With all the glitz and glitter in Los Angeles, it’s easy for the dazzled masses to overlook the grittier, more home-grown arts of arts and crafts. If you look closer, though, you’ll see that LA has a vibrant culture of artisans and crafters who come out of their workspaces at fairs and events, or gather in them and make them even cooler. From wacky museum exhibits to interactive craft nights, these spots will inspire you with their hands-on imagination.
The Craft Kitchen
Traveling throughout California, Nicole Stevenson offers a variety of workshops including sewing, knitting, screenprinting, and jewelry-making. If you don’t see a workshop that fits your schedule, you can contact Nicole for a private crafting party with a group of your friends. If you ever seen a project and thought about making it, The Craft Kitchen is the perfect “space” to do so. Classes are cozy at just 8 participants and no prior experience is required. Nicole returns to SoCal after the summer is over, so you can get your craft fix on by ordering do-it-yourself kits from her online store to tide you over.
The Museum Of Jurassic Technology
9341 Venice Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
While you likely won’t find displays of prehistoric art or technology at the museum, you will find an eclectic mix of relics and artifacts that will probably have you scratching your head. Be sure to approach the museum with an open mind, considering that everything you see may not be what you think it is. Be sure to stop by The Tula Tea Room and Borzoi Kabinet Theater for complimentary tea, cookies, and hourly film screenings.
Craft and Folk Art Museum
5814 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Looking to “expand your mind?” The Craft and Folk Art Museum offers a diverse selection of art forms that offer cultural insights into global and local values and beliefs and inspire discussion. The museum offers seven exhibitions a year and regular workshops, lectures, and community events. Here is where you’ll find photography from contemporary Iran, ancient symbols of healing and worship, and Los Angeles’ Asian-Latin fusion (to name a few). On the first Thursday of the month, the museum’s courtyard is transformed for their Etsy Craft Nights where guests can participate in making a project and enjoy refreshments while socializing (for a nominal fee). You can visit the museum on the first Wednesday of the month for free.
Sawdust Art & Craft Festival
935 Laguna Canyon Rd.
Laguna Beach, CA. 92651
Over 200 local artists come together for the 45th annual Sawdust Art & Craft Festival in Laguna Beach where visitors can explore diverse, handmade artwork including ceramics, textiles, sculpture, and glass-blowing. Highlights of the festival include live entertainment, artist demos, hands-on art workshops, and tasty eats. Be sure to check the website for updated entertainment information and the schedule of current classes and daily art projects.
777 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA
Featuring work by 125 renowned artists and craftspeople from all over the world, Art-A-Fair is celebrating it’s 45th year as one of Southern California’s most popular art festivals. Stroll through the gardens as you observe and interact with artists in their creative space. Artwork includes oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, drawings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, and more. If you visit on the weekends, you’ll enjoy live entertainment.
The Urban Craft Center
2433 Main Street,
Santa Monica, CA 90405
If you enjoy crafting, check out the Santa Monica-based venue which offers inspiration and community for like-minded crafters! Have an unfinished project? Need a little reminder on a specific knitting stitch? Check out their list of special events and free club nights. You can also sign up for a variety of traditional and off-the-beaten path classes and camps with focuses on knitting, sewing, tinkering, gocco printing and more. If there is a craft idea in your head, you’ll likely find a resource to complete it at The Urban Craft Center.
Caryn Bailey rocks it out at Rockin’ Mama.