The joy of learning how to do things for fun

Three years ago it felt like everyone had a side job. Yoga lovers became teachers, accountants had a pottery shop on Etsy, graphic designers made wedding cakes on weekends. As author Jia Tolentino put it, the goal of any hobby or skill was to “always optimize” and use it for your financial and social advantage.

But since then, including countless lockdowns, people’s propensity to work constantly and only do what makes money rather than happiness has waned, bringing about a boom for short course providers across the country, who are now seeing record enrollments from people Those who want to learn a new skill for the challenge and enjoyment of it.

Bladesmith Aiden MacKinnon teaches knife making courses at Cut Throat Knives in Melbourne.

Bladesmith Aiden MacKinnon teaches knife making courses at Cut Throat Knives in Melbourne.Recognition: Luis Enrique Ascui

“I think it’s easy to underestimate the power of making something,” says Aidan Mackinnon, a bladesmith who teaches knifemaking courses at Cut Throat Knives in Melbourne. He explains that, in recent years, time, where once was our greatest asset, has been in abundance, allowing people to think about how to spend it and what to do with it.

“People are by nature doers. But any hobby or craft takes time to master, and that’s not really compatible with the world of instant gratification we live in, especially before the outbreak of COVID. But we’ve been making things for as long as we’ve been around; Enjoying these tasks is literally built into our evolution.”

After moving to larger premises in 2021 to accommodate growing interest, Mackinnon says interest in Cut Throat for her classes has grown astronomically, with sessions selling out in minutes of availability up to four months in advance .

Students learn pottery at Clay Sydney, where the class is growing in popularity.

Students learn pottery at Clay Sydney, where the class is growing in popularity.Recognition:Edwina cucumbers

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Bea Bellingham, a ceramist who teaches short courses at Clay Sydney, says much of the growing interest in her studio is also due to a mass reappraisal of what matters.

“Before COVID, there was a lot of emphasis on your identity as a career and there wasn’t very much self-care. Now people are starting to realize that part of self-care and a full identity is having hobbies and skills outside of work or Netflix or going out to eat and drink with friends.”

https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/it-s-not-a-side-hustle-the-joy-of-learning-how-to-make-things-for-fun-20220718-p5b2ic.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_lifestyle The joy of learning how to do things for fun

Sarah Y. Kim

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