Hone some new skills on holiday
Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean you should look the other way when the creative muse calls! Whether you want to try your hand at perfumery, pottery, photography or even cheese making, this is your chance to get up close and personal with local people and produce while learning something new and exciting. You might even take home a work of art!
Take a look at our collection of places to learn new skills.
Vasse Virgin DIY Workshops
Vasse Virgin creates natural hand-made skin care developed to suit all skin types. They handcraft skin and body care using a traditional cold process method, Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and only the finest quality natural ingredients, to produce luxurious products that your body will savour. This makes them the perfect place to learn how to make beautiful, all-natural skincare products, with workshops held in their brand new, purpose-built classroom.
Join in with a quick and easy workshop to learn how simple it is to craft your own natural beeswax lip balms. Using organic honey, you can opt to keep the mixture au natural or choose a flavour from our range of essential oils. Why not try aniseed, grapefruit or lavender? Lip Balm classes run for approximately 45 minutes at $70 per person, and are held at 11am in the Factory.
Learn from highly trained staff the secret art of perfumery as they help you to create your very own fragrance, using pure essential oils. In this 90 minute class you’ll discover how to craft a personalised aroma using separate top, middle, and base notes. Perfumery classes cost $120 per person, and are held from 2pm in the Factory.
Vasse Virgin is in Wilyabrup. All workshops include complete set of ingredients, equipment and personal safety gear. Workshops run every day apart from Sundays and public holidays. Bookings for workshops are essential.
Images by Photogerson
Throw a pot at Happs
Myles Happ loves talking to people and, while he’s explaining exactly what it is he is doing, he’s turning a lump of clay into a smooth-looking functional object. Visitors often look on in awe, and then naturally want to have go themselves. Myles – head of Happs Pottery – has been a potter for over 20 years and happily shares his studio for lessons to groups. During the session, he will talk guests through the process of making pottery and teach basic techniques then leave everyone to get messy. In fact, he believes that it’s more fun getting messier with lots of people.
People then have a go at throwing or building during a set period of time. And what do you go home with? As little clay as possible but a hand-made work of art, as visitors wash up their muddy arms, elbows and hands to go home, leaving Myles to clean up the real mess. $120 per two hour session.
Workshops can be arranged in Dunsborough with plenty of notice directly with Myles via The Happs Pottery Showroom contact.
Improve your photography while on location in the spectacular Margaret River region with two of the region’s best shooters: United Nations photographer Martine Perret and Walkley Award-winning photojournalist and Nikon Ambassador, David Dare Parker. Martine spent the past decade in the field working for the UN as a photographer in East Timor, Burundi and, most recently, in South Sudan while as a photojournalist, David has been published in TIME Magazine, Australian Geographic and The New York Times. In 2003 he was sent to Iraq as the Official War Photographer for the Australian War Memorial. He’s also worked in the movie industry as a unit stills photographer, with credits that include Cloudstreet, Drift, Underbelly Razor, Badness, Son of a Gun and Kill Me Three Times.
Whether you’re a beginner or have more advanced skills, all levels are catered for in a relaxed, enjoyable workshop to improve your photographic prowess. You’ll improve your skills in landscape photography and portraiture, learn how to better understand light and composition, pick up tips on the art of visual storytelling and learn about what’s in David and Martine’s bags as they discuss the tools of the trade and their approach to using them.
Just bring a camera and lens, memory cards, fully charged batteries and tripod. Also don’t forget to bring along your camera manual if you have one. Pack a water bottle, snacks, hat, sunscreen and sturdy shoes. Workshops start on location with refreshments during meet and greet.
Cost for a half day session is $225 per person, and cost per three hour session is $150 per person.
Yallingup Cheese Company
One of the great pleasures of wandering from winery to winery is anticipating a glass of the good stuff with a slice or two of cheese once you’re back home. How about, then, making your own cheese right in the heart of Yallingup?
Alana Langworthy, cheesemaker at Yallingup Cheese Company, runs popular workshops, teaching visitors all manner of technique. Classes run for two to three hours depending on the cheese being made.
“On arrival, participants are given a brief lesson about cheese production basics and hygiene,” says Alana.
“They are then let loose in the commercial cheesery where they get hands on making cheese to take home that day.”
Classes are interactive and include all equipment, ingredients, tuition plus a cheese and wine tasting.
“We make fresh curd and white mould-ripened cheeses using locally-sourced organic Jersey milk,” says Alana. So think camembert, mozzarella, brie, vache curd and mascarpone and feta.
In fact it’s the organic Jersey milk which makes the cheese so superior.
“We are supplied by a single herd in Jindong and their milk quality is second to none,” she says.
“As our cheeses are small batch, you really can see the variations in the milk across the seasons.”
Being a cheesemaker has its perks, says Alana, not least of which is being able to conjure up the most delicious, natural cheese whenever she chooses. It’s one of the oldest artisan pursuits in the world, and Alana completed practical and written studies in cheese manufacturing here and in France before opening up her fromagerie last year as an adjunct to small wine producer of the year, Windows Estate.
“I have been in training for nearly 10 years and there is always something new to learn,” she says.
If you’re stuck for inspiration about how to enjoy your newly crafted cheese, Alana has a few suggestions.
“I love the pairing of Windows Estate bubbles with our camembert.”
“The c02 in the wine really cuts through the richness of the camembert paste. I have also been known to devour a whole St Julian with a bottle of Deep Woods Shiraz Et Al.” No surprise there – Alana’s husband is the head winemaker at Deep Woods.
Yallingup Cheese Company is based at Windows Estate, Yallingup. To make a booking, email Alana Langworthy at [email protected] or call 08 9755 2809.
Photos by Elements Margaret River