Workshopping Work-Shop

Whether it be welding for beginners, a bacon-making class, or learning shibori, there’s something to pique everyone’s interest. Work-Shop’s classes are inspiring, a bit different, and an energising way to spend an evening after work. We checked out two very different workshops at Work-Shop.


Copperplate Calligraphy

Put down your smartphone, get off Facebook, stop watching Netflix. It’s time to do something different with your evening. Enter Work-Shop. Their tagline: ‘Do extraordinary shit’. Spend a few hours taking a class and come out the other side with new skills, new friends, and a new story to tell around the water cooler.

We sampled two of their workshops: Confidence: WTF is it and how do I get it? and Copperplate Calligraphy.

I was a huge calligraphy fan in junior high (and also not the most popular girl in class, if you can believe that). So I was very excited to try my hand – heh – at Copperplate Calligraphy. The old-fashioned technique pairs metal nibs, screwed onto wooden handles, with bottles of ink. Walking into Work-Shop’s spacious Fitzroy warehouse, we found our seats by locating the paper with our name written in beautiful script by teacher Maria Montes. She began by mentioning the history of Copperplate (devised by out-of-work calligraphers once movable type got going). Then she gently led us through the alphabet in a series of letters that were similar to write. We began with ‘i’ and ‘t’ and moved our way up in the world to create full words. I’ll never think of the work ‘minimum’ the same way again.


Copperplate is all about precision and pressure. Trying to dip my nib in ink without it a) splotching, b) getting on my hand, and c.) looking all the same thickness – a big no-no – was challenging. I’d blame my lack of finesse on being left-handed, except the leftie sitting next to me wrote everything beautifully. Maria was an attentive teacher, spending time with each student to see how we were doing. The three hours passed incredibly quickly, and I daresay at moments I experienced that most sought-for of mental spaces: the state of flow. Yes, it was frustrating at times, but at others it was relaxing. And above all, it was wonderful learning a new skill. By the end of class the best students were using fancy gold ink on black paper to create Christmas presents. I might need another three (or 33) hours to get good enough to make a gift for someone, but at least I have Maria’s gorgeous rendition of my name to frame.

– Theresa
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa loves attending classes and workshops, and even teaches a few herself.


Confidence Workshop

Work-Shop’s warehouse space is well suited to its Fitzroy home. The venue has local art on the walls, a little nook with retro furniture, and plenty of open space for its classes on art, crafts, and life skills. There is a fun variety of short courses on offer ranging from Wine 101 to Nail Art with I Scream Nails.

I attended ‘Confidence: WTF is it and how do I get it?’ – a life skills class with a more theoretical approach. Relatable life coach, Megan Luscombe, views confidence as a state of being and 100% mental. So she focused on ways to adjust our mental state and overcome fears that are keeping us from achieving what we really want in life. Luscombe discussed practical techniques we could use in daily life, such as realistic goal setting and learning to reframe negative thoughts.

Now that I’ve discovered Work-Shop, I’m eager to attend more courses. It looks like soon I’ll able to confidently hold a glass of merlot while showing off my fabulous nail art.

-Jenny Schmidt
Jenny Schmidt loves learnin’ and life experiences.   

Work-Shops classes run for 2-3 hours and cost $50-$90, including all materials.
Book in for one now. The venue is accessible.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Work-Shop.