INSIDE: Roam the Gnome’s Guide to the Best Craft Workshops for Crafty Travelers.
Do you love to travel?
Do you adore meeting the locals?
Do you live to craft, or sew, or dye with natural materials, or stitch, or paint, or play with mud, or meditate, or SING?
Whatever your creative outlet, there’s a creative art or craft workshop to join in, in every country you visit.
Most of these workshops will cater for kids over 5 or 6 too. Joining in a workshop is a fabulous introduction to the culture of the cities you visit.
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- 1 Explore the Best Craft Workshops Around the World!
- 2 The Best Craft Workshops in Japan
- 3 MORE CRAFT WORKSHOPS AROUND THE WORLD
- 4 Art and Craft Workshops in Australia
- 5 Maori Art & Craft Workshops in New Zealand
- 6 Art and Craft Workshops in Bali
- 7 Art and Craft Workshops in Nepal
- 8 Art and Craft Workshops in Japan
- 9 Art and Craft Workshops in Thailand
- 10 Traditional Art and Craft Workshops in India
- 11 Art and Craft Workshops in Malaysia
- 12 Art and Craft Workshops in Vietnam and Cambodia
- 13 Art and Craft Workshops in America
- 14 Art and Craft Workshops in the UK
- 15 Interesting Artists to Follow
- 16 Looking for fascinating cities to visit with kids?
Explore the Best Craft Workshops Around the World!
There’s three things in life I can’t live without.
Craft is in my blood, heart, and soul.
I’m not particular about the handcraft I play with but I adore working with:
- embroidery thread
- wool felt
- natural fibres including flax, and
- indigo and plant dyes.
Nature craft resources
I have a particular love of Y sticks!
You can often find me searching the ground to pick up fallen branches to find the perfect Y shape.
They are the most handy useful craft material I know, and I use them to make simple dolls for kids, as extra decoration in flower vases filled with my favourite Australian natives, and to hang dangly things from. I have a stash.
They are a free and fabulous craft material!
Japanese Shibori dyeing using natural indigo is my most favourite thing in the world, and I could happily deck out my house and adorn my body with this blue dyed cloth.
So it’s a natural obsession that my travels include opportunities to explore local craft, art, food, design and culture.
Plus, wholesome workshops that lead you back to yourself, like mediation, yoga, whole food cooking, and more.
Correct at time of publication. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in local currency.
The Best Craft Workshops in Japan
Last year, I visited Japan with four girlfriends (and Roam the Gnome!) on our self-designed Japanese craft tour.
We spent 10 days traipsing from Tokyo, to Kyoto and Osaka to experience craft workshops in Japan.
There was one obligatory Tokyo Disneyland visit of course, for my friend Carrie and I.
And my friend Sylvia and I couldn’t resist a day at Universal Studios to explore Harry Potter world and drink a creamy butterbeer.
Our verdit: Exploring the land of Harry Potter and seeing Hogwarths Castle in real life at Universal Studios is a bucket list experience you shouldn’t miss.
BUT BACK TO CRAFT!
Booking a craft workshop in Japan takes you on a different journey to the normal tourist trail and is an inspired way to delve into the local suburbs of bigger cities of Tokyo and Kyoto. It’s a way to meet the locals, and truly experience what daily life is like in Japan.
Check back soon for a full run down of all the craft workshops we did in Japan.
MORE CRAFT WORKSHOPS AROUND THE WORLD
Want to join in a creative workshop for a few hours, a morning, a full day, or a week? Perhaps you are planning to relocate for a few months to deepen your practice in a particular art or craft modality.
Here are some of the best places to learn a new skill or craft around the world.
- play with mud and hand-build French pottery in France
- discover color and light with a mosaic course in South Africa
- learn the art of raku pottery in Croatia
- dance the flamenco in Spain
- improve your photography skills in Nepal
- do a silent retreat in India
- practice carving, birch bark basket making and woodworking skills in the Alaskan wilderness
- become a disciple in the art of kung-fu in China
- learn the centuries old art of Guatemalan backstrap weaving
- dive into the world of Opera
- weave on a jacquard loom in France
- discover Picasso and modern art on the French riviera
- or train as a Genghis Kan Warrior in Mongolia.
