What to Bring to a Workshop or Guild Meeting

Posted on April 23, 2016 in Hints, Tips, & Tricks by Katie Oskin

What to Bring to a Workshop, Retreat, or Guild Meeting

KatersAcres Polymer Clay Studio, Workstation Spinner


Knowing what to bring if you’re a first time participant in a workshop, retreat, or guild meeting away from home can be a challenge. Today, I’m going to help you feel comfortable in what you are bringing, how much to bring, and what happens if you forget something.

List of Materials/Tools from the Instructor:

Each and every workshop, retreat, or guild meeting teacher should be offering at least a basic list of tools, supplies that you will need for their class. Make sure that you review the list of supplies from all the teachers that will be teaching at your event. I find it is easiest to print them all out and write a new list from a combination of all the teachers lists, this ensures you won’t “forget” anything.

Even if it’s NOT on the list of tools you need, be sure that you tote along your favorite tools. Often our favorite tools have a way of embedding themselves into our daily craft uses and we find that being without them is nearly impossible. For MOST clay meetings, guilds, & retreats you will need the following:

Here’s a list of some other things (clay related & not clay related) that you might consider bringing.

Things You Can Make & Take With You:

  • At classes and workshops, many of the participants will bring something to give away, trade, or share. Some really great things include:
    • Inchies – A 1″ x 1″ square that you’ve made from polymer clay & decorated to your liking.
    • Twinchies – A 2″ x 2″ square that you’ve made from polymer clay & decorated to your liking.
    • Beads – Make your favorite beads and bring them to trade
  • In workshops where there will be more than 10 people, it’s often a great idea to make your own name tag! I’m not good with names, so people who’ve cleverly made their own not only helps me to remember them but to see their art in action. Here’s a few ideas:
    • Make & decorate a standard size nametag brooch you can wear.
    • Make & decorate a necklace you can wear.
    • Make a little “name plate” for where you will sit.
  • Good & friendly attitudes! There are few things worse than a tablemate who knows more than you, has more experience than you, and won’t stop correcting you. You are at a workshop to learn. The best artists around the world still take workshops & classes to get inspired, broaden their mind, & learn something new.

Things You Might Consider Bringing:

  • My Studio Keurig Coffee Pot with Parker by KatersAcresYour favorite travel mug! Many classes & workshops offer an all day beverage service. In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than having those silly paper cups and knocking them over constantly. UGH!
  • An Apron. An apron (at least for me is essential). It lets me be messy, be free, and experiment in ways I might not if I had to be careful.
  • A Book (or your Kindle). Let’s be honest, there is some downtime at workshops. After a day of activity, meeting people, and playing in your art, often a book is the most relaxing way to end your day.
  • A Notebook & Pen (or an iPad). There are going to be times when you want to take notes of how to make something, or jot down ideas as they come. This is essential. Don’t leave home without this. (Get one on Amazon here.)
  • A Swimsuit. Depending on where you are staying, if your hotel accommodations offer a pool or hot tub, this is another great thing to do after a long day. PS: It’s not a modeling contest, so don’t worry about how you look in a swimsuit. It’s what’s on the inside that matters.

Bring Your “Ritual” Things:

When you sit down to craft, clay, or play in your hobby is there something you always do? For me, there is always a cup of coffee and I always apply hand lotion. (Read why here.) If you have a “ritual” to your crafting then you want to be sure that you bring things to make this happen. Why? If you aren’t relaxed, you won’t enjoy the experience. This being said, if one of your ritual’s is to burn a stick of incense, this might not be appropriate in your setting and my offend someone with allergies. Be sure that your “ritual” is only about you and won’t harm or hurt someone else.

Wear Comfortable Clothes:

This is my number 1 and most important rule:

Wear comfortable clothes, you will be sitting & working all day. Workshops are NOT fashion shows.

This being said, I know that we all like to look nice and get all gussied up. There’s a time & a place for that. It’s usually the open house the night prior or final night of any workshop. The workshop itself, you want to be comfy. You want to wear something that can get dirty, paint on it, and take a little abuse. I myself always work in jeans (sometimes sweatpants) and a knit shirt (like a t-shirt). Both can take plenty of abuse and wash-up pretty easily.

Anything You Want to Share?

What about you? Is there something that you’d like to share that you always bring with you to workshops and classes? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks for joining me today,

Happy Claying,

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