Feeling a little worn out? There are numerous ways to recharge your batteries. Here are a few courses you could complete to get your creative juices flowing.
Sometimes, it helps to have a little light at the end of the tunnel – maybe the creative short course you’ve always wanted to do? With the resurgence of cottage industries and creative hobbies, the sky’s the limit in terms of learning something new. We’ve gathered five ideas to get you started:
Lost-wax jewellery casting
Lost-wax what now? Lost-wax casting is an ancient process used to make, among other things, beautiful silver jewellery. The process involves making a model out of wax, which represents what the final jewellery piece will look like. A mould is made around the wax, before it is heated up to let the wax drip out, then poured in silver. Some studios offering lost-wax courses will let you bring in old, unwanted silver jewellery, melt it down, and recycle it into something new, beautiful and made by you. We’ve heard of these courses in Melbourne and Sydney, but check out your local area for something close to you.
A trip to many a café these days is likely to reveal a cornucopia of handmade plates, bowls, cups and saucers… even tip jars! Many people have rediscovered the delights of sitting at the potter’s wheel and wrapping their hands around some clay. Clay is an inexpensive material to learn and experiment with, and there are many kilns available in studios that will fire your work for a small fee. You never know what you might end up making. SoCA in Melbourne offers a range of short courses and studio programs (and beautiful images to inspire you on their website), but there are heaps of other courses around the country.
Perhaps you’ve tried your hand at a few hobbies but like things that are a bit more physical. Smaller circus companies often put on incredible, all-ages and all-abilities workshops, which can be a great introduction to a discipline (and lots of fun). Keep an eye out for upcoming workshops from circus outfits like Company 2 and short courses from The National Institute of Circus Arts.
Described as the colour that changed the world, indigo has coloured cloth from our everyday jeans right back to ancient Mesopotamian wools and Roman cosmetics. One way of using natural indigo dye is shibori, a traditional Japanese dyeing technique that involves twisting, bunching, and folding cloth to create a dazzling array of patterns.
A basic kit to get started requires only indigo dye, wood blocks, rubber bands, rubber gloves, some tubs for water and dye, and clothes or cloth to dye (including the old ones you should wear in case of splashes). And this natural fabric dyeing workshop (no longer offered) will even show you how to use local plants and foods to dye fabric if you want to branch out into other colours.
Delicious food and drink
Well there sure are a lot of food and drink workshops to choose from too. Some of our favourites are sourdough making and natural fermentation – including pickling, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, miso and cheese. You might even be interested in a food safari.
Still looking for more ideas? Work-shop have a huge range of courses: DIY Perfume to welding, Christmas wreaths to copperplate calligraphy, burlesque to Bonsai. They’re based in Sydney, Melbourne, the Northern Rivers and Brisbane.
You never know, your hatchling of an idea might turn into a life-long hobby… or just provide some welcome time-out over the beginning of the year just to get you started.