Not sure what to do with your spring fever symptoms? Why not try channeling it into some new projects? Here are the resources we recommend for getting equipped with practical tools, knowledge and inspiration…
In-studio workshops led by Yuriko Igo, artist and director of Blim, take place at their Chinatown location and fill up at the drop of a hat. Tutorials on poster art, foil printed patch making (so rad!) and Blim’s long-running city-famous screen printing courses (various levels) are currently available by appointment only. Already got the know-how, but in need of a proper space to utilize it? Open studio hours are in effect Tuesday through Thursday (DETAILS). Also: Blim offers a totally safe and easy-to-follow take home Intro to Screen Print Workshop option, screen printing supplies, 24-hour button making machine rentals (as well as all of the button parts) for purchase – a great way to spend a rainy day! Find out more.
DIY definitely doesn’t have age restrictions. Case in point: the wonderful Collage Collage on Main Street is full of supplies, kits and online classes for all your family friendly crafty activities. Find out more.
Need a ribbon, zipper, bobbin or button? Dressew can sort you out. Kind of like a grocery store for sewers, the aisles of this Vancouver institution are loaded with every kind of textile you can imagine (and some things you probably never could dream up on your own), plus decorations, notions and tools. Find out more.
It’s time to register for Hand Eye Ceramics’ spring pottery classes! Wheel throwing and hand building classes from beginner to intermediate level come in various class sizes, dates and times – so chances are good you can find one that fits your schedule and comfort level (unless they sell out first – also a very real possibility!) Feeling more exploratory? A one-day Ceramics + Slow Digestion Workshop using the Japanese Nerikomi technique (working with colour and clay combined) and even a class on making pet portraits out of clay are also on this season’s schedule. Find out more.
Ready to start a garden but not sure what kind of soil to source, which vegetables to plant, or how to pull it all together? The fine folks at Figaro’s Garden have everything from dirt and seeds to planters and pots, plus their staff have a crazy amount of garden-based wisdom to share. Pro tip: this Victoria Drive shop is a super popular weekend destination, so if you can swing a mid-week visit you may have better line-up luck. Find out more.
Got a niggling interest that you want to indulge, or just a persisting general curiosity? From mathematics to block printing and soap making…plus jewellery repair, sewing and “scribbling” workshops – The Learnery has got it all. Find out more.
Located in the Net Loft on Granville Island, the Maiwa supply store will get you sorted for all of your textile related projects, including a rainbow selection of natural dyes and yarns, and kits for everything from indigo and Shibori, to Mendhi, tie-dye and wood block printing. Also: head to the Maiwa School of Textiles for free online tutorials and informative documentaries, and to sign up for one of their intensive workshops. Registration for 2023 spring classes beginning in May (including courses on ink making and dyeing with indigo and natural dyes) is now open! Find out more.
For a carefully curated selection of quality art supplies, hit up Rath at its original Main Street location, and scope out the rotating display of locally made art in the window for some extra inspiration. Find out more.
Everybody loves mail! That’s probably why the Regional Assembly of Text’s Letter Writing Club has been holding strong for more than a decade. Check out their Instagram for prompts for your next creative correspondence. Also: their Main Street shop is a reliable spot to load up on stationery supplies galore to inspire all sorts of other handwritten and hand drawn activities. Find out more.
Vancouver’s OG refill store, The Soap Dispensary, is the place to stock up on ingredients and tools for various apothecary/self-care and kitchen experiments, spring cleaning projects, and snacks to keep you fuelled while you’re at it…plus much, much more. Find out more.
For unexpected and unique art materials, Main Street’s long-standing Urban Source is a must stop. A regularly replenished emporium of all manner of crafty things (many available in bulk), sourced from local manufacturers, and great for inspiring collage-making, decorations, and more. Bonus: they often have free stuff for grabs lined up on the sidewalk out front. It’s definitely hit-or-miss, but certainly worth a peruse. Find out more.
Got a more elaborate project in mind? East Van’s collective-run Hack Space is stocked with the tools and machinery – from 3-D printers to laser cutters, sewing machines, electronics, woodworking and metalworking machines, and more – plus the space to to make it happen. Work your way up through the VHS membership ranks ($75 per month) to gain 24/7 key-holding access and voting abilities. Find out more.
Got a project in mind but lacking all the proper tools to do it? Before you hit the hardware store (or make excuses), considering becoming a member the Vancouver Tool Library. The VTL has an inventory of over 1000 tools available to borrow for a super reasonable annual membership rate. They now also have monthly drop-in DIY craft nights on the first Monday of each month. Wanting a bit more inspiration and direction? Check out the events calendar for what’s being offered over the months ahead, including workshops on linocutting and hand carving, and how to make everything from leather belts to moss balls and beeswax food wraps. Find out more.
From honeycomb sheets and candle molds, to delightful and quirky scents and colourful dyes, Wicks and Wax is THE local purveyor of everything you need to get the candle-making job done. They’ve been “in the beeswax business since 1959”, after all! Open six days a week (closed Sundays and STAT holidays). Find out more.