Mar 11, 2016

This article is from 2016, but still has some great ideas for ways to experience Ann Arbor! For updated event dates, click HERE.

If you enjoy crafts, art, or just getting hands-on with a unique activity, there’s plenty for you in the Ann Arbor area! Creative workshops abound all across our county, from pottery and painting to cocktails and crafting.

The Ann Arbor Art Center is known for its diverse artistic workshops, with topics including bookbinding, tile-making, sketching and more. In April, they’ll host classes on using colored pencils and jewelry-making; and in May, young artists won’t want to miss the Bugs and Blooms in Clay workshop. Also in April, the brand-new Ann Arbor Distilling Company will hold its first cocktail-making class! The theme is "The Flavors of Spring", and the drinks you'll prepare include local, seasonal ingredients that are sure to get you in the mood for warmer weather!

If you’re a budding seamstress, the Ann Arbor District Library has two workshops in April that might catch your eye – one covering the basics of using sewing machines and the other to help build specific sewing skills. The AADL also offers plenty of artistic workshops for kids – drawing, felt-ball making, watercolors and more will be covered this spring! Is writing more up your alley? Join the AADL on April 21 for a writing workshop with local authors and other writers. This casual, supportive group may be just what you need to finish your manuscript or get started on your novel! If you’re a knitter or quilter, or love to crochet, you should definitely check out the Spring 2016 Fiber Expo at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, and its affiliated classes! There will be a workshop for dyeing yarn, harvesting fiber from your Angora rabbit, and rug-making using a peg loom. If you can’t make it to the spring event, mark your calendar for the fall one! It will be held on October 22-23. Finally, new Ann Arbor shop Thistle and Bess is holding a workshop on April 23 in conjunction with Passionflower where participants will create their own wearable succulents. People with artistic tastes or green thumbs are sure to love it!

Ann Arbor isn’t the only community with workshops for creative types. In the charming town of Dexter, Zingerman’s Cornman Farms offers cocktail-lovers a monthly chance to hone their drink-making skills, with a themed event aimed at expanding your cocktail horizons and providing tasty food in the process. In April they’ll explore the absinthe – the famed herbal spirit with a long history – and in May they’ll hold a Cinco de Mayo tequila class. If you’re more of a traditional crafter, check out Boxwood Cottage and Home in Dexter – its hands-on classes ensure that you have great fun and head home with a finished project like a chalkboard, ottoman tray, or planter box. If you have a young creative person in your life, consider bringing him or her to the Fairy-arium Workshop at Lotus Gardenscapes in Dexter. This all-ages workshop will send participants home with their very own hand-made fairy terrarium and the skills to care for it. In nearby Chelsea, USArtQuest hosts frequent artistic workshops as well – and in April, they’ll feature gilding (the process of applying gold leaf or gold paint), and collaging. All skill levels are welcome and they’re sure to be wonderful events!

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