If you’re new to Port Macquarie or a long-time resident looking for something new to do, help is at hand! Port Macquarie bustles with all kinds of activities, social events, clubs and classes. To get you started, here is a list of a few art and craft classes to dip your toes into in our local area.
Don’t be afraid, or decide that you’re not ‘arty’ enough. It’s all about learning! Sign up for one class or join a few. You’ll find you quickly make new friends, while also flexing your creative muscles. And you’ll end up with some beautiful pieces to keep, give away or even sell.
Art and Craft Classes in Port Macquarie
The stately Glasshouse is the artistic hub of Port Macquarie. Completed around a decade ago, the Glasshouse is a state-of-the-art cultural facility. Along with the stunning theatre and beautiful gallery, it is the obvious location for classes and workshops. Just being there makes you feel arty.
With a shifting roster of artists in residence, there are regular talks and workshops held by top industry professionals at The Glasshouse. Get in quick for a drawing masterclass with award-winning and internationally renowned artist Todd Fuller. Todd will be in residence in mid-February and his work will be on display at the Glasshouse from February to April.
On the first Saturday of every month, The Glasshouse also holds Craft Spot. From 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm, adults are welcome to come and try their hand at all different types of craft. These workshops take their inspiration from the current exhibition in the Gallery and welcome all skill levels. At only $15 per person, it’s a great way to meet people and try your hand at crafts while being inspired by professional artists.
Visit The Glasshouse website at https://www.glasshouse.org.au/home . Here, you’ll find information about the latest exhibitions, events and art and craft classes being held at our beautiful local gallery.
Port Macquarie Creative
Port Macquarie Creative is run by local artist Katherine Appleby. It’s an art studio that believes in helping people to find their inner artist, no matter how far you have to dig to find it. There are workshops on everything from acrylic pouring and watercolours to candle making. This makes Port Macquarie Creative a great place to learn new skills. Classes are held in a rustic cottage at the back of a private property. You’ll enjoy the relaxed atmosphere as experienced teacher and artist Katherine shares her skills with you and other keen students.
Workshops at Port Macquarie Creative are open every month and new ones are always being added. It’s wise to get in quickly if you’re interested, as the classes are popular and do sell out. Another option is to book in as a group. Private party bookings are available for 3-8 people. This is a lovely idea for a birthday or even some team building for your local business.
Check out http://www.portmacquariecreative.com.au/about.html for more information and booking details.
For something a little different, why not try your hand at hot glass work?
Lampworking is a form of glass blowing and a way of creating beautiful art with glass. Local glass artist Sky Petho holds demonstrations at Arthouse Industries, creating stunning wearable art as you watch. If you’re feeling adventurous, sign up for a class and try your hand at this ancient art form. You will feel very proud of the amazing glass beads you create in your lesson. You’ll also be able to take a certain pride in not setting anything on fire. It’s really far less scary than you’d think. Once you’re feeling confident, you can follow your class up with an intermediate session to build on your skills.
Classes are open to adults as well as children aged 10 and over, plus there are group bookings available.
Drop by Arthouse Industries on Murray Street and enjoy demonstrations from Monday to Saturday. To check demonstration times or to book a class don’t hesitate to call 02 6584 5443.
This venue also hosts a range of other art and craft classes. They include jewellery making, resin skills, weaving, design, painting and collage. As the website states, lessons are suitable for anyone looking for a fun and affordable opportunity for “creative indulgence”.
Paint Your Town
Let your creative juices flow with a pARTy (get it?).
Paint your Town offers regular painting pARTies around Port Macquarie. They can also come to a location that you choose. This company supplies all the materials you will need for your two-hour class, sharing step-by-step instructions so you can leave with your own masterpiece.
All skill levels are welcome, based on the philosophy that ‘everyone can create art’. This is a fabulous option for anyone who may have issues with mobility. It’s a great social or team building experience.
Because it is a pARTy, you’re more than welcome to have a glass of wine or two as you enjoy your artistic experience. To find a class or to host your own, head over to the website at https://paintyourtown.com.au/location/port-macquarie and unleash the artist inside you.
Alice In Paperland
If papercraft is more your style and you’re looking for art and craft classes, Alice In Paperland has all your needs. It’s a well established and long-running factory outlet store. This means Alice In Paperland has everything you need for scrapbooking, papercraft and more. You can lose yourself amongst the shelves and be very inspired by the many possibilities.
Being passionate about papercraft means this outlet is far more than just a shop. The experts here hold regular classes in papercraft, teaching skills from making cards to braiding paper. They can also teach you what to put on the paper, with paint pouring and advanced calligraphy.
