South London is a reasonably-priced haven for young creatives and artists – so it’s no surprise that this area has plenty of studios offering workshops where you can make your own crockery, clothing and prints. Here’s our guide to the best design classes and workshops south of the Thames.
I Knit London
Take a class at I Knit, which was set up by a group of friends in a pub in Vauxhall in 2005. The small business has a Thursday knitting class at Penny, a bar in the basement of the Old Vic, as well as workshops in its studios. You can learn how to make your own hats and scarves, as well as how to use various techniques, like crotchet and brioche knitting. Classes are social and fun…and often combined with alcohol.
A London Terrariums workshop | Courtesy of London Terrariums
London Terrariums has only been going since 2014, but has already got Londoners hooked with its fun workshops on making terrariums (plants and soil continued in sealed glass vessels). The workshops will show you how to fill a glass receptacle with fittonia, ivy, pebbles and moss, as well as how to care for these self-contained ecosystems. You’ll even get to take your bottled masterpiece home. The small company recently opened its first shop in New Cross, from where it runs a number of its classes – worth a visit for the colourful interior alone. Prices start from £40, with all materials provided, and the workshops use a variety of terrariums (from a boiling flask to a demijohn jar). Make sure you book early as the workshops are extremely popular and sell out months in advance. London Terrariums also runs workshops in North and Central London. Check London Terrariums’s website for upcoming workshops.
Set up in 2014, this co-operative run by artists was formed to address the lack of ceramics workshops for beginners in the area. Its classes include one-off ceramics glazing workshops (£33), as well as twelve-week pottery courses (£309). There’s also a course, running over five sessions, in how to use a potter’s wheel and glazing techniques (£295).
This funky studio in a warehouse in Peckham is run by Royal College of Art printmaking graduates (so you’re in good hands). It runs two types of course – an introductory day workshops (£85), where you’ll learn the basic techniques of screen-printing, and a more intensive four-week course (£175), which provides a more comprehensive grounding in printmaking. All materials are provided.
Take a class 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 sell out quickly. All materials are provided.
Try The Kilns Rooms in up-and-coming Peckham for its ceramics workshops. For beginners, the studio offers one-day taster workshops (£85); four-week courses (£140); and more intensive twelve-week workshops (£280). And, for those with prior experience working with clay, there are one-day masterclasses (£95). The company recently opened up a new studio in nearby Peckham Levels, which also runs workshops. All materials are provided.
Bakery class at Bread Ahead Bakery & School | Courtesy of Bread Ahead Bakery & School
Head down to the Bread Ahead Bakery & School for a masterclass in dough. There are workshops in how to make sweet dough, Middle Eastern flatbreads and New York-style bagels. Or, if you’re particularly patriotic, book a session in baking British classics such as the English muffin and Welsh cake. Most workshops cost £80 and are half a day long. The school is based in Borough Market, so be sure to sample some of the food stalls afterwards. Check Bread Ahead Bakery & School’s website for dates.
Try a class at M.Y.O. The arts and crafts studio has workshops 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, so you can go wild.
Take a course at Lewisham Arthouse, which was established 1992. This East London charity has classes in life drawing; ceramics; printing without a press; illustrating plants; making mosaics; and portraiture. You’ll need to enquire for prices and further details.