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  • Writer's pictureMarnie Birch

SipNDip Proves to be Great Therapy

Workshops are hosted at suburban coffee shops and restaurants across the region and Southeast Queensland.

Teacher, Katie O’Brien, has her eyes set on taking SipnDip Australia-Wide.

SipnDip Teacher, Katie O’Brien, insists there are no mistakes in creating art, only happy accidents. For the past three years, she has taught art and craft around Brisbane’s north and the Moreton Bay region. SipnDip is a new concept that specialises in fun art, not fine art. Participants can enjoy a drink and something to eat while creating a functional piece of art or craft.


“Our classes are designed for people who have never done art since school. We walk them through the creative process step by step, so they leave satisfied...”

SipnDip workshops are hosted at suburban coffee shops and restaurants across the region and Southeast Queensland. Depending on the venue, tuition is complemented by lashings of coffee and cake or pizza and wine, making for a fun social activity for groups of friends. They’re ideal for hens’ parties, team-building events, birthdays or individuals wanting to try something creative.


Daytime and evening slots are available, and weekend classes are offered at the Rothwell studio. Projects include resin and alcohol ink tumblers, garden pots, chopping boards and kitchenware. There are also classes in macramé, mosaics, pottery, jewellery-making, kokedama (i.e. making a mini-succulent in a string pot) and bonsai. Students can even learn how to paint a portrait of their pet.


Katie joined the SipnDip brand three years ago, although art had always been significant in her life. To begin with, she dreamt of becoming an artist until an inspirational TAFE teacher triggered her fascination with art education. Her Visual Arts teacher had a vibrant and energetic persona and connected well with the students. This made Katie rethink her career direction, and she became an art and craft teacher and owner-operator of SipnDip Brisbane North in 2020.


Whilst Covid hit just as the business launched, it did not dampen Katie’s enthusiasm. Undaunted, she continued to offer workshops for adults and children, designing new projects around current decorating trends. It worked. Katie is constantly developing new ideas and projects, adding leatherwork and wood-burning workshops to SipnDip’s comprehensive offerings, classes she hopes will attract more male students.


“Our demographic is mainly women and, occasionally, men. The men may have been dragged along, but they all leave happy.”


The common misconception that a person has to be naturally gifted to produce artwork is something Katie challenges, disclosing that several customers are nervous, but there’s no need.


“Our classes are designed for people who have never done art since school. We walk them through the creative process step by step, so they leave satisfied, wondering what they were nervous about.”


The workshops are inclusive of people with disabilities, and carers are also welcome to attend. One regular customer likens SipnDip art classes to her weekly ‘therapy’ due to the positive difference in her life.


SipnDip sources local art supplies and impressively strives for a small environmental footprint. But there is one thing Katie would change about workshops if she could. “That’s ladies who wear beautiful white dresses or valuable designer clothing to art classes. Things can get messy,” Katie says, suggesting participants bring an apron, or steal one of hubby’s old shirts, as protection rather than use a disposable plastic apron.


The success of the SipnDip is self-evident, especially given workshops sell out well in advance. There are plans to expand SipnDip in 2023 and move the studio to larger premises.


“Workshops were held in Thargomindah last year, and now we’re expanding to the Sunshine Coast, Sydney and Melbourne. We’re trying to go Australia-wide.” Katie says.

 

SipnDip workshops and classes start at $20 for children and $50 for adults. School holiday craft packs are available for purchase at the Rothwell Studio. For more information visit sipndip.com.au, head to 3/77 Deception bay Rd, Rothwell or phone 0497 088 614.

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