There’s nothing like creating something with your hands, learning a new skill — and drinking wine while you’re at it. More and more, people are craving things that don’t involve sitting in front of a screen. Enter ClassBento. The website links up eager learners with highly-rated local experts. Sydneysiders (and lucky denizens of Melbourne and Brisbane, too) can take hundreds of fun, unique workshops.
There are all kinds of topics to choose from, ranging from learning how to concoct Jameson whiskey cocktails to a flower crown-making class. The Plus Ones were invited along to an amazing candle-making workshop in Surry Hills.
Tucked away a block off Crown Street, Provider Store is run by the amazingly talented Tara Bennett. Up front, it’s the shop; in the middle is workshop space; out back is the jokingly-named ‘meth lab’ where the wax melting and other magic takes place. Their tagline: ‘slow made homewares’.
In two hours, we went from learning about different types of wax, to filling our tummies with amazing cheese, to walking out with our own gorgeous candled in a Japanese ceramic pot.
The ethnically-diverse class was mainly people in their 20s and 30s — and everyone had a different reason for being there. One couple were on date night; two sisters were there to celebrate a birthday; another solo attendee because it was something different to do on a Saturday afternoon. No matter the reason, everyone had an excellent time.
The rocked along at a perfect pace: lots to do at the start, lots to eat at the end as we waited for the candles to set. We learned about how humidity and temperature affects the wax; why wooden popsicle sticks with holes in them are so valuable; and all about the secretive world of modern-day perfumieres.
We got to choose from two colours of pots, and two scents. My friend Hayley from My Bondi Summer went with the
Wonderfully, the Japanese ceramics jars are multi-use. Burn out all the wax and return for a refill for only $15, or clean the vessel and use it as a water cup, a cocktail mug, or a beautiful plant pot.
Just in time, the wine was drunk and the candles were ready. We each walked off with our beautiful, hand-poured items, eager to burn them at home and show them off to our housemates and friends.
The founder of ClassBento, John Tabari, created it in 2012 as a way of keeping people connected with their hobbies. Making sure people keep their minds and bodies active lowers depression and the onset of dementia.
With so much on (kokedama! hula hooping!), the hardest thing about ClassBento is narrowing down what to take. A voucher makes the perfect gift for a friend or loved one — not only will you have a fun outing, but the skills you learn make the memory all the more precious.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa has already burned halfway through her candle, she loves it so. Follow her on her Instagram.
To book a class, or buy a voucher, visit www.classbento.com.au.
ClassBento donates to Dementia Australia with every booking.
Provider Store is located at 381b Riley St, Surry Hills NSW 2010. More info: www.providerstore.com.au.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of ClassBento.
Image credit: Class Bento and The Plus Ones.