The unofficial mantra of Skill Exchange is quite simple: Share skills, have fun, learn something new. Repeat. Easy, right? Skill Exchange is all about breaking down seemingly complicated skills into manageable parts and sharing those parts with eager, but sometimes uncertain beginners. We work with passionate makers who are excited to share their craft with a curious audience. We want to make sometimes under-appreciated and under-practiced hand making skills more approachable for those who don't have much experience or background knowledge.
Our workshops are often the baby step before taking an in-depth class or intensive workshop, because the Bay Area is full of great opportunities to dive into some very cool topics. Skill Exchange is the place where you can ask questions, learn from passionate teachers, and experiment before you invest your time and energy, and frequently, make a signifcant financial investment in learning a new skill set. We invite you to take a break from your usual 9-5, and learn with your hands in social setting.
Since the beginning of Skill Exchange nearly 3 years ago, I've pondered an idea for an entire day of linked workshops, with demonstrations and lessons that lead into one another-- an actual building up of practical and useful skills. I often dreamed of a pop up with some hefty skills- maybe fire, a little bit of butchery, fermentation, and perhaps some beer thrown in at the end. There have been a handful of obstacles along the way- where could I host an event featuring fire and knives and novices? Who would be game enough to join me in this fairly ambitious plan, to teach beginners in-depth skills, all in one day?
This spring, all the pieces fell into place: teachers, event space, schedules, and an intense desire to make it happen! This is the workshop lineup I've always dreamed of.
On May 17, 2014, we're bringing together a lineup of seasonal skills perfect for the summer months ahead. We've got all the summer skills covered- with workshops from local expert and Grill Master Bruce Cole, Editor of Edible San Francisco Magazine, and Fish Monger Anna Larsen, Founder of Siren Fish Co.
During the day on demos and tastings, students will learn how to shop for, clean and prep whole salmon (now in season!) then learn how to start a fire and cook a whole meal on the grill. Town Cutler will be on hand to lead a lesson on sharpening kitchen knives with a Japanese whetstone, while Fermenters Club will walk us through the steps to make kimchi at home.
We've also teamed up with HenHouse Brewing Company to talk and taste local beer, and food blogger Kimberley Hasslebrink of The Year in Food will be on hand, with a seasonal recipe and tasting from her forthcoming cookbook out this summer. We are revisiting the beautiful event space StoreFrontLab, which was our generous host from 2012's big Skill Exchange pop-up.
The ticket price of $100 may seem a bit high on first glance, but it includes 6+ workshops, tastings, demos, a printed resource guide and a complete grilled lunch of local salmon, vegetables, and other treats prepared by our teachers. Many of our workshops, like this one are one-off events, never to be repeated. Spots are limited in all our workshops to maintain an intimate and casual atmosphere, where its easy to ask questions and connect with the material.
And finally, a common thread between all of our gatherings is that our teachers and students want to connect with their community and invest their energy and know-how in sharing skills that can help educate, inform and improve lives. It can be absolutely transformative to build and make with your own hands for the first time. Hand-making can be truly empowering and life changing, but only if we make time to practice.