Crafts Academy

Crafts Academy is the new talent program of Crafts Council Nederland. It is for young, ambitious makers between the ages of 16 and 30. Crafts Academy offers the opportunity to learn techniques that are not taught in regular education. The teachers are experts in their field and belong to the top of the Netherlands. You will learn all aspects of designing: technique, skill, design, cultural heritage, and innovation from them.

In 2023, four courses are available: embroidery, calligraphy, kite-making, and basket weaving. In five Saturdays, you will learn one of the techniques, experiment, and work on your own designs. As the icing on the cake, you have a chance to win the Crafts Academy Award during the Dutch Design Week 2023, where a selection of the created work will also be exhibited.

The classes take place at the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam, the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden, and the Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal (Nijmegen).

Join Crafts Academy and discover your next step in the world of making!

For whom?

Crafts Academy is specifically for young makers between the ages of approximately 16 and 30 who love craftsmanship and design. Whether you are studying at a creative school or enjoy making in your free time, Crafts Academy offers you the opportunity to learn and grow further.


The cost for participating in Crafts Academy is €50.00 for administrative fees and any potential travel costs. If this is a reason for you not to participate, please indicate it in your application so that we can look for a solution. It should not be an obstacle to joining.

The necessary materials will be provided. As a participant, you have the option to purchase additional materials if desired.


To register, send an email to We ask for the following information:

  1. Your personal details, such as name, age, and contact information.
  2. The technique you are registering for.
  3. A brief motivation explaining why you want to participate in Crafts Academy. What are your ambitions and expectations? Do you have any future plans that align with the program or do you simply want to deepen your knowledge?
  4. Any experience and/or education in crafting and designing that you have already gained.
  5. Photos of previous work and/or references to projects.

Download the registration form here.

Please note: there are only 10 spots available per technique, so not everyone who applies will be accepted.


The first selection round has been completed and we are impressed with the quality of the entries we have received. There are still a few spots available. Don’t wait too long and sign up! Applications will be processed in the order they are received.

The committee will select based on motivation and creative talent. Diversity in the group composition is also taken into consideration during the selection process. A video interview may be conducted if necessary

The Techniques

Calligraphy and Decorative Painting

Where: Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam
When: May 13, May 20, May 27, June 3 and June 10
Teachers: Tawab Safi and Job Wouters

Calligraphy, also known as the art of beautiful writing, originated in the Middle East and the name comes from the Greek words for ‘beauty’ and ‘writer’. In many countries, calligraphy is considered a form of art, and it can also be found in carpets and architecture. Calligraphy has inspired many art forms throughout the centuries, including letter design and typography. Contemporary calligraphers often draw inspiration from ancient calligraphy techniques to create new and innovative designs.

Click here for more information.

Basket Weaving

Where: Africa Museum in Berg en Dal near Nijmegen
When: May 13, May 20, May 27, June 3, and June 10
Teachers: Esmé Hofman and Chris Kabel

Basket weaving is one of the oldest crafts developed by humans and is 29,000 years old. To this day, basket weaving offers endless possibilities in terms of shape, size, materials, patterns, construction, and applications, making this traditional technique popular among designers.

Click here for more information.


Where: Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam
When: June 17, June 24, July 1, July 8, and July 15
Teachers: Martine van ‘t Hul and Desiree Hammen

Embroidery is the art of decorating textiles with needle and thread. This technique has been around for over 3000 years and is found all over the world. Many countries and cultures have their own recognizable motifs and figures, sometimes geometric, sometimes featuring animal and human figures. With embroidery, beautiful designs can be created by using different colors, materials, and stitches. What is remarkable about embroidery is that the technique has hardly changed over the centuries. Basic stitches such as the cross stitch, running stitch, and back stitch are still used today, and from these basic stitches, various other stitches have been developed.

Click here for more information.

Kite making

Where: Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden
When: June 17, June 24, July 1, July 8 and July 15
Teachers: Vliegermuseum and Scheltens & Abbenes

The kite is an ancient invention that originated in Asia thousands of years ago. Kites were made of lightweight materials such as silk, bamboo, and later paper, and were often decorated with colorful designs and illustrations. Kites were used for sending messages to the gods and for measuring distances. Today, kite flying is a popular form of entertainment. Designers and artists experiment with traditional kite-making forms and techniques to create contemporary and unique creations. This has led to new applications of kites.

Click here for more information.


For more information about Crafts Academy and the selection procedure, you can contact Guusje Heesakkers at