In the face of mass consumerism, people need to be encouraged to design something themselves rather than purchasing it. In Istanbul, workshops offer ways to learn new trends in different fields, offering creative alternatives that can bring originality back into your home.
A number of workshops in Istanbul are offered on weekends and in the evening hours and this short list will help you choose a workshop that suits your personal taste, allowing you to enjoy the summer days while learning something new at the same time.
Initially designed as a glass studio and later becoming a leading glass school hosting international glass-making artists, the Glass Furnace located in Istanbul's Beykoz district regularly holds workshops that teach various glass techniques to local and international participants. This month, Petr Stacho, a senior glass artist from the Czech Republic, will be visiting the Glass Furnace for a kiln casting workshop, introducing the technique of kiln casting and special plaster preparation techniques, building molds and metal constructions inside the molds. The courses will be offered from July 12 to July 23. Another workshop series will continue during the same period at the Glass Furnace. Israel native Michal Silberberg will lead a workshop on "All about Color Bead Making." The workshop, divided into two parts, will focus on bead surface decoration while teaching color mixing and blending techniques as well as bead making, followed by individual and group projects being completed by participants inspired by Turkish art and landscape. The Glass Furnace offers workshops regularly and long-term classes for non-Turkish speakers.
Goldsmithery and jewelry making are long-rooted professions in Turkey and still attract foreign visitors and expats with fun and affordable workshops. Aside from the famous Grand Bazaar, where the city's highly skilled goldsmiths are based, a contemporary jewelry studio like the Maden Gallery in the Galata district teaches participants to convey their ideas through jewelry design. Established in 2011 by Selen Özüş and Burcu Büyükünal, the studio provides classes in two main categories. Technical courses are available for learning basic techniques like sawing, filing, soldering and surface treatments accompanied by field visits and presentations. On the other hand, conceptual courses encourage students to find their own style. Both are 16-week courses and intensive courses are available. In the Grand Bazaar, goldsmiths, known as "usta" (masters) in Turkish, teach the skills necessary for bringing colorful stones into jewelry creations. Attendees are shown the ancient craft of Ottoman jewelry making, designing and constructing their own masterpieces. Classes are roughly three hours in duration with a four-student capacity.
Children bake cookies
With the summer heat in full force and children out of school, take a break from the sun and join a cookie baking class at Eately in the Zorlu Mall on July 17. Here, children will learn how to make and decorate tasty cookies during the one-day class that will start on 10:30 a.m. Why not let your children having some fun and taste their first cookies together after the class?
Mastering photography skills
The next workshop opportunity is a more active one that combines city trekking and photo shooting. The Istanbul Tour Studio offers street photography classes, including a five-hour tour that begins on İstiklal Avenue and proceeds towards Galata and Karaköy. Designed for both amateurs and professionals, the photo tour allows participants to explore their skills in photography on the city's scenic narrow streets among picturesque scenes. For beginners, a short introductory session is held on basic photography followed by a briefing section given by the guide.
Become a coffee barista
Barista courses are designed to open your eyes to the world of coffee. The goal of these courses is to broaden your understanding of the versatility of coffee. You will learn all the technical do's and don'ts of the business while being guided through sensory techniques that enable you to use your sense of sight, taste and smell to learn how coffee is created. A practical educational center, Istanbul Coffee Academy has registered barista trainers who offer coffee-making classes at different levels. Trainers will teach the art of making the latte, cupping and brewing techniques and roasting courses.
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