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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Skill Exchange Workshops Encourage the Hands On

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge KATE KOEPPEL
  • Kate Koeppel
Back by popular demand, a series of free skill exchange workshops are resuming at Pot and Pantry, a kitchen boutique in the Mission. A labor of love birthed by San Francisco graphic designer Kate Koeppel and Pot and Pantry owner Donna Wageman, the series began last August with workshops and discussions on topics related to crafting, farming, and other hands-on skills. 

Kicking off these free events are Red Circle Tea owner Sina, who will be teaching a tea basics class Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Because of the growing popularity of the workshops, Wageman and Koeppel decided to charge a $10 reservation fee through to prevent last minute cancellations. (The money willl be refunded after the workshop.) 

Koeppel says the workshops are intentionally small to create a safe and supportive atmosphere."There's a lot of fun things coming down the pipeline. People who come in are really excited about our new bulletin board," says Wageman.

A decorative bulletin board in Wageman's store allows feedback from the community to share what they are interested in learning about and what they could offer to teach.

"I really liked Donna's shop and stopped in weekly to talk to her," said Koeppel of Wageman. "I pitched my crazy idea for social experiments and she liked it. I was just excited and nerdy about it and did a lot of face-to-face meetings with different businesses."

click to enlarge The last workshop with Jonathan Lewis of Pastoral Plate. - KATE KOEPPEL
  • Kate Koeppel
  • The last workshop with Jonathan Lewis of Pastoral Plate.
The events are free because Koeppel hopes to inspire attendees to use their hands and new kitchen skills in a fun, social setting. Hand crafting skills, she said, are under valued and under practiced.

Wageman and Koeppel put their heads together to recruit businesses they admired to help support the cause. One of their more popular workshops by Urban Veggie Starts is also returning March 1. Deborah Lewis' workshop will teach city gardening with small spaces to work with.

The workshops, Koeppel said, are something that is still evolving. Earning her master's degree from California College of the Arts last spring, she centered her research on self-reliance skills and plans on starting up more self reliance workshops including mending clothes and parenting.

Reserve your spot here.

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Erika Maldonado


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