Winter Craft School

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About the Winter Craft School and Partners

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Lea Holtz
Founder of Craftschoolsa
 
 

Judith Oppler

Creator and teacher at Olive & Tea Textile Studio

Lea Holtz founded the annual Winter Craft School in 2010 to offer children something different in the 6 week Soccer World Cup holidays! The event was so successful that it has become an annual event which many children in Johannesburg look forward to attending.

Lea has run the annual Winter Craft School since 2010, with partners Paola Warrender and Judith Oppler.

Lea has a BA (Journalism) from Rhodes University, many years experience in the field of Social Development, and is a Time To Think coach. Her love of craft was sparked at a very young age by observing her grandmother's skill at a variety of crafts, from embroidery, sewing, knitting, cooking, to weaving beautiful carpets. Lea’s two year high school attendance at the Waldorf School in Bryanston, Johannesburg, also laid a seed in her with regards to the place of craft and crafting in our lives. 


 Judith has a Postgraduate Diploma in Adult Education from UCT. She is our Textile Design and Print Artist and Teacher and runs her own textile printing and teaching studio in Northcliff. She has been passionate about, and productive in, textiles and all things craft since a young age.


Paola, who has been the only formal blacksmithing training provider in the country, has made the decision to concentrate more intensely on her own blacksmithing work through the Naledi Forge and has sadly withdrawn from Craft School SA, passing the metalwork baton over to Brandon Chetter. We wish her all the best in her new venture.


The Winter Craft School event has been attended by almost 600 children to date and enabled them to experience and learn more about the traditional crafts that used to be an intrinsic part of the daily life of communities before industrialisation. The overriding contribution this event has made to the development of the child is its ability to empower the child's sense of self through applying their bodies and hands in the learning process alongside the use of thinking and creative force.


We have a combined dream of one day running a permanent craft centre where the traditional crafts are practised for a variety of outcomes, amongst them also a therapeutic dimension. The  aim will be to provide a place where not only the children, who are in need of therapeutic intervention and support, participate in the creative process but also adults that are missing the creative expressive element in their lives are able to learn, join in and create to their heart's desire.