There are always lots of creative things going on in Bristol which is one of the main reasons we love being here. It has a thriving indie maker scene and is full of independent shops and businesses.
Last weekend we went to a really fun workshop that we booked through new local experiences website Yuup. The workshop was hosted in the enormous back room of one of our lovely Bristol stockists Prior Shop who are in Cabot Circus.
Beck Prior, who runs the not-for-profit creative hub, posted about Bohobo Aromatherapy running an “ayurvedic incense making workshop” which I jumped on immediately.
As someone who absolutely loves working with essential oils for Hairy Jayne, I have been wanting to do an incense making workshop for a little while now. There’s quite a high chance that a lot of people I know will be getting gorgeous handmade incense for Christmas 2021 now that I’ve learned how to do it!
As a creative person, I love making handmade gifts at Christmas time if they’re not too time consuming to make and fun to do.
Bohobo Aromatherapies is owned by a lovely lady called B who uses her experiences in aromatherapy and ayurveda to create various natural, handmade remedies and organic skincare in Frome, Somerset. In B’s workshop (which smelled ah-mazing!) we were treated to peppermint tea and used ground up resins like frankincense and dried flowers, herbs and peels like rose, patchouli orange to create aromatic masalas.
Which is what prompted me to write a list of 7 interesting workshops and experiences featuring some of my favourite Bristol indie makers. Suitable to either do yourself for gift making or they might give you ideas for unusual Christmas gifts this year.
1. Earring making workshop at BAM Bristol with Sophie Filomena
I first went to a workshop at BAM pre-Covid and am so pleased to see their workshops and running again. Fran has created a beautiful and welcoming shop and workshop space in Easton. I’m a big fan of Sophie Filomena’s earrings and own a couple of pairs myself.
2. Introduction to Knitting with Moloneymakes
Sophie is an expert knitter and teacher who uses vegan friendly wool and bamboo knitting needles – cruelty free and plastic free! I have bought one of her at-home kits before, which was really easy, and this workshop is at her studio in Old Market.
3. Pottery making workshops at Trylla
Trylla is based on North Street in Bedminster and runs pottery making workshops and private lessons as well as running a Clay Club. You can buy gift vouchers for their workshops and at-home takeaway kits, too. Fun experiences and gifts for people of all ages, including gifts for teenagers and unusual gifts for men.
4. Eastern Aromatherapy at Bristol Folk House
This one day course at Bristol Folk House on Park Street is “an opportunity to try and experience natural eastern perfume essences” using “a theoretical approach to balancing body, mind and spirit”. As lovers of essential oil blends and all things related to wellbeing, this one looks very interesting! And they have a lovely cafe serving organic foods in the building, too.
5. Natural DIY Spa Day workshop at Bristol Folk House with Faith & Betty
Also at Bristol Folk House is another one day course by Faith Morton of Faith & Betty who make natural body care products here in Bristol. Faith has a background in herbal medicine and blending natural ingredients which are both kind for you and the environment. Participants in her workshop will have the chance to make bath bombs, body scrub, lip balms and a face cream to take home – to either keep yourself or give as Christmas gifts.
6. Make your own jesmonite terrazzo candle holder at Prior Shop with Sorrel Studio
Jesmonite is a really versatile and easy-to-use eco resin. We love it and make our shampoo bar holders with it. In this workshop you learn the basics of casting in a two hour experience with Ella from Sorrel Studio and make a candlestick or tea light style holder with colourful flecks. Ella is a Bristol maker who specialises in casting and printmaking and sells beautiful jesmonite homewares.
7. Scent blending and candle making at Prior Shop with Mooke Handmade
I first met lovely Maria from Mooke Handmade through Crafty Fox market where she gave me a gorgeous green clay face mask facial. She regularly has a stall at the Tobacco Factory Sunday market in Bedminster. Her workshop features 20 essential oils which she will help you explore and blend to make a gorgeous aromatherapy vegan soy wax candle.
There’s so much choice when it comes to creative experiences in Bristol. Which is why we love being based here!