Please note that the first floor gallery, featuring Andrew Jackson's From A Small Island exhibition, will be closed all day on Wednesday 20 June for a private event. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


MAC Explorers: Crafty Automata 

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  • TutorBen Semp
  • Price-
  • Age-
  • LevelAll Levels

Fri 13 April / 10am - 3pm, £19, Ages 6-11 years

This workshop introduces you to cams and cranks so you can make a simple mechanical toy that moves when you wind the handle. We'll start by looking at some ingenious examples of automata through the ages, then we'll design and construct our own moving mechanism. This is topped off by drawing, colouring, collaging, cutting, sticking and assembling to make a crafty moving toy that's as impressive as it is entertaining.

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for children aged 6 to 11 years. It is open to all ability levels and children don’t need previous experience of making masks. Parents are not expected to accompany children on these courses. All our staff are DBS checked.

The course is accessible for children of all abilities who can participate in practical art and craft activities. We can provide a learning support worker and a parent or carer may assist their child if required. The room is wheelchair accessible.

Age ranges are set carefully to take into account key age developments, materials being used and course stimulus. It is very important that age ranges are not too large or across key stages and therefore need to be adhered to.

What will you learn on this course?

This is a fun one-day workshop where children will learn how to make their own crafty automata, cams and shafts

With individual support from the tutor, the children will be guided through the process of designing and constructing their automata out of cardboard and paper, including 3D details and features. The masks will be given a skin of brightly coloured tissue paper using a technique called decoupage and then decorated with a variety of crafty materials.

Do you need to bring anything?

Children need to bring their own lunch to eat on a supervised one hour break. All course materials and equipment are provided. There are no additional costs for this course.

Who teaches this course?

Benny Semp 

Benny has brought out of the children a thirst for learning new techniques in art and they have had a chance to really get 'hands on' within the group - something which is often shyed away from by teachers in the classroom during school hours. It has been an opportunity for children to value their art work and take pride in pieces that they create.

Ruth Price - KS2 Teacher and Arts Coordinator, Adderley Primary School

Important Information 

Our enhanced Safeguarding Policy recommends that we hold emergency contact details for all learning and participation activities (including courses), for children and young people under 18 years old and for supported or vulnerable adults. These are to be completed and signed by parents/carers except young people aged 16-18 and supported/vulnerable adults who are able to sign for themselves.

Completed forms must be handed in to our Sales and Information Team prior to the start of the course.

Participant Enrolment Form