4 Colombian Workshops To Get You Started in the World of Cafting

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Creation brings us tranquility. Many studies related to mental health have shown that crafting is an excellent form of combating mental conditions such as anxiety, depression, or loneliness. The reason for this is because our brains release doses of Dopamine during creative endeavors.

Take some time apart for yourself and your mind can be very beneficial, and it could be a way to become more social. As of late, there has been a surge of handicraft workshops that offer classes to learn different types of skills. A small group of people will reunite alongside a veteran artisan to learn the basics of a weaving technique or produce natural dyes. In these gatherings, what matters the most is that you feel happy while creating something.

One of the greatest gifts from Latin America is the vast amount of creation through crafting. While they have prevailed because of their value, these practices have survived because they do not overwork the mind. People well into old age can execute them and teach their skills to younger generations. In Colombia, a country rich in high skilled artisans, maintaining handcraft traditions is essential for many people. For instance, pottery dates back to the Neolithic era of the region. Moreover, weaving practices are part of several indigenous groups like the Wayuus or the Nasa.

Colombian workshops are getting popular with this new rising demand to learn crafting as a therapeutic activity. Taking a day or two to learn a new skill is great for anyone, but it also allows ancient practices to remain alive. If you are vacationing or happen to be in the country, consider this an opportunity to learn and relax!

We have gathered a list of 4 Colombian workshops, where you can take short courses about different skills or learn how to make traditional crafts. Each of these organizations provides an insight into manual arts in a very dynamic way. We hope you feel motivated to delve more into these new practices to keep your mind healthy and learn beautiful new things along the way!

La Playa Estudio

This pottery workshop aims to provide a connection with the earth we live in—through creation. Located in Medellin, La Playa Estudio offers exquisite handmade ceramic pieces for sale. Better yet, they allow their customers to learn how to make them themselves. Through short-term workshops, they teach the main techniques of manual modeling, mold casting, and how to use a potter’s wheel. You will learn how to create your plates and tableware, plant pots, ancestral jewelry, and so much more. The products you make will be imperfect but beautiful and unique— just like you and your life.

IG: @laplaya.estudio

Ancestral

Macrame textiles have an Arab origin, but these knotting techniques are of great importance in many parts of the world, including Colombia. This form of art arrived during the colonial era, and it became a traditional method to craft shawls. The art of Macrame was born within the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, but it spread throughout the rest of Colombia. Macrame textiles are still used in the country in the form of tapestry and home decor.

Ancestral, a Colombian brand dedicated to producing Macrame textiles, decided to continue this patrimony. While they offer incredible Macrame tapestries, they also provide the chance to learn how to make them. By purchasing a DIY kit from Ancestral you will create a wall tapestry or a hanging plant holder. Everything you need will come in a small package with clear instructions on how to make it. What makes this so fascinating is that you can create your workshop in the comfort of your home. For a more detailed explanation, Ancestral also offers an online course in Domestika.org, where you can receive classes on Circular Macrame.

Check it out!

Amanolab

Amanolab is a creative laboratory that seeks to showcase artisanal talent and impart traditional knowledge through workshops. Amanolab offers on-site courses in the city of Bogota, but you can also take their online classes. With their monthly schedule, you will know when your desired workshop will happen, and their online courses are perfect for all who wish to stay at home. You can take weaving and basketry classes, pottery lessons, and so much more. They also give a spotlight to native artisans, such as the Wounaan weavers. These artisans are famous for crafting home decor objects with the mystic Werregue palm fiber.

The goal of this great laboratory is to unleash your innovative spirit alongside skilled experts.

Casa de Barro

Another great example to introduce yourself to the world of pottery is Casa de Barro. This studio from Antioquia wants to make every workshop a gathering for fun. Their goal is to give its participants the chance to explore their imagination. 

Each class teaches the basics of pottery, but it also focuses on showing the creative process of crafting a new object. You will receive lessons for clay modeling, mold casting, and other techniques. You will also learn to decorate your ceramics with various methods such as enamel coating, sgraffito, or applying liquid paint. Casa de Barro also offers their pottery tool kit for sale so you can build your workshop at home.

IG: @casadebarro_mde

We believe that creation is the key to a fulfilling life. To make something that came from your mind and your hands alone are what makes us humans! Every ancestor who brought these practices to the present left a part of themselves into them, a piece of their minds and inventive spirit. While we don’t need these skills anymore as a way of survival, their greatness prevails in the beauty of gentle manual work. Colombia is only one country out of the many with artisan talent; there is so much left to learn from others!

Sometimes we forget that whatever we make will not be perfect or of any use to us, so we hesitate when we try new things. This year can be that moment to take a step back and realize that sometimes what matters is that you feel happy when you create something.

By Amalia

By Amalia

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