Back to School

As kids return to school and the season changes to brisker air and turning leaves, adults can also have some fun taking a class or two to explore a new skill or artistic practice.

That’s where Brooklyn Brainery comes in. This learning space is all about being neighbor-friendly and inviting you in to try something new.

Created in 2010, Brooklyn Brainery has a community-driven, crowdsourced business model that is highly successful. They are located in the Prospect Heights neighborhood and are easily accessible by multiple train lines.

They offer a huge variety of classes and the best part is studying and working with locals who teach anything from HTML; to making desserts; to designing floral-based beverage coasters (even conducting city walking tours!). If someone can make it, read it or think it up, the organization is most likely interested in welcoming you to come and teach it or learn it. And they do the rest: promoting the course, providing the space and bringing in the students. And you may be surprised to be sitting next to your neighbor in class—it’s just that kind of place!

Classes vary month to month and range in length from a single session of a few hours up to four weeks, depending on the topic being taught. There are specific classes requiring some level of skill experience as being helpful for learning but most do not.

I took the Shibori dying class and had an incredibly enjoyable and edifying experience. Taught by a master dyer, the class comprised a short lecture on the history and theory behind the craft, an explanation of the tools and how to use them and finally the fun part: practicing! All supplies were included in the class package and we all made a variety of items using the techniques we learned. The space is cozy and inviting and I met people from all around Brooklyn. We bonded quickly as we chatted about what we were learning, shared technique ideas and showed off our creations to each other at the end.

The design on the right is arashi (Japanese for "storm") shibori whcih is meant to emulate driving rain on a window pane.

The environment is casual with communal tables, complimentary coffee, tea and water and one-on-one instruction/assistance. They even keep a small bevy of cats that are available for adoption—yes, they do that too.

If you’re looking to learn something different or try something novel in a friendly, non-intimidating setting, check out Brooklyn Brainery—they most likely have something to suit your interests and are a perfect option to get the grey matter moving!


Special Note: Feature Image for this blog post courtesy of holdendrils at Pixabay.