Old School Craft Working, Back in Style

Learn to craft things the good old way with these workshops.
Old School Craft Working, Back in Style

Head to the shops and you can buy just about anything. But have you ever wondered how tote bags, leather pouches and wooden utensils were all once created by hand, instead of being mass-produced in factories? As nostalgia for things handmade turns into a global movement, a growing group of passionate artisans here is moving beyond just selling their wares. They are now also teaching their craft, to inspire others to slow down and create something with their own hands too.


with The Gentlemen’s Press

Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
Individual letters are arranged, in reverse, to form words. The printed message can be seen in the photo below.
Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
A hand-cranked machine used for letterpress printing.

Experience the effort that was required to print newspapers and books before digital printing was invented by trying out letterpress printing. Learn how to manually arrange movable type (metal or wooden blocks with a raised surface of a letter or image), ink the blocks, and then press them into paper one sheet at a time using a hand-cranked machine. Letterpress studio The Gentlemen’s Press started conducting workshops to introduce this antiquated yet charming printing technique, which co-founder Michelle Yu feels is relatively unknown in Singapore.

Price: $120 for a 4-hour session


Rubber Stamp Carving

with LoveSprouts

Old School Craft Working, Back in Style

A former teacher, Ms Josephine Ho from LoveSprouts combines her love for teaching with her passion for rubber stamp carving by conducting stamp carving workshops. “I really want more people to find out about this amazing craft that is so easy to pick up, and yet brings so much satisfaction when you see your own handcarved stamps in print,” shares Jo (as she prefers to be called). The first Singaporean to receive a stamp carving instructor’s certificate from Japan, Jo will cover knife control and stamping techniques in her classes. Other than your self-created stamps, you will also get to keep the carving knives, templates and an inkpad.

Price: Starting from $65 for a 2-hour session



with + - x ÷

Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
Notebooks created using a variety of bookbinding techniques.
Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
Close up of long stitch binding on a notebook.

Ever thought of sewing together a notebook of your own? Now you can, by learning a variety of bookbinding methods, such as kettle, coptic or Japanese stitch from Mr Chen Yue, founder of creative studio + - °— ÷. Mr Chen, who is based in Malaysia but makes frequent trips to Singapore to conduct workshops, believes that there are people who appreciate writing or drawing in a hand-stitched notebook just like he does, even in this digital age. The bookbinding artist hopes more people can learn how to create their own personalised notebooks, instead of just purchasing his hand-sewn creations. The workshop fee includes all the materials needed, including a basic bookbinding toolset.

Price: $69-$99 for a 3-hour session (prices vary with the type of stitch)


Leather Crafting

with Tyrwhitt General Company (TGC)

Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
Photo by Tyrwhitt General Company
Old School Craft Working, Back in Style

Learn to make a personalised cardholder from a piece of vegetable-tanned leather in this introductory workshop, which will cover leather crafting basics such as leather properties and cutting techniques. TGC’s Creative Director Colin Chen shares that leather crafting is one of the dying trades they hope to keep alive. Participants of their workshops will be able to better appreciate the effort that goes into the process of leather crafting. Although TGC sells handmade leather products, Mr Chen hopes that customers will also “learn how to make one with [their] own hands”. Besides leather crafting, TGC also runs letterpress and screen printing workshops with partners.

Price: $79 for a 2-hour session


Bag Sewing

with Uyii

Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
A participant creates her own unique design with a strip of patterned cloth.
Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
Products of the workshop

Known for their functional and fashionable handmade bags, local label Uyii shows you how to create your own bags with a tabletop sewing machine and a few basic tools. Make seven finished products, including a drawstring pouch, tote bag and everyday bag, in 10 lessons by applying sewing techniques that will be taught in class. Uyii’s founders, Mr Benny Ng and Ms Chan Liping, started these classes because of popular demand from friends and customers who wanted to learn more about the art of sewing.

Price: $360 for 10 2½-hour sessions

www.uyii.com.sg /pages/beginner-sewingsessions



with Sustainable Living Lab (SL2)

Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
The course instructor demonstrates the use of a backsaw.
Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
Participants use an array of woodworking tools during the workshop.
Old School Craft Working, Back in Style
The outline of a spatula is traced onto a block of wood before the wood is chiselled and transformed into the final product.

Conducted by trainers, who call themselves makers, with more than 10 years of woodworking experience, this workshop will teach you the basics of wielding hand tools such as saws, chisels and spokeshaves, to create a wooden mixing spatula. Classes have a maximum of six students, who can each bring home a woodworking tool kit worth over $100. SL2’s co-founder, Mr Veerappan Swaminathan, believes woodworking is a good way to “share craftsmanship values of excellence, focus and patience”. Workshop participants say that woodworking helps to clear their minds, giving them a “contemplative experience” away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Price: $299 for a 3-hour session

    Sep 19, 2013
    Tay Qiao Wei
    Norman Ng
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