Play Hard

7 adults-only craft workshops in Newcastle and Gateshead this month

These workshops Newcastle and Gateshead-wide are ideal if you fancy getting your hands dirty and learning a new skill – with everything from pottery and life drawing to flower arranging in the offing.

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 16.05.2023


When: Wednesday 24th May

Where: Newcastle Arts Centre

If you’re a budding artist fascinated by the human form and want to learn how to draw someone like one of their French girls, then a cheeky life drawing class is for you.

Due to popular demand, Newcastle Arts Centre how hold these classes weekly, led by award-winning artist Mark Bletcher and with a range of models on board so every evening is different.

HLN Hint: Booking is essential as spaces are limited. Easels and drawing boards are provided, as are some materials – but feel free to bring along your own, too.

Price: £15.00



When: Saturday 3rd June

Where: Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead  

Working with glass blows our minds – it’s a skill we associate with ‘proper artists’ and one we could only ever dream of trying our hands at… until now.

In this craft workshop, led by a tutor from Kimoci Glass, you’ll be shown how to make a striking fused glass bowl using Bullseye sheet glass, frits, powders and metal inclusions. So, you’ll be guaranteed to draw a compliment or two at your next dinner party.

HLN Hint: Shipley Art Gallery requests you bring your own refreshments as there will be a break during the session.

Price: £45.00



When: Saturday 3rd June

Where: Newcastle Arts Centre

One of the more fun and practical workshops Newcastle hosts will teach you the basics of mould-making and casting – meaning you’ll soon be able to prepare an object (or your own limbs!) to create the perfect plaster cast.

After experimenting with different methods, you’ll have created several plaster pieces to take home with you – along with the moulds you’ve created that can help you make more.

All abilities welcome and all materials provided.

Price: £60.00



When: Sunday 4th June

Where: The Flower Folk, Newcastle upon Tyne

Dried flowers are really having a moment, guys.

If you’re anything like us and struggle to keep a cactus alive, dried flowers are a great way of bringing some nature into your home without any upkeep or pressure. Better still, dried bouquets bring a pop of colour and texture into your home décor that’s easy and affordable to change with the seasons.

In the next of their popular Newcastle workshops, The Flower Folk will share their top tips and help you explore ways of working with dried flower and foliage stems to create your own arrangement to take home with you.  

HLN Hint: Your tutors will help you gift-wrap your creation at the end of the session. Or, if you have a vase you’d like to bring along, you can work with this so your arrangement sits perfectly inside.  

Price: £32.00



When: Sunday 4th June

Where: The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle upon Tyne

Dan Cimmermann has been working as an artist for the last 10 years and has twice been selected for exhibition for the prestigious BP Portrait Award.

Don’t miss this chance to glean some of his pearls of wisdom as he leads this three-hour workshop dedicated to sharing how to create a mixed-media portrait. Under his guidance, you’ll produce at least two portraits that explore different artistic styles and which use different media to achieve varying results.

HLN Hint: This workshop is designed for all levels of experience. It’s recommended you wear an apron or old clothes.

Price: £50.00



When: Saturday 10th June

Where: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead  

Suitable for beginners, this surface design workshop will have you channelling your inner Carrie Bradshaw to create entirely bespoke shoes, or customised trainers that will see you becoming the talk of your sneakerhead friend circle in no time.

Artist Charlotte Jarps will guide you step-by-step through the design process as you learn different hand-painting techniques to achieve the look you’re after, including how to prep, paint and finish your artwork.

You’ll also receive a painting kit, meaning you can finish or touch up your designs at home.

Don’t forget to bring: a pair of shoes you want to customise (leather or vegan leather) and a rough idea of the design you want to create. All other materials will be provided.

Price: £45.00



When: Sunday 11th June  

Where: The Pottery Experience, Newcastle upon Tyne

Another of the adults-only workshops Newcastle regularly hosts is ideal if you’re wanting to get your hands dirty and create a piece that’s guaranteed to become a talking point with your friends and family.

At The Pottery Experience, your host Lauren will teach you all you need to know to make a corked bottle using slabs and coils in this hand-building session (so no pottery wheel this time), which will become a dream vessel for any of your lotions and potions, or as a cheeky hipflask for a tipple on the go.

HLN Hint: While this workshop is on Sunday 11th June, you will return to The Pottery Experience four weeks later to paint your finished vessel.

Price: £33.00

Other stories by Becky Hardy

Your ultimate North East theatre guide to Christmas 2023

Becky Hardy
Northumberland stargazing spots

A beginner’s guide to Northumberland stargazing

Becky Hardy
Christmas light trails in the North East

7 Christmas light trails across the North East in 2023

Becky Hardy
Christmas events in the North East

11 of the North East’s best family Christmas events 2023

Becky Hardy
Fenwick Christmas Window 2023

Fenwick’s window through the ages

Becky Hardy
24 Doors of Desk Delights – £120.00 

8 of the best alternative advent calendars 2023

Becky Hardy