If you’ve been yearning to take up a craft, harness a talent or learn a new skill, this one’s for you. We’ve rounded up enjoyable and engaging activities for adults in the Upper Highway area – with everything from weekday classes to evening courses and weekend workshops.
Story and pictures: Jess Smith
Discover your unique style with an art class
Make space on your wall for a personal masterpiece! Artist and interior designer Sandra Badenhorst has started running weekly art classes from her Kloof studio, and her lessons are wonderfully inspiring.
Suitable for beginners and more advanced artists, Voila Studio’s students will learn about various painting styles and experiment with different mediums, such as acrylic, charcoal, pencil and oil paints.
There are weekday morning and evening classes, with a small class size (maximum of eight students per class) ensuring that students become a dab hand at drawing and mixing colours.
Voila Studio also offers weekly art classes for children, as well as being a superb party venue for young and old alike.
FOR MORE INFO: 082 922 2692; voilastudio.co.za
Pursue the age-old craft of woodworking
Rediscover this time-honoured skill with teacher Max Kilroe-Smith at his Hillcrest workshop. Woodpeckers Carpentry Workshop has its roots in teaching children how to make toys, but has grown to offer basic to advanced private carpentry lessons for adults. Picture frames, planter boxes, headboards and wine racks are just a few of their most popular projects, with one student even making an Adirondack chair over the course of a few lessons! Using recycled Baltic pine as the basis for your creation, you’ll get to grips with set squares, chisels, mallets, planes, clamps, power tools and more. Safety comes first and lessons are tailored to suit individual requirements and abilities, making it the ideal setting for aspiring carpenters.
FOR MORE INFO: 082 854 4754; Facebook: @woodpeckerscarpentryschool
Master the waltz with ballroom dance classes
If you don’t know your promenade from your shadow position, let Dance With Me Shirley show you the art of ballroom dancing.
For over 15 years, former championship ballroom dancers Peter Jordaan and Shirley Meintjes have been holding weekly social dance classes for all ages at Clifton Hills Lifestyle Estate.
The emphasis is on social dancing, which is a great way to meet new people and learn popular ballroom dance steps, all while getting in some exercise. However, they cater to advanced dancers as well, with choreography tailored accordingly.
The eight-week foundation course is the ideal introduction to ballroom dancing and will see you mastering the quickstep in no time. Private lessons are also available, perfect for first dances and weddings. Fancy a whirl?
FOR MORE INFO: 082 495 6244; Facebook: @dancewithme
Become a master chef with private lessons
Looking to elevate your home cooking? Meryl’s School of Cooking is right on our doorstep in Kloof and has created many home chefs since its inception in 2001.
From bread and pasta making, to learning how to prepare the perfect steak, Meryl Erasmus’s hands-on private lessons in her kitchen studio are the perfect way to broaden your culinary repertoire. And the best part is that you get to take home your beautifully prepared meal at the end of the lesson!
Meryl’s reach extends beyond her kitchen studio, as she is frequently called upon to share her extensive catering knowledge, gained from working both within South Africa and abroad, with local businesses. Training staff in food preparation and presentation techniques and teaching new skills and recipes are second nature to Meryl.
Meryl also offers cooking classes for domestic workers, with attendees receiving a certificate at the end of each course. The next Domestic Workers course is scheduled to start on April 26, 2023, with weekly Wednesday morning sessions for four weeks and recipes including butter chicken, Moroccan beef, and vegetable moussaka. The cost is R1 800 a person (including recipes and ingredients) with a minimum of five students.
FOR MORE INFO: 031 764 6577; merylschoolofcooking.co.za
Learn to throw on a potter’s wheel
If you’ve been considering pottery classes, look no further. Ceramic designer Anne Schultz opened her first teaching studio in 1974 and her classes are as popular now as they’ve ever been.
During weekly lessons, students will be introduced to the basics of clay making, glazing, painting and firing in the white-hot kiln, with initial projects being either a coil or slab pot. Under Anne’s guidance, you’ll develop the skills and finesse required to shape your piece from start to finish, including learning the technique of throwing on the wheel.
There are morning, afternoon and evening classes available, with students progressing to more advanced projects, but you’ll need to be patient to get a spot as there is a waiting list.]
Keep an eye out for Studio 3 Ceramics at the Shongweni Farmers Market. Anne’s beautiful hand thrown ceramics and functional terracotta, stoneware and porcelain clay creations make the perfect gift or addition to any home.
FOR MORE INFO: 031 764 4607; studiothree.co.za