Arts & Crafts Make a Comeback!
Whether it’s the rise of technology or a craving for nostalgia, Noosa is seeing an explosion in workshops and classes that encourage you to get back to basics. Macramé, pottery, knitting and crochet are all hot right now, as Jolene Ogle discovers.
It’s a past time usually reserved for Grandma but knitting and crocheting are fast making a cool comeback. People of all ages are starting to rediscover the joy of creating and there are plenty of workshops on offer to teach the essential skills that were almost lost to the ages.
My Grandma taught me to knit but I’m terrible at it because I’ve never had a need or reason to pull out the knitting needles when I can simply pop down to the shops to get what I need. It’s this consumer-based wasteful shopping philosophy that is seeing the slow death of skills – as well as the planet.
Bit by bit, we’re learning we simply must reduce our waste and slow down if we want this planet to be as beautiful for the next generation as it is for us. This dire situation is seeing the birth of a beautiful trend that encourages us to sit down, take a breath and make something from scratch.
The Butter Factory Arts Centre offers a host of classes from pottery to basket weaving and coordinator Alicia Sharples says the demand is so high, the workshops and masterclasses often sell out as soon as they are announced.
“I think in this fast-paced, technology-based society we are all lacking hands-on mindfulness,” she says.
“Doing a workshop and learning a new skill allows people to slow down and be tactile. As a society, we have moved away from that, but people are realising they need connection.
“This resurgence in handicrafts is all about nourishment; physical and mental.”
Alicia says people often come to the Butter Factory Arts Centre to learn a new skill but stay for the conversation and connection with other community members who want to learn how to sew, weave, crochet or make a cool macramé plant holder.
Getting crafty is old news to Noosa Arts and Crafts Association (NACA) who have been offering workshops to the community for almost 25 years. For this foundational group of artists, this growing movement returning to the basics is welcomed and resulting in a surge of class participants.
“Our After Dark sessions are a release for people. Everything on social media is doom and gloom and it’s corrosive,” she says.
“Here, like-minded people can connect and share creative time. It’s just marvellous.”
Gabi attended her first workshop in 1996 and although her watercolour painting was “woeful” (her words!), she recalls the encouraging tutor who helped her embrace her creative side. Formerly a nurse, Gabi soon moved into an exciting career as both a “workshop-aholic” and a painter.
Gabi is now one of the region’s most popular and well-known artists, holding many solo and joint exhibitions throughout Noosa and beyond. So, who knows where that crochet class, pottery workshop or painting session might lead you? Perhaps a career in the creative arts awaits!