We’ve also listed the crafts that a certain place is known for, in case you want to explore further.
Art and Craft Workshops in Australia
Pottery and Ceramics
- Northern Rivers Pottery Supplies, Lismore
- Red Door Studio, Fernleigh
- Byron School of Clay, Byron Bay
- The Clay Barn, Bangalow
- North Coast TAFE
- Byron Community Collect
The Australian Ceramics Open Studios weekend is the time to visit studios of local potters and ceramicists, and purchase original ceramics and pottery pieces.
Visit North Coast Mud Trail for details.
Eucalypt Homewares, Melbourne. Makea ceramic vase, Christmas decorations, dinner plate sets, or planter pots. (Morning, whole day, and six week sessions available)
Craft Workshop Collaboratives – Never Stop Learning
Work-Shop Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney
The Craft Parlour – Gold Coast
Aboriginal Craft Workshops
Take a look at these Aboriginal arts and crafts.
You may be able to learn:
- how to make and play the didjeridoo, and learn about Aboriginal music
- paint your own boomerang or canvas
- Aboriginal weaving
- Aboriginal sand painting
- Aboriginal dot painting, Aboriginal ochre painting, painting techniques and symbolism
- Aboriginal games
- Aboriginal dance including welcome ceremonies
- Aboriginal art and culture workshops to learn about smoking ceremonies, cleansing ceremonies, how to identify animal tracks, Aboriginal bush tucker and medicine, and more
- Maruku Arts in Central Australia
- Injalak Arts in Darwin
- Djurandi Dreaming in Perth
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
- Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural centre in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast
- Janbal Gallery in Mossman Queensland
- Culture Connect in Cairns Qld
- the Australian Design Centre in Darlinghurst, Sydney
Maori Art & Craft Workshops in New Zealand
Try your hand at Maori weaving, Maori art and Maori carving of both local timbers and New Zealand greenstone.
Rotorua is a good place to start.
More New Zealand Crafts
You can also join in art and craft classes throughout New Zealand. There’s particular towns in New Zealand that draw the creative community too, so be sure to visit.
Hot tip: Find some fabulous Kiwiana fabric featuring the famous Buzzy Bee
Art and Craft Workshops in Bali
John Hardy Jewellery. Workshop tours and lunch, Monday to Friday. Book in advance.
Studio Perak in Ubud for silver jewellery making classes
More Bali craft workshops
- Batik (try Deking Batik class in Ubud or Ubud Batik)
- Silver smithing
- Ubud Botany interactive
- Bali massage training at Sekar Jagat Spa class in Nusa Dua
- Gamelan music and dance
- L’Atelier Parfums et creations for a perfume making class
- High Flyers Bali Trapeze school
- Merta Rauh fruit and vegetable carving
- Canggu jewelry classes
- Bali soap class (Try Monica craft in Denpasar)
- Bali Barista centre for coffee making
- Mask carving
- Natural dyeing (try Threads of Life Natural Dye studio in Ubud)
- Agung Rai Museum of Art
- Pondok Pekak library and learning centre, Ubud – morning and afternoon workshops
- Gaya Ceramics Arts Centre in Ubud
- Bali Purma Art and Workshop
Art and Craft Workshops in Nepal
Nepal is on my bucket list. I can’t wait to try wood carving and felting, and visit these places too:
- Nepal Cooking School
- Sunapati Thanka Painting school
- Sunrise Jewellery making classes in Kathmandu
- Pokhara Nepal dance lessons
Art and Craft Workshops in Japan
Our number one country to visit for elegant traditional crafts.
Try your hand at:
- Japanese pottery making in Arita or Kaga.
- Food sample making in Kappabashi or Gujo in Gifu.
- Handmade paper making
- Origami paper folding
- Japanese calligraphy
- Manga comic illustration
- Japanese glass making (Japanese blown glass or glass etching) in Otaru, Hakone and Karuizawa.