Each class tends to focus on a certain speciality so check ahead to see what will appeal to you. You may like the sound of them all! You will need to bring along a few of your own supplies, scissors, tape, glue and the like but the store will provide the rest. For a look at what is coming up, check out Alice in Paperland’s jam-packed schedule of art and craft classes. Go to https://www.aliceinpaperland.com.au/index.php?seo_path=port-macquarie-classes. To book, email [email protected] or call 02 6581 5663.
Timeless Quilters Inc.
Quilting is a timeless and time honoured tradition and a wonderfully versatile art form.
If you’re an old hand or you want to try your hand at this ever-popular pastime, get in touch with Timeless Quilters Inc. With over 100 members split into three groups, Timeless Quilters Inc. is the place to go for quilters in Port Macquarie. You’ll find quilting is quickly addictive. As a result, your main problem will be running out of people to give your beautiful creations to!
This very active group enjoys demonstrations, workshops from professionals and even the occasional bus trip. Every two years they put on a quilt show where you will be able to display your achievements. The latest show was in 2018, which means there is plenty of time to perfect your quilted masterpiece between now and 2020’s show.
Port Macquarie Art Society
Established to help promote fine art in Port Macquarie, the Port Macquarie Art Society is a great place for lovers of fine arts. They provide regular lessons in fine arts from trained professionals as well as the occasional guest artist.
The Port Macquarie Art Society is located in the stunning Manor House on Hamilton Green. The society holds regular exhibitions of its members’ work, and even has a shop for members to exhibit and sell their art.
Along with all this, the organisers run a local farmers market every Sunday. You can kill two birds with one stone, buying local produce as well as arts and crafts. To get in touch with The Port Macquarie Art Society, visit their webpage at http://www.pmas.org.au/index.htm. Phone more your thing? Call Judy Jelsma on 02 6582 1586 instead, to find out more about their art and craft classes.
If your artistic talents or interests lie more in the written word, Port Writers is the group for you. Come along to their meetings or their coffee and writing sessions, both held monthly. You will find a host of fellow lovers of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
Aiming to support local writers and help them on their journey, the Port Writers are friendly and welcoming. Providing useful information and lectures, they also hold an annual writing competition. There are categories for fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Hastings Woodworkers Guild
Art is not all about paint on canvas and can be shared in almost endless forms. Aspiring or experienced carpenters or woodworkers can head just west of Port Macquarie to Wauchope and the Hastings Woodworkers Guild.
The Hastings Woodwork Guild has a large workspace at the Wauchope Showgrounds, where they have a great supply of tools and equipment. The guild works on solo and group projects, and always ensures a few members are around to watch out for health and safety during production times.
As well as their monthly meetings, the guild holds an annual woodworking exhibition. All guild members can showcase their talents (and show off just a little to friends and family).
Clubs and Community Groups
Outside the more official classes and workshops, most communities have craft groups and clubs and Port Macquarie is no exception.
Along with porcelain painting, blacksmithing and fine arts, there is a very healthy quilting community in Port Macquarie, with multiple groups available. As these clubs are privately run it is best to contact them personally to see about membership availability.
Head to the Port Macquarie Info website for an extensive list covering a wide variety of community interest groups.
Head to the arts or the craft sections and it is easy to find contacts for each group. Once you’ve found one that suits you, drop them a line. These clubs are not only a great creative outlet but often a source of long term friendships.
Unleashing your inner artist
“But I’m not artistic!”
“I’d love to try painting but…”
“My thumbs are the wrong shape…”
In this sports-obsessed nation (not that there’s anything wrong with being active), it can sometimes feel as though art gets left behind. Many of us put our urge to get messy with paints and pastels to the sidelines as we focus on other areas of our lives.
The first thing to overcome when you’re tempted to sign up for an arts and crafts class is fear of failure. Your first attempt at a clay pot may only be suitable for holding the steel wool under the sink. But who really cares? At least you gave it a try and had some fun while you were learning. Instead of being so nervous that you never give things a go, remind yourself that the outcome doesn’t have to be brilliant during your early lessons.
Fearing criticism is another concern for many budding artists. Again, if you’re just starting out, it doesn’t matter if you do a great job or not. You can view criticism as constructive feedback and use it to build your skills.
Baby steps will get you there
Finally, it’s all about just getting started. Often, the hardest part of learning an art form is simply walking through the door. From there, you will realise you are surrounded by like-minded new artists. Once you feel comfortable, you can relax and really enjoy creating something from scratch.
Looking for a place to get together with your art group or host an art-related event? The Westport Club at Port Macquarie has spaces which may suit you perfectly. To find out more, visit https://www.thewestportclub.com.au/events-centre/
*Please note these listing are current as of Feb/March 2019. For an updated list, email us at [EMAIL].