The moment has come again to rack our brains for what to gift our nearest and dearest this holiday season. Trying to find something original and meaningful can be challenging, but Florence’s creative culture never fails to deliver. Artisans and ateliers across the city offer all manner of workshops and courses, which can be given to loved ones as an experience or used to craft a gift yourself that is completely unique and a great way to support local artists.
Try your hand at jewelry making through Linfa Studio’s one-day workshops. Choose between rings, earrings and pendant necklaces, and design a unique item of jewelry that is yours to take home at the end of the day. You will be guided in the use of traditional techniques and materials, with no experience required, for a perfect day of quality time with the creatives in your life. Gift cards for the workshops are also available for purchase.
New to Florence, Shikha Eva Munarin trained in Montelupo in the traditional ceramics techniques of Tuscany. Her own luminous studio in the San Niccolò area displays modern works, while a room is dedicated to workshops. Sign up for multiple sessions to learn how to model clay yourself using the slab technique or take it easy with a short painting workshop on pre-made dishes.
MudMoiselle has produced handcrafted tableware and ornaments in stoneware and porcelain since 2015, and founder Sara Bardazzi’s workshops invite you to join the fun. Small groups and individuals can create their own pieces, from shaping the clay to decorating, glazing and finishing, for a one-of-a-kind gift or a shared experience this Christmas season.
For fashion enthusiasts and the environmentally conscious, BIO Fashion Lab runs courses in “slow stitching”, upcycling clothes, and leather tote bag making within their wider mission to educate on ethical fashion choices. The clothing boutique circulates emergent designers from all over the world, as well as vintage and secondhand clothes collected at monthly clothing swaps. You can be confident that all choices made here are responsible ones.
Leatherwork has long been one of Florence’s prized specialisms, and the courses at Apellelab let you get stuck into this ancient craft. Their manageable three- to five-hour workshops give you the opportunity to craft your own shoes, belt, shopping bag or wallet, with your own choice of leathers, buckles and finishings.
Painting with egg tempera
For a true lesson in Florence’s historical and artistic background, learn how to paint with egg tempera following Giotto’s techniques with a course at Veronica Balzani’s studio on via dei Pandolfini. You will walk away with your own painting of the Duomo on gold-leaf mounted paper, making the perfect gift for your Florence-loving friends or family members.
For those with a little more time, Laura Biagini’s Ad’A runs ten-hour courses over several weeks on textile making, teaching you hands-on skills in warp preparation, weaving techniques and even tapestry making. By the end of the course you will have a textile artefact of your own design and a new appreciation for the arts of hand-woven fabrics.