Teaching students at The John Gray Centre, Haddington.
Teaching students at The John Gray Centre, Haddington.

Learning & Public Engagement

I have developed different Learning Activities to suit the following audiences: Community Groups; School children (age 5-9 yrs); and University students. Accordingly, I have provided workshops for Museum societies, Archaeological Field schools, local councils, University students (as part of the curriculum and also within the context of the Department’s Archaeology Society), and childrens’ art groups.

Community Groups
A half-day, (approx. 2 hour), workshop which serves as an introduction to technical aspects of archaeological illustration, ideal for community groups and students of archaeology.

A short slide-show introducing the principles and practice of archaeological illustration is followed by practical exercises using appropriate measuring tools. By the end of the course students should have gained an insight into the illustration of archaeological small finds and pottery.

Please access a PDF for more information here.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the archaeological illustration workshop hosted at the Elsecar Heritage Centre with Tom Small. Tom is a knowledgable and patient tutor and I found the information gained invaluable and interesting. I would highly recommend his workshop for beginners and professionals alike”
Louise Fairclough

“I found the exercises really interesting, providing me with some insight into the archaeological illustrations that I enjoy looking at.”
Kate Henderson

School Children
This short workshop, (up to 1 hr), focuses on those children between the ages of 5-9 years. Exercises include the replication of a ‘spinning disc’ from the Dordogne region of France dating to around 12,000BC, and the piecing together of a replica Victorian period tile ‘puzzle’ from an urban excavation. The principle in both cases is to provide children with an engaging exercise which allows them to reflect upon the ‘story’ behind these archaeological objects. To download the respective worksheets click on the links below:

Worksheet: Edzell carved stone panel of Geometria
Worksheet: Animated deer from the Dordogne
Worksheet: Victorian period tile puzzle
Worksheet: Medieval pilgrim badge
Worksheet: Model of a Mithraic altar
Worksheet: Medieval Tile
Worksheet: Traprain Law Treasure

University Students
This workshop, (approx. 2-3 hrs), comprises a slide-show where I discuss my work as a freelancer, illustrated with examples from my portfolio. This is followed by a range of exercises where students can access prepared software files to complete various illustrative tasks. The aim is to provide technical guidance to students, showing some of the optimum ways in which digital illustration may be used, whilst retaining a critical ‘eye’.
Please note this workshop assumes that all students have access to a computer suite which accommodates Adobe Illustrator.

“I am teaching an Archaeological Illustration course at the University of Edinburgh which provides students with a foundation knowledge on the theory and practice of creating visuals to record, analyse and present archaeological sites and artefacts in both an academic and public context. I recently invited Tom to give a class to our students, (Spring 2017, and subsequent years), where he spoke about his work and taught them some of his digital techniques as part of a dedicated workshop. I was particularly interested in having Tom talk to our students given the diversity and quality of his skills and experience, and the students really enjoyed discussing and learning from him. I particularly value Tom’s work generally: it demonstrates that archaeological illustration is not simply about following visual conventions but is principally a reflective and creative process that can really influence academic thinking and contribute to public engagement.”
Dr Guillaume Robin
School of History, Classics and Archaeology
Edinburgh University

Listed below are some of the organisations I have provided illustration workshops for:

Archaeology Scotland (Bedrule project)
Edinburgh University Archaeology Society (Arch Soc)
Edinburgh University Outreach Project
Edinburgh University Degree course
East Lothian Council Archaeology Service, John Gray Centre, Haddington, East Lothian
Elgin Museum, Elgin, Moray
Elsecar Heritage Centre, South Yorkshire
Rampart Scotland, Archaeology Field School
Longniddry Primary School, East Lothian Council