No hobbies? No problem.
At this point in the pandemic, you've probably crushed out sourdough bread baking, learned a foreign language, and how to play a new instrument. So sign up for fresh beginner workshops—in weaving, wood carving, watercolor painting, and more—with creative makers and instructors based in the Bay Area.
Online Weaving Workshop With Meghan Shimek
Oakland-based fiber artist Meghan Shimek is bringing her popular off-loom weaving workshop online. Learn how to work with wool roving—the fluffy cloud-like material that makes up her pieces—and create your own one-of-a-kind, large-scale work of art. The workshop ($50) covers basic skills and allows for lots of time to explore and dive into your creative process.
// Register online at meghanshimek.com.
Throw Pottery at Dusted and Blue
Learn the foundations of the pottery wheel during a six-week intro course with ceramicist Josie Rovegno, who'll teach you the basics of throwing, trimming, and glazing. By the end of the course, composed of weekly two-and-a-half-hour classes, you'll be able to make your own cups and bowls on the wheel. Plus, you'll have access to the studio during business hours to practice at your leisure.
Classes are kept small to guarantee social distancing and allow for one-on-one attention. Classes sell out quickly and are updated every six weeks. Intermediate wheel workshops are also available.
// Six-week courses are $350; 1242 Mason St. (Nob Hill), dustedandblue.com.
Paint, Write, and Draw With Case for Making
The Outer Sunset's Case for Making is stuffed with handmade watercolors and thoughtfully curated art supplies from around the world. But more exciting is that you can take classes in practically everything—interpretive landscapes, watercolor, pet portraits, collage, calligraphy, and more. Classes ($35) are offered on an ongoing basis and fill up quickly.
// Case for Making, 4037 Judah St. (Outer Sunset), caseformaking.com.
Japanese Wood Carving with Melanie Abrantes
Melanie Abrantes is known for lathing, where she turns simple pieces of solid wood and cork into unique bowls, plates, cups, and stands. In her workshops, she teaches Japanese wood carving, focusing its age-old meditative tradition of making things with your hands.
Learn to carve bowls and cooking spoons in her online DIY tutorial videos, or sign up for in-person spoon workshops ($100) in February and March this year.
// Sign up at melanieabrantes.shop.
A Bit of Everything at Workshop SF
Need a new hobby but don't have a clue what you're into? Get inspired by the many classes offered by WorkshopSF. With affordable rates ($25-$95), you can try your hand at the punch needle or craft a leather belt, learn about water marbling, tie dye, and block printing.
// WorkshopSF, 1310 Haight St. (Panhandle), workshopsf.org.
Woodshop With Aleksandra Zee
Oakland-based woodworker Aleksandra Zee, known for her signature chevron designs, has plucked a project from her recent book, The Way of the Woodshop, for a tutorial and digital workbook. In this online class, she'll walk you through the creation of a cutting board from sourcing lumber to its completion along with a list of all the materials and tools you'll need, plus safety and styling tips. Once you're registered, you'll receive a video link to complete the tutorial in your own time.
// Sign up ($70-$80) at aleksandrazee.com.
Paper Art With Zai Divecha
San Francisco-based artist Zai Divecha creates intricate art with the simplest medium: paper. Via infinite folds, pleats, and rolls, she transforms plain white sheets into delicate yet precise forms. But before you can take a stab at recreating her take on Coit Tower, you'll want to learn some basic shapes. Divecha's free online tutorials will guide you through the making of simple paper stars (this one is doable for kids) as well as more complex geometric garlands.
// Get started at zaidivecha.com.