Learn a new hobby, create a one-of-a-kind gift or something nice for your own home. There’s a workshop for everyone here in San Francisco.
Arts & Crafts
Learn printmaking from the artists themselves at this tiny studio in San Francisco's Outer Sunset neighborhood. Husband and wife duo Eric Rewitzer and Annie Galvin will walk you through the process of relief printmaking. Over the course of two evenings—spread out one week apart—you’ll learn to transfer an image onto block of linoleum, carve it out, apply ink and put it under one of their Conrad printing machines. You’ll leave with 10 8”x10” prints, which make great gifts or the start to your own gallery wall. The class fee is $150, but includes all the materials.
From neon watercolors to paper marbling to video art, Case for Making thrives at creating workshops that pique the interest of the most creative people you know. Each workshop at this other Outer Sunset gem (just a few blocks from Ocean Beach) led by an artist in that particular field and supplies are always included in the class fee.
In just two hours, you’ll make a beautiful in lay wood map to hang on your own walls or give as a gift at this Mission neighborhood workshop. Just pick your favorite corner of the earth and use their online mapping tool to specify. They’ll then pre-cut all the wood for you so all you have to do is put the pieces of the puzzle together. Our tip? Play with the map tool before you book the class to make sure your design ideas will gel with their capabilities.
If you’ve ever dreamed of making your own apron, dress, or the full outfit, Craft Haven is the place to start. This Hayes Valley-based collective offers a range of beginner classes—from the “Uber Basics” to “Basic Hems”—which are followed by a series of more advanced classes like the Basic Skirt pattern making class or the yoga pant-making class (yes, really).
If you fear the sewing machine needle, try one of the embroidery workshops with Jenny Lemons. In her Mission studio the clothing and textile designer will teach you the proper hand-stitching techniques. You’ll go home with a new piece of art plus an embroidery hoop and instructions so that you can continue your hobby at home.
Knitting is not just your grandma’s pastime. Learn to do it yourself at Imagiknit. They’ve got beginner workshops for knitting and crochet, as well as intermediate level classes like brioche knitting or fixing mistakes. Both the beginner classes take place over three two-hour sessions, so make sure to make room on the calendar.
While this studio hosts workshops for all kind of crafts (sewing, beer-making, screen printing), they thrive at the plant-based classes. Learn how to build out a beautiful bouquet with Home Sweet Flower’s founder Lorena Diane, make your very own macarame plant holder with Jenny Lennick, or build succulent and fern terrariums. All make great gifts or work just as well to help keep your own home a warm and welcoming space. Along with its original Nopa neighborhood location, Workshop now has a second locale in the Haight-Ashbury.
Whether you just want to learn proper knife skills or you want to learn how to make your own dim sum dumplings, the SF Cooking School near City Hall has a class for everyone. They have classes that detail dishes made at the city’s best restaurants, as well as workshops in everything from killer fried chicken to wines of Italy. Classes are usually two-four hours long and conclude with a group meal around the table with wine. If you’re truly inspired, you can apply to become a culinary student.
With classes all over the city, including such neighborhoods as the Haight-Ashbury, North Beach, and Mid-Market, this business is actually run by individual chefs, each who will teach you their favorite dish—from mastering macarons to perfecting pastas—in the comfort of their own restaurant kitchens.
Souffles are Chef Joe’s speciality. And he’ll teach you how to make it pouf perfectly in the comfort of his own kitchen in Duboce Triangle, just north of the Castro. If you’re after something a bit more practical, Chef Joe also offers a Thanksgiving Rehearsal Dinner, a Holiday Dessert Shop, and beer-specific classes. Oh, and there’s of course some wine to go with your cooking.
If you want to throw pottery but have no idea what you’re doing, Clay by the Bay’s Intro to Wheel class is your answer. At this Chinatown art school you’ll learn about the firing process, how to properly throw and glazing techniques. You’ll come out of the class having made a few items, and you can use the studio during open hours throughout your tenure.
Glass works are complicated. Thankfully, Public Glass has a class for every level. There’s the classic 5-week glass blowing basics and then the next level intermediate classes. But if you want to just stop in and make a mug for Father’s Day or flowers for Mother’s Day or pumpkins for the fall. There’s also slumping and fusing workshops
If you have some experience, or none at all, this beginner’s ceramics class is for you. The 8-week course gives you plenty of time to get comfortable behind the wheel. It’s also great for those who want to master their hand building techniques. The center is located in Bayview, just east of Bernal Heights.
If you didn’t find the perfect workshop here, head over to the website Verlocal. You can type in your city, your particular craft you want to explore and—Boom!—there are plenty of options all across the city. It’s like Yelp, but just for craft workshops.