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New skills are for life, not just for Christmas. From forging knives to making skateboards, we have scouted out ideas for courses to suit every personality on your gift list

PRACTICAL MAGIC For children You can start your little ones on the path to making with a course at Blackhorse Workshop (blackhorseworkshop. in Walthamstow, East London, which introduces 9- to 11-year-olds to hammering, marking out, drilling and sawing. For budding fashion designers, the Victoria and Albert Museum ( is offering a one-off class in February in Costume Design and Making for 13- to 15-year-olds – designer Dean Blunkell, who has created costumes for the Royal Albert Hall, will cover pattern-cutting, shaping and various sewing techniques. Finally, you could introduce your child to the joys of clay. Potter Around in Edinburgh ( is among those running pottery and other craft workshops for children and families.

For bookworms Multi award-winning bookbinder Kate Holland ( is offering a series of workshops next year at her studio in a converted cowshed near the vibrant market town of Frome, with accommodation offered nearby. For the novelists or poets in your life, you can gift classes ranging from a morning’s introduction to the basics, to a week making a fully leatherbound book from scratch (contact Holland through her website for more information). Budding writers might be more inclined to get started if their stationery is inspiring: London-based artist Mandy Brannan ( teaches both Japanese and western papermaking methods, helping students to process and pigment plants and fibres to create plain and decorative sheets to pour

Blackhorse Workshop in Walthamstow, East London, offers courses for both adults and children in wood and metal ideas onto. Over in Scotland, writers can craft the perfect book cover at openaccess studios Edinburgh Printmakers (, which offers a range of courses, from etching and monotype to stone lithography and photo etching.

For interior decorators You can help interior decorators turn mishaps to their advantage with a class in kintsugi: the art of repairing pottery using a mix of urushi lacquer and precious metals, transforming cracks into things of beauty. Kintsugi Oxford ( runs workshops in the ancient Japanese art, which include a kit to take home. To up people’s game when it comes to finishes, the Stained Glass Museum in Cambridge (

92 November/December 2019 Crafts

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