- Edo Style glass cutting
- Tenugui towel making
- Japanese bento box making
- Washi paper making
- Music box making at Orugoru-do in Otaru
- Japanese painting classes
- Soba noodle making
- Tatami mat makiing
- Japanese weaving
- Daruma doll making
- Kokeshi doll making (Tohoku and northern Kanto areas)
- Japanese indigo dyeing
READ MORE: The Best Fabric Stores in Tokyo
More Art and Craft in Japan
Visit the Setouchi Artfest triennale exhibition to see the works of both Japanese and non Japanese artists around the islands of Japan including Awashima island.
Furano cheese factory in Hokkaido offers cheese making workshops.
Hida no Sato Folk Village in Takayama hosts weaving workshops, as does Ryukyu Mura village themepark in Okinawa.
Takasaki in Gunma is the place to paint your own daruma doll.
Visit these crafts villages too:
- Ainokura Village for washi paper making
- Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts
- Takumi no Sato craft village
- Music Forest Museum at Kawaguchiko
Art and Craft Workshops in Thailand
- Leather making at Craftsmangus
- Embroidery at Needle Work
- Ceramics at Charm-Learn Studio Thailand
- Thai Silk weaving at the Loom
- Soap making at Bangkok Soap Opera
- Custom silver jewellery at Shannta, at the Bangkok Art and Culture centre
- Thai cooking classes
- Thai massage
Visit Olive Creative Laboratory for all kinds of creative workshops
- Fruit carving at Chiang Mai Boom
- Jera Traditional thai massage
- Leather workshops at Suranat Leather studio
- Thai batik classes at Chiang Mai Batik School
- Cloth dyeing and weaving at Cotton Farm
- Thai weaving at Hill Tribe weaving class
Visit ART PLAY contemporary art studio for kids too.
Traditional Art and Craft Workshops in India
Kolam rice flour painting
The most beautiful art in India, arguably the most common form of painting in the world, is the Kolam.
Kolam is the art of making abstract symmetrical mandalas using rice flour.
Find a Kolam workshop in Pondicherry in South India.
More traditional Indian arts
- Flower Garland making
- Saree wearing workshops
- Mehendi henna tattooing
Art and Craft Workshops in Malaysia
There’s lots of crafty workshop options in Malaysia too.
- Craft at No.7
- Craftiviti workshops
- The Weekend Workshop
- The Craft Crowd workshops
- Midori studio in KL for very cute arts and crafts
Art and Craft Workshops in Vietnam and Cambodia
Try these craft making courses.
- Lantern making in Hoi An (The Lantern Lady)
- Water Puppetry
- Authentic Bat Trang pottery
There’s LOTS of cooking schools in Vietnam too, such as the Green Bamboo Cooking school and cafe.
In Cambodia, visit
- the Fair Trade village
- Gemological institute of Cambodia
- Khmer Ceramics centre
- Rehash Trash sustainable workshops
- Champey Academy of Arts
- Angkor pottery center
- Nataraj Yoga
You can also try your hand at rice farming in Cambodia.
Art and Craft Workshops in America
Try craft workshops for adults including:
- paper craft workshops
- screen printing
- wood turning
- cheesemaking in Wisconsin (learn about kefir and kombucha too)
- furniture making
- textile workshops
- shoe making in Brooklyn
When travelling through Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Alaska, search out local indigenous people teaching Native American crafts too.
America is FULL of crafty creatives.
Why not gather a group of friends to join in some residential craft courses together?
Art and Craft Workshops in the UK
Here’s a few craft workshops in England to try:
- Crochet retreat weekend hosted by Frank & Olive
- Evoke your inner Blacksmith in Aberdeenshire and try blacksmithing, iron and bronze casting and ceramics
- Learn traditional British crafts such as basket making, willow work and coppice craft at the Woodlands Skill Centre
- Learn to weave in Shetland, Scotland
Interesting Artists to Follow
Sabine Pick, of Pick Me Studio. An artisanal studio of the artist Sabine Pick, based in Byron Bay, Australia, offering a range of hand-lettering services including contemporary calligraphy.
Claire Atkins ceramics. She works from a studio under her home in South Golden Beach north of Byron Bay.
Botanical Artist, Cherie-Christine Curchod.
Painter Michael Muir. Contemporary art using what he calls ‘lego blocks’ of colour.
For more travel tips, click here.
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