You might be most familiar with our printmaking workshops at Slamseys, but the barn has also hosted a wonderful range of creative and artistic classes including taxidermy, chocolate truffle making, oil painting, digital photography and flower arranging. Coming up in December we have three fabulous Christmas wreath making classes with Nichola from Ivy Green Flowers.
I love it when the barn is filled with inspiring people sharing their skills and craft with others. For the students, learning a new skill and being creative can be therapeutic; working with their hands, away from technology in a relaxing and lovely environment. This is something being promoted in the mindfulness and well-being movement.
If you have a skill to share, running your own workshop is an enriching and rewarding experience for you and your students. The problem can be taking that first step into the unknown, so here are some reasons why you should run your own craft class.
WHY YOU SHOULD TEACH YOUR OWN CRAFT WORKSHOP
- We are currently in an experience economy with people moving away from buying things to doing things, whether for themselves or as gifts. I’ve never had so many people gifting classes or buying vouchers for birthday and Christmas presents, as people are placing increasing value on sharing adventures or acquiring new skills in place of more ‘stuff’ that ends up in cupboards or donated. I think this is also linked with increasing environmental awareness and the desire to reduce how much we consume and to spend our money on something meaningful.
- People want to learn from knowledgeable and passionate makers and creators. Although it’s possible to find everything you need online, not everyone has the confidence or the resources to follow along independently. Students want support and need to be able to ask questions – if you have the answers there are always people who would like you to share with them.
- It’s so satisfying to share something you’re good at with others and watch them go from not knowing anything, to achieving something brilliant by the end of the session. Sharing what you know is a helpful service to others.
- Not only does sharing your skills consolidate your own knowledge, but it means that you engage in a new conversation about what you do and how you do it. You can often pick up new ideas from watching others grapple with the process.
- Teaching can bring your products to a new audience who have a deep appreciation for the skill involved in creating it.
- It can also be a way to help to make money doing something that you love.
You can teach anything you’re passionate about. As long as you have clear expectations for what students are going to achieve, you can set your workshop at any level. For example, you might be offering a chance to play with paint or clay in a loosely structured session that is about getting mucky hands and being experimental or you might focus on refining and achieving a very particular set of skills, like beautifully crafting a leather belt.
Ready to get started? Here are some more tips for planning your craft workshop.
If you have a skill to share or a technique you’re passionate about, we’re always looking for more people to use the space at Slamseys; take a look on instagram to see the farm and barn or email Ruth to arrange a time to come and view the barn.
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