Blog post

ArtStart Classes in Lewes: Hosted by Kirsten Norbury

December 18, 2019

My daughter is at an age where she’s grown out of a lot of the typical ‘after school’ activities. She has tired of the trampolining classes she’s attended for two years and is just about hanging on to Brownies by a tether. When I was invited to bring Daisy along to a local art class I was worried that this too would fall flat. Well…how wrong could I be!?

We were asked to join ArtStart after school art class in Lewes. The sessions are run by Kirsten Norbury who calls this particular course her ‘Zero Heroes’ due to all the art materials being recycled or reclaimed. The classes provided a great focus for Daisy’s creativity…with results that she’s really proud of! It’s been great to see her confidence flourish over the past few weeks.

Kirsten runs a range of classes for all ages through ArtStart. Pre-school classes run in term time Monday -Thursday 9:15am – 10am. The after school sessions are tailored towards 5-11 year olds and run from 3:45-4:45 Monday to Thursday. Kirsten also runs evening classes for adults covering sessions on skills such as lantern making and Lino printing.

Zero Hero’s After School Club

These courses run on a 6 week cycle covering themes such as Ocean Dioramas, Floral Mosaics and Willow Lanterns. We joined sessions on making dioramas and papier-mâché ‘Feathered Friends.’ Classes are small with just 4 children attending each of our groups. Kirsten has a great rapport with the children allowing them to embrace their own creativity. The dioramas were supposed to be ocean themed but Daisy was adamant she wanted to do one for her rabbit, Patches. Kirsten was more than happy to accommodate this request.

The ‘Feathered Friends’ project involved selecting a bird from ‘The Atlas of Amazing Birds’ to create from papier-mâché. Kirsten has a great range of beautiful books that really help spark the creative process! Daisy chose a sweet bird called the Common Poorwill…and I chose a bright Northern Cardinal (well I couldn’t just sit back and watch all this fun!!) We spent a week putting our birds together using cardboard, masking tape, newspaper and paste.

Returning a week later we were able to paint the birds and place them in a plaster of Paris stand. We were both so pleased with our creations. Daisy’s giving her little bird to Daddy for Christmas – but my bright Cardinal is already enjoying life on the mantelpiece.

What really stood out for me in these sessions is the supportive but easy-going approach that Kirsten takes with her students. I really enjoyed watching Daisy’s ideas develop and the sense of pride and achievement she clearly felt once her work was finished. Daisy’s always loved art but with an increased focus on SATS as she approaches year 6 the amount of time she is able to indulge in her creativity through art at school is almost non-existent. Classes like ArtStart offer an incredibly valuable chance to feed creative passions in our children. If you’d like to hear more about ArtStart classes you can do so by visiting the website or following updates on Instagram.

ArtStart is taking bookings now for the next 6 week course starting on January 6th 2020. The theme will be the Amazon Rainforest. Sessions cost £8 if booked in advance or £10 on the day. It’s also possible to receive a 20% discount if you book all six sessions at once online.