Workshops To Try

Last year, I talked about NY resolutions and the statistics around them which you can read here, but this year I wanted to see what local creatives and artisans have in store for us to look forward to and also where we can build on our skills. My friend Lou who runs Mildred Trouble and Tabby Firefly has great talents but she said this year she wants to learn something new. I have found that quite a few people that have learnt a new skill during lockdown have gone on to explore new artisan crafts and hobbies. It encourages a sense of achievement where you think well if I can achieve this I can try something else. 2023 could be a year of re-visiting old hobbies or finding new ones!

Hobbies stop you from thinking of your day-to-day stresses and make you dedicate time to yourself. This whole process promotes a healthy mind and a healthy body. What’s not to love? According to a quote by marcandangel it takes a while to form a habit.

“As you get deeper into 2023, remind yourself that it takes roughly 66 days to form a habit. So for the next 9 weeks, consciously look at the bright side of your life and you will rewire your brain for the rest of the year.”

I have loved watching the BBC programme Make it at Market in January which shows entrepreneurs try to make a living from their crafting hobby by taking it to the next level with a bit of mentoring from on-hand experts. It has inspired me to think about a new hobby. Apparently, research has shown that having a hobby can be really beneficial for our mental health. It has also been shown to give us; lower stress, better physical health, more sleep, more social connections, improved work performance, and increased happiness. So with all this in mind, I had a look around the city to see what workshops are happening over the next few weeks to help you consider a new hobby.

Southsea Green 

This group of volunteers has a wonderful community garden in Canoe Lake and encourages volunteers to come along and get green-fingered. They say “We are a beloved green space where we grow local food and flowers. A community garden, transformed from long-forgotten wasteland. Portsmouth City council support our social venture in their commitment to local communities.

We want to get more people growing, buying local food and crafts and sharing tools, campaigns and resources with others who care about the city we live in. To help make Pompey proud of it’s green-spaces.”

The next monthly meet-up is Saturday the 4th of February at 11am  for 1 hour where you can pop down and have a cuppa and see the garden space.

FatClay Pottery

Fatclay is a pottery studio located in the Historic Dockyard at Old Portsmouth. All of Matt’s work is thrown by hand on the potter’s wheel and fired twice to stoneware. All the work created is functional and can be enjoyed in the kitchen or around the house.

You can try your hand at throwing a pot beginners workshop throughout February. Have a look here to book and see the dates available. Read more about Fatclay here.

South Coast Cookery School

South Coast Cookery is housed in the building adjoining The Southsea Deli. The space was built in the early 20th century as a bank and was refurbished during 2021 as a multi-purpose cookery school and events space. It boasts an airy room to touch up on your culinary skills. With lots of workshops available to book from Thai Fishcakes to Decadent Desserts you are sure to find one you love! Have a read here to find out more about the cookery school.

Aspex Gallery Artist In Residence Workshop

Come and join artist-in-residence Vera Hadzhiyska as she encourages people to pop along and make your own nameplate. Starting a conversation about the meaning of our names and discussing their importance to our identity.

Vera’s ongoing long-term project “With the Name of a Flower” investigates the forced name changes (from Muslim to Slavic names) and repressions against Muslim people in Bulgaria during the so-called “Revival Process” (1912-1989). The project takes into consideration the historical and political context of the 500 years long Ottoman Rule over Bulgaria (1396-1878), the years after the Liberation to the present day.

A new name entails a new sense of identity. Vera is interested in how these traumatic events have been preserved or purposefully omitted from the family narratives, and how that has affected the cultural, national, and religious identity of Muslim people and their descendants.

All clay nameplates will be displayed at the artist studio in Aspex gallery throughout the duration of Vera’s residency and can be collected afterwards

The workshops are open to everyone and on from the 12th of January until the 26th of February. Have a read here on Eventbrite to book your FREE place and find out more. If you want to look at more workshops further afield then Eventbrite is always a good place to start as there are workshops all across the South Coast from Southampton to Brighton and Hove.

Portsmouth BookFest

Portsmouth BookFest is coming back to the city in February 2023. Offering a host of literary events that will be taking place across the city – featuring interactive events and workshops that are sure to delight any literary fans who may want to try their hand at a writing workshop!

The first week of this year’s festival – February half term holiday – is a special Children’s Week. There will be a packed programme of activities for children and parents/carers, including a visit from Elmer the elephant, a dinosaur day, and a return of the popular Zoolab! In addition, there will be several creative writing sessions for all ages.

For adults, there will be a wide range of events for all interests taking place over the following two weeks. Yearly favourite MysteryFest returns, with several writing workshops; and the return of acclaimed crime thriller author Graham Hurley. Other speakers and authors who are new to the event include historian, broadcaster, and writer Tessa Dunlop and Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow.

Tickets are now on sale. Unless specified otherwise, all tickets are available here.

Strong Island Photo Walkshops

Strong Island have delivered photography workshops for many years to literally thousands of people of all ages and abilities, all across the south coast.

Working with lots of organisations across Hampshire including schools and youth groups, their philosophy on photography is to get out with your camera and do a walkshop where rather than sitting down in a classroom you actively learn different photography skills and techniques out and about with your camera, with support from an experienced professional photographer.

You don’t have to be advanced at all and the fun thing about this type of workshop is the people you meet, the exercise you experience and the fresh air you enjoy while exploring a hobby. Have a look here to book a photography workshop.