We've all heard of man caves, the agreed-upon definition of which is basically any room with a giant flat-screen television or a pool table.
OK, now picture the complete opposite of that. Congratulations, you've just dreamed up Topaz + Arrow's amazing workspace at 52 O Street Studios, aka one of the prettiest spaces in DC. The huge loft-style venue, dubbed The Ulysses Room, is lovely, with white-painted brick walls, wooden beams and daylight streaming in from a skylight. And Topaz + Arrow's Virginia Arrisueño and Morgan Hungerford West completely transform the space for their monthly crafting workshops. The decor each month is different, but it's always intricate. And girly. For their most recent workshop, the duo decked out the studio completely in lace.
"It gets really girly in here," Morgan acknowledged.
The decor is what helps makes Topaz + Arrow more than just your typical arts and craft session. There's always an intriguing theme, like "Bohemian Gypset" or "Lace, Lighting, and Jars," and snacks and cocktails too. "With every workshop we're setting a vibe and creating an experience," Morgan said.
And at the helm, guiding guests on their crafting journeys are Virginia, the designer behind DeNada Knit Accessories, and Morgan, who writes Panda Head and works as an art director and stylist. Virginia and Morgan met way back in 2009, and in June of this year they decided to team up to create Topaz + Arrow. "We thought, 'What do I want to do on a Sunday?’ Our ideal situation is to sit down with cool people and make cool crafts," Morgan said.
The workshops themselves are pretty free-form. Each month, the duo picks out three materials that are interesting, easy to find and unexpected. Then they each make an example to share during the event. "We both share a creative passion for handmade, but our styles are so different," said Virginia. And they've been amazed by how different their guests' projects turn out by the end of the workshop.
This is the place to meet fellow crafting enthusiasts, whether you immerse themselves totally in crafting, or focus more on having fun. "You can have a drink in in one hand and a glue gun in the other," Virginia said. Sounds like our kind of party.
Aside from monthly crafting events, Topaz + Arrow has other cool projects in the works, like window installations at Logan Circle bar/event space Black Whiskey and pop-ups with local businesses. And this Thursday, you can get a taste of Topaz + Arrow's aesthetic at their "End of Summer Bummer" party. From 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., they'll be throwing a shindig with food and cocktails, and short films from local filmmakers and artists, who each created a piece based on a DIY/craft theme. Sounds like a fun way to close out summer (*sniff*) to us.