East London has plenty on offer to get you creative – from glassblowing to printing using wooden plates (a Japanese technique called mokulito). Here’s our guide to the coolest design classes and workshops in this trendy part of the capital.
Based in Bow, Urban Makers collaborates with local designers to put on some great design classes and workshops around East London. Currently on offer is a class in painting your own travel mug with ceramics cafe Creative Biscuit (£25, Saturday 10 February, all materials provided), the company will glaze your mug after you finish, and it will be ready to collect within a week. There’s also a sewing class with The Make Escape, where you can stitch a heart-shaped fabric brooch in time for Valentine’s Day (4 February, £15, all materials provided).
Urban Makers Pop-up Shop, 188 Shoreditch High Street, London, UK +44 7887 686753
East London Print Makers
This not-for-profit, artist-run studio in Mile End offers a series of print-making workshops for beginners through to experts. For novices there are classes in printing on fabrics, from £200 for five evenings, and mokulito (lithography using wooden plates), which costs £231 for a three-day course. Those who are more experienced should take a workshop in etching techniques, from £120 for three evenings.
Leading interior designer Abigail Ahern offers a series of workshops in how to decorate your home. These include full or half-day classes where Ahern will show you around her London homes, and give you tips on how to style your spaces. There’s also 90-minute ‘masterclass’ in flower arranging for £20, including coffee.
Abigail Ahern, 12-14 Essex Rd, London, UK +20 7354 8181
Shadwell Print Studio
Want to make some snazzy prints for your flat? This creative space in Shadwell runs courses for people of all levels in various types of printing. These include workshops in monoprinting, fabric printing, screen printing, collagraphy, and textile dying. Prices range start from £53, and there are also good discounts for students.
Shadwell Print Studio, 455 The Highway, London, UK +44 20 7364 5665
Turning Earth Ceramics
Make some pottery in a class at Turning Earth Ceramics, which has studios in Hoxton and Argall Avenue. The social enterprise offers eight or 12-week courses in making your own clay masterpieces, using both hand techniques and wheel throwing. There’s an extra charge (usually £1-2) for getting your work glazed. Prices start from £190 for eight weeks or £285 for 12 weeks. Classes last for two-and-a-half hours and are limited to 12 people, so you’ll get plenty of attention.
Royal Drawing School
The Royal Drawing School’s studios in Shoreditch offer great courses, usually over five or 10 sessions, to get you sketching and painting your way to artistic stardom. Right now, there are courses in how to paint the perfect head (£325); etching (£170); life drawing (£195); and sketching buildings (£385).
Royal Drawing School Shoreditch, 19-22 Charlotte Road, London, UK +44 20 7613 8568
Let those creative juices flow during a class at M.Y.O. The arts and crafts studio has courses in painting ceramics (£35); designing your own canvas bag (£35); creating your own t-shirts (£35); and hand-made pottery. All workshops are BYOB, too.
M.Y.O, 82 Redcross Way, London, UK +44 77 8066 1787
Take a course at Lewisham Arthouse, which has been going since 1992. This East London charity has classes in life drawing; ceramics; printing without a press; illustrating plants; making mosaics; and portraiture. You will need to enquire for prices and further details.
Lewisham Arthouse, 140 Lewisham Way, London, UK +44 20 8691 9113
Head down to Fabrications and learn a variety of different techniques using textiles. There are workshops in knitting, crocheting, embroidery, patchwork quilting, sewing and upcycling. You’ll be stitching your own clothes, cushions and blankets in no time.
Fabrications, 7 Broadway Market, Hackney, London, UK +44 207 2758043
Immerse yourself in the art of glassblowing. Run by leading glass artist Peter Layton, London Glassblowing offers daylong classes (£475, including lunch) where you learn how to form, texture, colour and pattern glass. You’ll leave with four of your own creations, including blown vessels. Book ahead as classes sellout quickly. All materials are provided.
London Glassblowing, 62-66 Bermondsey Street, London, UK +44 20 7403 2800