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Take a crafty look

From discounted and colourful materials to fundraising mouse mats, Victoria Neumark tours the highlights of the Arts Zone

While there might be a lot of talk about different learning styles, most seminars at the show will require a lot of listening but little doing.

Creativity in Practice in the Art Zone is different.

During the three days of the show it offers hands-on opportunities to try out new materials, techniques and project ideas to take straight back to the classroom. Sponsored by Berol, Creativity in Practice offers six 40-minute workshops a day including Mod Roc Mania, a 3D modelling session run by Specialist Crafts, using paper pulp from Start Workshops, and sessions on the watercolour powder Brusho from Colourcraft.

If you want to keep your hands clean, there will be plenty of new resources on show at the exibitors' stands in the Art Zone, some of which are featured below.

* Tollit Harvey (Stand B620)

Staff will answer queries and also offer advice and ideas on ways to bring art and craft into the classroom. Focusing on craft in the curriculum, the stand will display new CarlaCraft punches and scissors in a range of shapes to suit different topics. Carl desktop trimmers for cutting all types of paper and card, in school offices or classrooms, will be demonstrated on the stand to highlight in-built safety features. There are high-end stationery products, including, for school administration, Guildhall document wallets and Ergogrip system binders, as well as Goldline A3 display books for storing and safely transporting artwork and presentations.

* Fibrecrafts (Stand AZ52)

New at the show will be teachers' resource packs to aid tutors and pupils in exploring colour and texture as part of the national curriculum.

Fibrecrafts can provide expert advice and products for pre-school through to degree-level. All products are available to Education Show customers at a 20 per cent discount.Visitors can explore thousands of colours in paints, dyes and equipment, as well as cotton, silk and velvet fabrics for decorating and dyeing projects. Try out the different textures of wool, silk, cellulose and synthetic fibres for spinning, feltmaking, embroidery and papermaking projects. Choose from the range of yarns for weaving, knitting, tapestry and rugmaking, as well as tapestry and weaving looms for all levels.

The PaperShed range offers unusual handmade coloured and textured papers for 2D and 3D projects; others can experiment with pulp and silk papermaking materials, equipment and starter kits.

* Funmats (Stand EY92)

FunMats, a company which celebrates the art of school fundraising, can inspire you with interesting ways to make use of children's creativity, by turning their drawings into coasters, mousemats and other products such as FunBears, cute teddy bears wearing T-shirts printed with children's artwork, which are new this year. Suitable for all development and skill levels, FunMats projects can be undertaken by all age groups. Benefits to fundraisers include parent appeal (each individual child's drawing is reproduced on the products), positive cash flow (no payment is required until parents have paid for their orders) and no minimum order.

* Great Art (Stand C218)

Exhibiting for the first time, Europe's largest mail order company for art supplies, Great Art, is offering over 20,000 art and craft materials at discounted prices of up to 50 per cent off list price. Visit the stand for a free 750-page catalogue.Great Art sells top brands as well as its Gerstaecker own-label products. Ask about those hard-to-find items, from picture mounts to lighting systems, paper, paints, pastels, easels, brushes, textiles, sculpture, ceramics, modelling materials and art books.

* Indigo (Stand SW15)

The home of Dazzle and its successor Dazzle 03. Find out about upgrading to from Dazzle and Dazzle Plus to Dazzle 03 with 50 per cent off the usual selling price. Dazzle 03 offers new features like shapes and fill, brushes, layers, multiple stamp banks and moveable stamps, natural art effects, gradient fills, layers, flexible text, simple customisation, multiple undo and redo, sound and video flexible text and save to web.

* Specialist Crafts Ltd (Stand AZ60)

From jewellery-making to photography, from batik to boards, this crafts warehouse, now also online, is a valuable source for every artroom need, including resin casting, plaster and enamel paints. Visit for advice and special offers.

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