Photo courtesy of Shoreditch Design Rooms

Earlier this year I attended a painting course at The Art Academy, which was brilliant. Learning from fine artist Natasha Lien, the 10-week course comprised of multiple studies, including tonal, still-life and portrait painting. Practising techniques and challenging each of us attending the course to paint better, the Monday evening course was two and a half hours of uninterrupted creative time.

I then attended the hand-built ceramics course at The Art Academy and realised that not only was I really enjoying the experience, but I was also learning a useful skill and could attempt to make something original for my home (and I really mean attempt!) My candelabra is slightly wonky, but it's charming, unique and has found its forever home on my dining table.

We all know that finding something original or unique for our homes can often come with a large price tag, so learning to create something yourself may just be the route to go. Here are some great short courses to enjoy:


Weekend Woodturning Course

£260 for the weekend

16-17 July at Blackhorse Workshop, Walthamstow

This in depth weekend long workshop is taught by expert wood turner and technician, Enrique Melin. During the course, you'll learn the structure and safe use of the lathes with a variety of tools. Learning about materials and how to prepare and mount them, you'll also be able to take home a beautiful assortment of finished hardwood objects at the end of the weekend.

Photo courtesy of Blackhorse Workshop


Terraced House Applique Workshop with Helen Entwistle

£30 per person

2nd July at David Parr House, Cambridge

Learn the art of applique in this three hour workshop at David Parr House in Cambridge. Join textile artist, Helen Entwistle, who will guide you through some techniques using a mixture of hand and machine sewing.

Photo courtesy of David Parr House


Block Printing Workshop with Louisa Loakes

£145 per person

5th November in Peckham

Explore Indian block printing at Louisa Loakes workshop in Peckham. The workshop includes carving a linoleum block design, which you'll use to explore and develop your own pattern repeat, which you'll be able to take home with you at the end of the session.

Photo courtesy of Louisa Loakes


Painted Lampshades with Tess Newall

£200 per person

21st November at Charleston

Bring some Vanessa Bell inspired colour into your home with this painted lampshade course with Tess Newall. Taking place at Charleston Farmhouse, this one day workshop includes a large handmade card lampshade, refreshments and a delicious lunch, plus a private tour of Charleston Farmhouse.

Photo courtesy of Charleston


Upholstery Leisure Evening Course: 18 Weeks

£970 per person

From 9th September at Shoreditch Design Rooms

The Shoreditch Design Rooms offer many great courses, including caning, hand-stitched lampshades, and this upholstery course. Over 18 weeks you'll bring your own project to the course, learning the tips and techniques of the art of upholstery.

Photo courtesy of Shoreditch Design Rooms


Hand Built Ceramics Course

£220 per person

11th July - 22nd August at the Art Academy, London Bridge

Learning coiling, pinching and slab building, this ceramics course, taught by ceramicist Annette Bugansky, is great. Providing all the equipment, the clay and a large range of glazes, you'll be taught some great techniques to build practical products, tableware and sculpture in a small group setting just a short walk from London Bridge.


Freestyle Embroidery with Eppie Thompson

£150 per person

1st August at Charleston

Enjoy a day-long workshop at Charleston Farmhouse being taught freestyle embroidery by Eppie Thompson. Eppie will introduce you to freestyle embroidery inspired by folk art and the world of textiles in the most beautiful setting surrounded by the South Downs during the height of Summer. The workshop includes materials, refreshments and lunch, as well as a tour of Charleston.

Photo courtesy of Charleston


Metalwork: Studio Stool Workshop

£160 per person

17th July at Blackhorse Workshop, Walthamstow

With no previous experience needed, this one-day course will introduce you to the basics of metal fabrication in order to build your metal and birch plyood stool for you to take home with you. Led by experienced metal fabricator and designer, Richard Evans, this metalwork: studio stool workshop takes place on 17th July.

Photo courtesy of Blackhorse Workshop


Intermediate Painting Course

£240 per person

12 July - 30 August at the Art Academy, London Bridge

Another brilliant one from The Art Academy, this ten-week evening course was excellent. The course includes tonal, still-life and portrait painting using either acrylic or oil paints. It's a great opportunity for aspiring artists to ask questions and learn more about their practice in a creative environment. Also available are beginner and advanced courses, depending on your level.

Photo courtesy of The Art Academy


Bangladeshi Cookery Class with Aklima

£45 per person

30th June at Migrateful, Angel

Enjoy excellent cookery classes from the Migrateful chefs and learn authentic and delicious recipes from all over the world. Migrateful was started out of a need to help refugees and migrants in the UK by empowering and supporting them to run their own cookery classes.

Photo courtesy of Migrateful