There are a lot of ways to learn something new these days. You can find a book, watch some youtube clips, do some googling. Regardless of the many options technology puts within our reach (anyone else remember the wall of Encyclopaedia books that used to live in people’s houses? oh how far we have come with access to information!), there is still nothing like getting out into your city, learning from a great teacher, with a group of like-minded people.
If you are anything like me, and have somewhat varied interests, part of the challenge can be finding somewhere that has an abundant and regular schedule of classes to tempt you. Well, if you have been hunting for such a place you can now rest!
Who Are Workshop?
I discovered Workshop a short while ago, in my hunt to learning something about brush lettering. I really wanted to give it a go. Then google opened the door to the marvellous, wondrous and eclectic world of Workshop.
Workshop was started by two guys who wanted to bring creative pursuit to the masses, and make them cool again (my words, not theirs!). And that’s a goal I can get on board with! They are now across many Australian capital cities.
My first challenge was finding a class to try. SO many things to do and so little time! Juggling the schedule and aligning the interests, ultimately led me to their session on building your own terrarium. I have always wanted to know how to create one, so why not now!
What’s a Terrarium?
Lets be honest, terrariums are having a moment. Personally I hope it is a very long moment, as I love plants, and homewares and this seems to blend the two. And it helps those of us who are a little less green thumbed to have and maintain a beautiful garden. Even if it is in miniature.
Essentially, a terrarium is a mini garden in a glass vessel. Its foundation of layers simulate the great world outside, while the glass vessel creates the gardens own ‘micro climate’. This means, among other things, that you don’t need to remember to water it much as it can do that itself. Genius!
Originally created in the 1800’s terrariums were used to cultivate and enjoy tropical plants back in cold England. This means most have traditionally include plants that like things warm, humid and wet. These days your favourite florist may also be showing you terrariums filled with succulents that like things on the dry side.
Whatever your fauna preferences, the chance to craft a mini garden is a lot of fun. Especially when your teacher is so enthusiastic and essentially ‘hooked’ on various garden forms such as the terrarium and kokodama.
My ‘how to’ workshop experience
For my terrarium workshop I manage to wrangle a friend who is pretty much as keen as I am. And it seems that there are a lot of people in our workshop of 12 who have done the same. Not that it’s the kind of place where you need a wingman to feel relaxed and at ease, but sharing is caring!
Part of the attraction of Workshop for me is its wide array of quality teachers. You can learn from experts in their field, people who have really interesting lives doing really interesting things, one of which happens to be sharing their passion with others. Our workshop teacher is a PhD student who has a passion for creating her own mini gardens, and does a great job at infecting us with her enthusiasm. She even has a beautiful illustrated info session to kick us off, so we know how it all works. The nerd in me loves this kind of thing!
What I loved about the approach our workshop teacher took is she wasn’t only interested in getting our hands dirty, she wanted to help us understand what we were about to make and how to keep it alive. The first 15 minutes or so of our workshop were a great introduction into the what, why, how of terrarium building. We learned a lot from her wins and not so successful adventures in creating these green, glass wonderland’s.
Once we knew a bit more about our plant preferences, we set to creating our mini worlds. Another up side to a workshop is that someone who knows what they are doing has sourced all the materials you need!
And the Result?
Success! Time flew by in our two-hour workshop, and everyone in our group successfully created beautiful, yet quite different terrariums. When you are learning something new it is always great to have success on your first go. It does absolute wonders for the confidence and motivation to keep going. If that sounds like the kind of boost you could do with, then Workshop is just the place to help you along.
My new challenge? What to learn next! Brush lettering is definitely on the list, although now I have a hankering to make a kokodama. or perhaps some polymer clay jewellery…
You can check out the Workshop offerings across Australia here
Inspired? What kind of workshop would you love to show up at? You can check out Workshop on insta, and at http://www.work-shop.com.au. If you try something out I would love to hear below what and how you go!