Like so many other Brooklyn girls, I really like crafts. That said, my affinity for all things crafty is limited by one, my total lack of talent (behold: my greatest achievement to date) and two, my fear of sharp things, pointy things and flaming things. Taken together, these characteristics have led me to become a serial craft class taker -- but generally only for one session classes that deal with soft, non-threatening materials.
So of course as you'd imagine, I was thrilled when our Managing Editor Kerri asked if I wanted to take a class through the new(ish) website CourseHorse and then review it for FIPS. CourseHorse is essentially one stop shopping for all your NYC class taking needs (crafts, food, career development, health and fitness, and language, to name a few). There are about 14,000 classes listed on the site at any given time, and the average course cost is $55 (though they just added free classes). You'll find classes at places like the Brooklyn Artists Gym or the 92Y, but also lesser known venues like a wood carving school in Forest Hillls. Better still, you can search classes by location, time, date and topic. So if you've ever spent two hours trying to find a class in which to crochet a chicken poncho somewhere in the 5 boroughs that was reasonably accessible, affordable and at a workable time, then you'll appreciate this -- but I digress.
Anyway, onto the class! I signed up for Bookmaking at the Brooklyn Artists Gym because it was near my house and I like the idea of walking away from a craft class with something tangible and useful. I could not have been happier with the class -- and not just because the scariest implement we used was a needle. It was actually incredibly interesting to see the steps involved in book binding (this is a class for first timers) and I left with a nifty, pretty little book perfectly sized for displaying postcards and photos. Our teacher, Sarah, brought a bunch of beautiful, acid-free, Nepalese papers for us to chose for our covers and carefully walked us through the delicate process of gluing and sewing the book together. The class was scheduled for three hours and the time flew by. Sarah was very encouraging and patient (and far more supportive than the instructor of a wool felting class who told me I had a bad attitude just because I pointed out that the felt otter I made looked more like an otter turd than an actual otter).
My only regret is that I can't easily make a book using the same process at home. Sarah did provide us with a detailed instruction packet to take with us - but the amount of materials and space required is not exactly doable for the casual crafter like myself. That said, I am actually about to go look for other bookmaking classes on CourseHorse and I'm relatively certain I'll find one. If I don't, maybe I'll just take welding -- that doesn't involve anything scary, right?