Running an Awesome Hand Lettering & Grazing Table Workshop
Before Christmas, I collaborated with my friends at Gather & Company to put together an afternoon workshop about hand-lettering & grazing tables as a fun, pre-Christmas day out for attendees!
Jenna & Rochelle are event-management superstars with an amazing ability to turn snacks into a piece of art, so when they came to me with the idea of designing a workshop where guests would learn how to create their grazing table masterpieces, and some hand-lettering from me, I was sold!
Planning the Workshop
Straight away, we got into planning the workshop together, deciding what we wanted to do, where we should do it, how much it should cost, how we wanted to promote it, how the day should run and everything else that needed to be considered. There’s actually quite a bit more to planning a workshop than you might think but it was a fun challenge and great to do alongside Jenna & Rochelle!
Luckily, some handy connections meant that we scored a beautiful venue at Mojo Coffee at Spark Central, my skills meant that we had the promotional graphics down, and the ladies at Gather & Company had the event planning down so we were off to a good start.
We decided to go with a Saturday afternoon workshop which would start with some hand-lettering lessons from me, then grazing table tutorials from Jenna & Rochelle, and ending with us devouring the grazing table and connecting together. This format meant that we would be able to teach the attendees hand lettering which they could then use in the grazing table as well as ensuring that the food didn’t sit out for ages while we did the hand-lettering. Win-win!
To make the workshop a bit more enticing to attendees and give them some goodies to leave with, we set off on the hunt for some amazing local sponsors for the workshop! We each sent some emails, talked to our contacts and managed to come away with the best sponsors we could have asked for!
My go-to art & graphic store, Gordon Harris, were generous enough to provide us with my favourite pens (Tombow Dual Brush Pens) for everyone, as well as piles of insane paper samples that people could practise on and take away to create some beautiful lettering pieces with.
We were also so grateful to have so many wonderful sponsors for the food to be used in the grazing table and popped in the goodie bags! Antipodes supplied their beautiful bottles of water, Whittakers donated blocks of their artisan chocolates, Sidonie’s Kitchen baked the most amazing hand-stamped biscuits and Xo. Bites sent their yummy bite-sized cookies!
Capital Magazine also hopped on board with some of their gorgeous magazines to pop in the goodie bags for our attendees to take with them!
I’m honestly so grateful for all of these sponsors who helped to make the day as delicious and fun as they did! I thought that we would have little chance at getting any sponsors, let alone ones as amazing as these, but it turns out that all you have to do is ask!!
Now that we had the plan down and our marvelous sponsors on board, the next challenge was to get people to come! Both myself and Gather & Company hit social media with the graphics I had designed, information about the event and some enthusiastic encouragement in the hopes of getting other people excited about it too! We set up an event on Facebook, shared the details on all of our social channels, and told everyone we knew!
It worked, and we ended up with 16 wonderful people there registered which I think is an awesome amount of people for a workshop! It means that you have the ability to get around everyone individually and you don’t have to shout from one end of the room to the other which is fab!
Hand Lettering Preparation
As with every workshop I do, there are some things I need to prepare beforehand. I put together some templates, examples and guides for the attendees, and planned how my part of the workshop would go.
I knew that we were going to be focusing on faux-calligraphy, because this is a simple method to getting beautiful calligraphy without having to learn tricky techniques with brushes or pens, so I planned the workshop and the resources around this.
The examples showed full alphabets for people to reference as well as finished pieces to inspire them. I also provided an angled guide to sit under their work, and a ruled guide which gave the baseline and x-height to work within.
As well as these resources, I gathered paper, rulers, erasers, pencils, sharpeners and basic pens for notes. Gordon Harris added to these with the Tombow Pens and nicer paper samples.
I wrote a lesson plan as I always do, so that I can remember in the moment all of the things I need to cover and what order I will teach them in in order to create the best flow for the workshop and printed that for me to reference.
As part of the goodie bag, we also created a take-away list of tips for each part of the workshop with 5 tips for hand lettering and 5 tips for grazing tables, so I had this with me too.
The day we were so excited for finally arrived and we were ready to go! We popped in early to get everything organised and set the stage for a fun afternoon! We laid out each person’s station with their hand-lettering resources, an Antipodies water bottle, some sweet treats and some other handy goodies. The food for the grazing table was ready to go too.
People gradually began arriving so we introduced ourselves, got everyone sorted with a drink of their choice and got started!
The afternoon kicked off with the hand-lettering portion of the workshop. I took people through the process of creating faux calligraphy from beginning to end, giving them the basic foundations of lettering, showing them how it’s done, and helping them out with their work. We started small with just one letter and gradually worked our way towards full words.
Everyone seemed to pick it up really well and came out with some beautiful work in the end. Some people even progressed to learning some techniques for the brush end of the Tombow pens so that was exciting and fun to see!
With their newfound knowledge, inspiration and lettering goodies, they were armed and ready to take their skills home and keep practising!
After everyone had had a good go with the lettering, we moved on to the grazing table section of the afternoon. Jenna & Rochelle gave us practical demonstrations on a small scale, teaching the fundamentals of grazing table styling, and even throwing in some fun extra tips like how to open a coconut!
Once we had learnt the basics, we all worked together to put together a big grazing table that would take any event to the next level! Everyone did such a good job and the end result made you want to eat all of the food even more than you did before!
We ended the afternoon by eating the grazing table, which was SO yum, and chatting with everyone about all things creativity which was super fun!
This event was so much fun to be a part of and I can’t wait for the next workshop! Thanks to everyone involved who helped us make it happen, shared the event, told a friend, sponsored us, came along on the day or celebrated with us afterwards! We 100% appreciate all of your support!
Let me know what type of workshops you’d like to see me do next! One of my goals for the year is to do more regular workshops so let me know what you’d come along to!
Thanks to my amazing partner, Sam Blyth for his incredible photography skills!