Open the dictionary and scan the pages for the word ‘craft’, and you’ll find the definition stated as ‘an activity involving skill in making things by hand’. Often lumped in with ‘Arts & Crafts’, craft can be seen as the lesser respected of the pair. Many artists and makers avoid using the word for fear of being seen as less proficient. This is perhaps due to the wide range of disciplines under the umbrella of craft, and its association with ‘how-to’ activities.
However, craft is slowly beginning to reclaim its status, with a recognition of the skill and heritage techniques involved in making quality items with your hands. It denotes a dedication to discipline, and a commitment to the journey of refining skills rather than just the finished product.
Cornwall has long been a haven for makers, practising the traditions of the makers before them and honing their own methods. With such a rich supply of resources, from clay, to wool, to metal and more, Cornish men and women have teased and guided the materials around them as means of both expression and to produce functional items.
The Benefits of Learning Craft Techniques in Cornwall
To love Cornwall is to love the lifestyle. To nurture community, creativity and respect the world around us. It’s a slower pace of life to our city friends, but one that encourages a healthier work-life balance. Statistics show that we are increasingly feeling overwhelmed and stressed, and too much stress affects our mood, body, and our relationships.
Tapping into your creativity is scientifically proven to greatly impact your mental health. When you are completely absorbed in a project, also known as a ‘flow’ state, your heart rate slows, anxiety reduces, and your mood is boosted. The repetitive nature of many craft activities, such as drawing or sewing, helps activate flow.
Creative projects often have a ‘result’, which floods the brain with the feel-good chemical dopamine. This boosts your motivation and begins a positive knock-on effect. Crafting helps focus the mind, which has been compared to meditation, and has even been shown as an effective treatment for patients with dementia.
Not only important in the present for our mental wellbeing, but crafts are also vital in giving past traditions and techniques a future. Without artisans who teach their skills, and willing creatives who soak up their knowledge, so many heritage traditions would be lost.
Many processes are now machine controlled, resulting in homogenised products and the loss of creative careers and generations of expertise. Taking part in craft workshops in Cornwall is a fantastic way to keep heritage crafts alive, and making sure we see diversity in the items around us.
Loneliness and isolation are huge issues in Cornwall, as more and more people feel alone in an increasingly busy and distant world. Engaging in small group workshops helps maintain a connection to your local community and helps rebuild your confidence in social interactions. Our friendly workshops usually take place over a few cups of tea and biscuits, and are a gentle few hours chattering whilst working on something creative.
Tips for Finding the Right Craft Workshop for You
Choosing the right craft workshop in Cornwall can feel overwhelming when offered a great selection. Here are a few things to consider, so you’ll find the perfect workshop for you…
Would you feel more comfortable taking on a craft workshop in an area you have already dipped your toe into? If so, look for other workshops in similar disciplines run by different experts. Do you want to immerse yourself in something completely new? We provide a wide variety of craft workshops.
Make sure you’re comfortable with the level you’ll be taught at. Many workshops are for total beginners, so you don’t need to feel any pressure to be up to a particular standard.
Craft workshops can be accessible for everyone, with the cost usually dependent on the length of the workshops and the tools and materials needed. Check to see what equipment is provided, and assess whether you will likely spend any additional money. At our Inspire Makers workshops, the equipment is all provided unless you bring your own sparkling sea glass gems to Laura’s sea glass jewellery workshops.
Are you someone who prefers the creative journey itself, or someone who would like to take a finished piece home with you? Check what the workshop will consist of, and whether you’ll have a finished product at the end of it.
Our 7 Most Popular Craft Workshops in Cornwall
At Inspire Makers, we regularly hold craft workshops in our dedicated workshop space. We have worked hard to create a comfortable, fun, and friendly space with a ‘kitchen table’ feel. It’s a nurturing, safe space where you can forget about life’s worries and connect to your creativity. Explore our full range of workshops.
The best jewellery tells a story, whether it’s been gifted, inherited, or made by you. It connects us to people and places, and we choose to wear it day to day, and during life’s key moments. Our tutor’s expertise guides you through the jewellery making process, so you’ll create high quality, beautifully made and long-lasting jewellery.
Sea Glass Jewellery Workshops
Be guided through making your own jewellery with the lovely and very talented Laura of Porth Jewellery. Laura holds regular workshops at Inspire Makers, and we see plenty of familiar faces return to her sessions which is the ultimate testament to her expertise and how happy customers are with their beautiful pieces! Laura runs sea glass workshops, where she’ll show you how to set your sea glass in a silver bezel, to make a ring, bracelet, or necklace. Walk away from her workshop with your handmade jewellery to last a lifetime.
