As part of the BrisAsia festival, several talented jewellers and Asian craft experts are offering free workshops throughout February and March.

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at Asian crafts like origami or Kanzashi flower making?

As part of the Brisbane City Council’s Art Bites program for the BrisAsia Festival, several free Asian craft workshops will be held around Brisbane from 1 February to 8 March.

One of the workshop leaders, Melanie Augustin will share her knowledge of Japanese crafts over the course of four workshops. Ms Augustin is enthusiastic about teaching people how to make delicate craft items which she learnt during her time in Japan.

“I used to live in Japan where I learnt a number of Japanese crafts and I love sharing them with people.”

Ms Augustin will be teaching what is known in western culture as the art of Kanzashi flower making with antique Kimono silks, Kanzashi actually means hairpiece in Japanese.

“The flowers are the same type of flowers used to make Geisha hair pieces. Usually they’re tiny and done with tweezers, so I’ve enlarged them and made them bolder,” Ms Augustin said.

Ms Augustin will also be teaching craft enthusiasts to make Japanese Paper dolls which make beautiful bookmarks.

The workshops will be led by a total of seven leading craft practitioners and include temporary jewellery, paper dolls, lantern making, origami, Chinese paper cutting, book-binding, sashiko stitching, amigurumi, loom weaving, paper fans, Indian kantha and more.

Melanie Augustin also recommends attending the contemporary jewellery workshop with Liana Kabel and Origami Fun with Gill Pyke.

Not only are the workshops completely free, but the materials for each art and craft lesson is supplied.

The Brisbane City Council Art Bites BrisAsia program is produced by Brisbane Brown Owls, a craft group providing accessible creative workshops for Brisbane residents.

View the full program of BrisAsia or get more information from the Brown Owls Blog.

Bookings are essential by emailing