna to think about different ways to help students properly prepare for the examination.

“Journey into the past” is a methodical game, which was developed by both teachers and students in the History of Art classes to support the students’ learning process by using art images, which are included in the final exam syllabus. The workshop turned to be very successful since both the students and the teachers found the game really helpful and fun to use in class.

“We have been thinking of various ways of developing the methodology of this game. We have been talking about designing a board game with the images; of creating online games and also of a more compact option. We present to you our first step and craft process.”, shared one of the teachers in the Art School of Tryavna.

Crafting the cubes game.