If sea glass isn’t your cup of tea, Laura also runs silver jewellery sessions, where you can make silver stacking rings, pendants, hoops, and more…
Silver Jewellery Courses
Learn the art of silversmithing with Laura, who will guide you through the process step by step, allowing you to create truly one-of-a-kind treasures. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned jewellery maker, our short course is a delightful experience over few weeks in a relaxed and friendly environment in the Inspire Makers workshop space.
The act of engaging in art has been proven to improve your well-being and reduce stress and anxiety. Drawing and creating allow people to express themselves without having to use words, which might be too overwhelming. Drawing can be a tool to tap into your imagination, look closely at our surroundings, and to express our feelings. Perhaps intricate observational drawing will help you sharpen and focus your mind, or relaxed mark-making will allow your instinct to take over.
Our drawing workshops make the most of local artists’ talents, who offer tips and tricks and give you the confidence to pick up your pencil and paper at home. Join artists Sharon Bruster and Victoria Pond, alongside other guest artists, for their creative workshops as they teach you how to see and depict the world around you.
Lino Cutting Workshops
The therapeutic step-by-step of the lino-cutting process is one of the most rewarding and satisfying artistic techniques there is. By drawing and carving, you create unique prints and motifs that are bold and beautiful. Lino cutting also engages different parts of your brain by thinking ahead to the final composition (you need to be able to work in reverse!) and the carving of the lino.
Printmaker Jill Dunn is the talent behind Riverbird Studio and a familiar face in the shop. Using imagery relevant to your craft, technique, or creative business, she’ll show you how to design and carve rubber stamps for personalising your stationery and packaging. Or you can join a class working on larger pieces for cards and prints.
If you’ve ever felt the urge to express your creativity on canvas or simply want to explore the art of painting, but have always been slightly hesitant then you’re in for a treat. It can be daunting to face a blank canvas, so our painting workshops will be the ultimate encouragement to get started. Many artists who hold painting workshops in Cornwall are inspired by the rugged landscape here that surrounds them.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or have some experience with a brush, our talented instructors are here to guide you every step of the way. From learning basic techniques to experimenting with different styles and mediums, you’ll embark on a creative journey filled with laughter, camaraderie, and endless possibilities.
If you’re eager to unlock your creativity and immerse yourself in the captivating art form of watercolour painting, then our watercolour workshop is the perfect opportunity for you. Join us as we dive into the vibrant hues and delicate washes that this medium offers.
Whether they look closely at the finer details and show you how to capture a scene in watercolour or encourage you to express yourself with dynamic abstract marks, their advice on getting started is invaluable. You’ll feel full of confidence when it comes to approaching your own painting projects.
Glass Fusing Workshops
She’s much more comfortable supporting and celebrating other Cornish artists and makers, so you might not know that Inspire Makers founder Vicki Glaister is actually a creative herself! Article Glass is Vicki’s chosen creative outlet (alongside Article Jewellery) and how she likes to unwind when she’s not busy running the shop.
By fusing coloured glass into geometric designs, Vicki creates stunning glassware. She is being gently encouraged by other makers and customers to hold workshops, so watch this space as we may have a glass fusing workshop or two coming up later in the year!
What to Expect from a Creative Craft Workshop at Inspire Makers
The unknown can be daunting, so let us paint a picture of our Cornish craft workshops. All workshops take place at Inspire Makers, a shop and gallery at the top of Falmouth’s Old High Street. As it’s the artisan quarter of Falmouth, it’s the perfect place to be.
We have a dedicated workshop room, with a large table which seats 6 people plus the creative running the workshop. We’ve found that 6 is an ideal number, as you’ll feel part of a lovely group but still be given enough one on one guidance. Complete with tea and biscuits, the workshops are always relaxed and friendly, you’re not at school anymore!
When you book a place on any of our Cornish craft workshops, we’ll outline clearly what to expect from the workshop and whether you’ll need to bring anything with you. Often you’ll be leaving the workshop with your very own creation, whether that’s a sparkling ring, drawings, lino prints, or anything else from our varied range of wonderful workshops.
If you have any queries or concerns, you can see our Workshop Terms and Conditions or just email us as we’ll do our best to accommodate you and make sure you enjoy the workshop.
Explore our Craft Workshops in Cornwall
Arts and crafts are immensely important to improving our mental health and wellbeing; we never get tired of seeing the smiling, proud faces of those who join our workshops. Taking part in a creative workshop is a brilliant way to meet new people, try something new, and it could be the start of your new creative love.
Whether you want pure escapism for a few hours or are looking to boost your confidence in a craft, creative workshops work wonders for your wellbeing.
We publish most of our workshops at the start of a season but add new ones as they come along, so if you don’t see something that inspires you now, keeping checking back with our workshop programme, and sign up to our newsletter if you’d like to stay in the loop.