An online millinery workshop can never replace an in-person workshop for many reasons, but they’re an excellent alternative.
I can’t go to a millinery workshop in-person
No matter where you are in the world COVID-19 has had brutal effects. For many, this means we can’t go out and do things we usually could, like go to a millinery workshop where a group of people get together and learn something to do with hat making. The fact is, this was always the case for many because they live too far to make attending one feasible. Learning to make a hat online is a lot more accessible. All you need is a reliable internet connection and a device to connect.
Workshops and online millinery courses are too expensive
Of course, that depends on your perspective. However, looking at most online-based workshops, it’s easy to see that they cost less. Having said that, the reasons why they cost less have to be weighed up when you consider what’s offered. Even if you get more out of in-person workshops, you can pick up a range of hat making skills doing a few online workshops for the same price. In a field where milliners have to combine myriad skills to achieve a finished product, this can be of great value.
Meet new people
Whether face-to-face or online, hat making workshops are a perfect opportunity to meet people for both students and teachers. This can only be a good thing; offering new opportunities to connect and see matters from other perspectives. When we only do in-person workshops, we very often see the same people time and time again. not surprisingly, these are the people that can travel to the same areas we can. It’s very rare we meet milliners from other countries unless there is a major event. Online, distance means very little. We have to deal with time zones, but the pool of participants is significantly increased.
Keep your hand in
The adage ‘use it or lose it’ is significant. As in all aspects of life, we should never stop learning. But we do forget or get out of practice when we learn a skill but don’t use it often. A ‘refresher’ is never a bad thing. I very rarely walk away from teaching a millinery workshop where the students got the same results and asked the same questions. So as a student, we get a different experience each time we learn something. I have had students do the same workshop three times, and each time they get a bit more or update and reinforce their learning.
Exercise your brain
Just like the rest of our body, keeping active upstairs helps us in the long run. While there is still much research to do in the field, brain exercise doesn’t seem to help in combatting brain decline (dementia) once it has started. In fact, some evidence suggests it may make the deterioration faster. However, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that keeping the brain active will delay brain decline, providing us with a more extended period of unimpaired brain function. Who doesn’t want that?
Even while at rest our brain consumes around 20% of our energy. When we are learning a new skill, it uses more. Once we have the skill down-pat, the brain no longer requires this extra energy to perform the task. So there you go, if you want to lose some calories, learn something new every day. But also be physically active. The research is well and truly in favour of physical activity, enabling our brain to establish new connections (learn) a lot better.
Learn something new
For me, I find myself doing things the same way a lot. It’s human nature; we like to take the road well travelled. But is this the best road for us? Doing the same thing day in, day out can lead to depression. Generally speaking, we derive happiness from solving problems. Doing things the way we always have rarely solves a problem, so it stands to reason that learning new ways of making hats is a great way of getting enjoyment from what we do. doing an online millinery workshop makes that a piece of cake.
There are so many ways milliners can make the same hat. Learning a different process is always good. Even if we only learn that the way we did it before was better, then that is still learning. Now we do it because we know it’s better (for us). We might find the way we learnt in millinery class wasn’t the definitive ‘must do’. Or, just maybe, this different method might be better. I’m all for questioning ‘this is the only way’ attitudes. Not to tear down the ‘old ways’, but to examine why, or why not they deserve a place in my way of hat-making.
Support your peers
It’s obvious that many milliners are now teaching online in order to pick up some of the shortfalls due to lockdowns. Taking a workshop when you can is a great way of supporting them and benefiting yourself. Attending a class, asking questions, showing your progress and sharing the experience makes the experience of all involved, including the teacher far better. One person makes a mistake and now the rest of the students can see and learn not to make the same mistake.
Use new technology
Don’t know an iPhone from a megabyte? Well, you don’t have to in order to survive, but why not learn? You don’t have to become a tech wiz, but you could gain a lot from it. Using Zoom is easy. Even if you have never used it before, you will find that people in your millinery workshop will be happy to help. There is also plenty of information online to show you how to use it. If nothing else, you will have a new experience.
With all that’s going on in the world and negativity everywhere, learning millinery online is about as far removed as you can get. Even if you learned nothing, at least you would see some smiling faces and have the opportunity to interact with people different from you, learn something new, make friends, help others and improve your outlook. What could be more fun? Especially if you are stuck at home.