Weaving, Baking And Wood Turning: Learn Skills From People With Decades Of Experience

By Sponsor Last edited 21 months ago
Weaving, Baking And Wood Turning: Learn Skills From People With Decades Of Experience

This is a sponsored article on behalf of the Royal Voluntary Service.

If your grandad taught you all about woodwork, or you inherited your love of knitting from your nan, you'll know that older generations have a lot of wisdom to offer — so it's great news that GrandFest is back for a second year.

The one-day festival, organised by older people's charity Royal Voluntary Service, offers a series of masterclasses led by GrandMakers — people aged 70 or over with years of experience in the skill they're teaching.

The masterclasses. which take over museums, cafes and shops in east London, are:

  • Basket Weaving: Betty, a qualified basket weaving teacher, picked up the skill around 30 years ago and has been weaving ever since. Learn the basics, and have a go at using different techniques to create a coaster and a fish. Takes place at Hanbury Hall, Spitalfields, 12pm/3pm

  • Weaving: Growing up in Sweden, Anneli acquired the traditional skill of weaving from an early age, and will teach you how to work a loom, as well as a bit of background on the craft. Takes place in Spitalfields Market, 11am/1pm

  • Jewellery Making: If you're attracted to all things shiny, get yourself to Viviane's jewellery making workshop where you'll create a stretchy beaded bracelet to take home with you, and learn techniques that you can use to make other pieces of jewellery. Takes place at The Grocer on Crispin Place in Spitalfields Market, 11am/3pm

  • Grow-Your-Own: Get your hands dirty at Elizabeth's master grower class, and you'll be producing your own fruit and veg in no time. Takes place at The Geffrye Museum in Hoxton, 11am/1pm.
  • Soft Furnishing: With 55 years experience under her belt, Maureen knows a thing or two about sewing. If you're looking to pimp your pad, she'll teach you how to make simple items like cushions, using a variety of sewing techniques. Takes place at Restoration Station on Shoreditch High Street, 11am/12pm.

  • Bread Making: If Great British Bake Off's got you all fired up for making your own bread, Clive's your man. Bread making's been in his family since the 1800s, and he still uses traditional skills and basic ingredients. Takes place at Pitfield Cafe, 11am/3pm
  • Crochet: Celia's been crocheting since she was a child, and will run you through you some basic stitches, which you can use at home to create your own clothes. Takes place at The English Restaurant, Spitalfields, 12pm/3pm.

  • Wood Turning: It sounds like hard work, but wood turning is incredibly easy, according to Arthur, who taught participants at last year's masterclass how to make a wooden cup and ball game. Head along to do your bit in keeping this skill alive. Takes place at The Geffrye Museum, Hoxton, 12pm/ 2pm
  • Preserve Making: Another one for the wannabe Mary Berrys out there: whip up your own lemon curd  under the watchful eye of Rae and take it home and share with your family — or not. Venue TBC, 11am/1pm

  • Spinning (the wool kind, not the exercise bike kind): Elizabeth will be demonstrating the processes in preparing yarn from fleece, and how to make thread by spinning. Takes place at Hanbury Hall, Spitalfields, 1pm-4pm
  • Wet Felting: Not as messy as it sounds, Lizzie will teach you how to make either a flower or a coaster using web felting techniques. Takes place at The Geffrye Museum, Hoxton, 1pm/3pm.

  • Knitting: Get to know your way around a pair of knitting needles with help from Sandra, who's been doing this for more than 6o years. At this class, you'll learn how to make a simple square using a variety of stitch types. Takes place at The English Restaurant, Spitalfields, 2pm/4pm.

On top of these classes run by the experts age 70+, there's also a special celebrity masterclass by Mich Turner on the programme:

  • Cake Decorating: Mich Turner's Little Venice Cake Company has created cakes for the likes of the Queen and David Beckham, so she's well-placed to host a masterclass in how to make a Raspberry Rose Ombre Cake. Takes place at Hanbury Hall, Spitafields, 11am

If you see something you fancy trying, go along and give it a go. Last year's masterclasses sold out, so it's worth booking in advance, although you may be able to turn up on the day.

Grandfest takes place at various location in east London on 5 June, 11am-5pm. There's a suggested donation of £5 to take part in masterclasses, which can be booked in advance via the website.

Last Updated 25 May 2016