Even if school is nothing but a hazy memory, it’s never too late to learn a new skill. Good thing Melbourne has an amazing selection of workshops, classes and courses to keep your idle hands busy (and most importantly, make you appear smooth and winning on Tinder dates). From making your own ceramics and brewing homemade Kombucha to mastering the art of record collecting (yes, it’s an art), these are some of Melbourne's best workshops.
Settle down, you guys at the back. School's in session. Here are 14 of Melbourne's coolest classes, courses and workshops.
Fitzroy hub Work Shop has courses in everything from making handmade ceramics (good for the 'Gram) and hand-bound leather journals to watercolour painting and learning how to stop procrastinating (guilty). You'll find this one in an uber-cool warehouse in one of the most creative parts of town, naturally. Get there early and soak up Fitzroy’s backstreets before knuckling down to get some knowledge.
Laneway Learning was a revelation when it came along a few years ago. The sessions are short, nearly all of them take place in the evening, and they give you a speedy taster of skills ranging from brewing your own kombucha, vegan cooking, record collecting (yes it’s a skill) and pasta making. Get on the mailing list and book early—Laneway Learning classes in Melbourne often sell out on the day they’re announced, even all these years later.
Cannings Free Range Butchers
Hawthorn & Kew
Learn how to master the art of meat from one of Melbourne’s best butchers at Cannings Free Range Butchers’ courses, taught by Sam 'The Man' Canning himself. Although these courses run on the pricey side, you’ll leave with the know-how of butchering a half-lamb, half-pig or making your own sausages. They even help you design your own meaty recipes and teach you how to re-use off-cuts. Delish.
Yarn & Co
If you’ve ever walked passed Fitzroy knitting shop Yarn & Co, you’ll appreciate they're badass grandma knits. Well, it turns out they also run some pretty intensive knitting workshops. This season’s courses in Melbourne include how to knit your own scarf and how to crochet a beanie, with beginner’s sessions available as well. Go and make Nanna proud.
Pink Ember Studio
Pink Ember Studio is a queer-run co-operative of artists, creating spaces for artists to make and sell work and be part of a community. They are a not-for-profit, encompassing a retail shop selling affordable art, workshops and classes, a multimedia gallery space and light-filled, open plan studio spaces. You can explore stuff like body-positive life drawing classes, earring making, embroidery and much more. Get to it.
Ladies Of Leisure
Creative collective, Ladies of Leisure are an example of how beautiful things can bloom when we collaborate creatively. As one of Melbourne’s earliest feminist communities, they’ve grown to be one of the most successful, too. Over the past six years, they’ve pumped out three publications, four workshop series and some seriously cool merch. Their focus is on covering the essential life lessons that we’re not exactly taught in classroom environments. We’re talking a range of industry leader-led workshops, on a diverse selection of topics.
Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School
Ever peep through the window of your local patisserie and think, ‘I wish I could do that’? At Savour, they’ll teach you how. With classes in macarons, chocolate decorating, miniature cakes and heaps more, all taught by top chocolate experts, this is the best workshop hub in Melbourne for those with a sweet tooth.
The Good Copy
If ‘Stop. Grammar time.’ isn’t the best name for a writing workshop, then we don’t know what is. The Good Copy writing classes in Collingwood specialise in copywriting courses that run weekly for four weeks—good for writers who want to finally nail a semicolon or anyone who gets a kick out of correcting '12 items or less' at the supermarket.
Make a tote bag! A cushion cover! A cape! Melbourne sewing school Thread Den will teach you how to make all three at their Collingwood school, where classes start from single sessions and can run up to six weeks. They also teach a great basic sewing course if you're looking to work up your own designs. You’ll be stitching up a storm in no time.
Northcote Pottery Supplies
If you want a fool-proof solution to breaking all your dishware, you may as well just make your own—imagine how much more careful you’d be. Northcote Pottery Supplies, (which is, confusingly, in Brunswick East, not Northcote), offers everything from one or two-day workshops to specialist masterclasses in pottery and ceramics. They say pottery is the new gardening (whoever they are), so it might be time to jump on the trend.
School of Life
The School of Life is the home for the best self-development and skill-building courses. From four-week courses dedicated to looking for love (sign us up), jam-packed seven-hour workshops on being calm, to finding a fulfilling job, you’re bound to come out the other side with more life skills than when you entered. Don't forget to pick up some books and a latte at the cafe-cum-giftshop either.
Sew This Pattern
If you’re tired of spending all your hard-earned dollars trying to keep up with trends, then it’s probably about time you learned to sew your own clothes. Good thing the people behind Sew This Pattern have the best masterclasses for sewing culottes. They're even whole weekend workshops dedicated to sewing jeans and dresses.
The folks at Ceramiques have created an intensive six-week course to get you throwing, sanding and glazing clay like a pro. If you and your friends just want to dip your toe into the world of ceramics or host an incredible hen’s party, then there's also single 90-minute or 120-minute classes available for groups of six to eight. They only have one rule: no re-enacting Ghost.
WeTeachMe teaches EVERYTHING. Essentially an Etsy for workshops, the website allows locals to list their own courses, meaning there’s everything from soap-making, to sourdough baking, macrame wall-hanging courses and ink painting lessons. Time to get your diary out and get started on some new skills.
Thirsty for more skills? Here's a bunch of places to learn something new in Melbourne.
Image credit: JJ Mendez