November 27, 2019

When museum visits and bar-hopping have gotten a little stale, zhuzh up your date nights and group hangs with a more experiential alternative. I’m not talking about VR gaming or axe throwing. Rally your friends for a creative workshop, where you’ll get to stimulate your brain cells and learn an extra skill or two. These casual classes can also be a great way to decompress and release any negative energy that’s been built up during the work week. Who knows? It might even spark a new passion. Here’s a round-up of the most intriguing workshops in Singapore for you to step out of your comfort zone and try your hand at.

1. Learn to make the perfect cup of coffee, complete with a rosetta, at CMCR Barista Academy.

If you’re a fan of Common Man Coffee Roasters and the line of specialty coffee they serve, why not take a peek behind the scenes and learn to make your favourite brews from the best? Situated along Chin Swee Road in a nondescript building is CMCR Barista Academy, a cosy joint launched recently by the local cafe. The chic, industrial-style 1,100 sqft space, formerly a printing shop, houses a lounge area and a casual workshop space, where classes are held.

Whether you’re a newbie looking to appreciate the art of coffee making, or a caffeine junkie trying to hone your skills, the academy welcomes all and features a range of foundational and intermediate courses on proper espresso preparation, creating latte art, and coffee cupping. Each class lasts about three hours, with two slots a day, and will be capped at a maximum of six participants to keep the experience intimate and personal. Not only will you walk away with a certificate of participation, but you will also get a complimentary 250g bag of Common Man coffee to test your skills at home.

[Related: Harry Grover: Finding Middle Ground (Founder, Forty Hands & Common Man Coffee Roasters)]

2. Get creative and try your hand at various painting techniques at Artify Studio.

While Artify Studio is best known for its pay-as-you-wish art jamming sessions, it offers a diversity of workshops as well, should you like to get a taste of the different styles and techniques. Among the classes available are watercolour, knife painting, brush calligraphy and children’s illustration workshops. They’re not limited to painting and drawing lessons either.

You can learn to create mini pottery pieces and wool tapestries, or level up your Instagram game through a flat lay styling and photography workshop that will teach you how to create a story with props, take show-stopping images and edit them with your smartphone. It doesn’t matter if you’re artistically challenged. With the guidance of Artify Studio’s charismatic instructors, you’ll leave each class feeling ready to conquer the art world (well, sort of). At the very least, it’ll provide a therapeutic outlet for you to express yourself and destress.

3. Pick up some sewing skills and make your own outfits at Sew Fun.

Tired of shopping at H&M and ending up with the same wardrobe as everyone else? Sew Fun, a Singapore-based studio that started out as a bag label in 2011, offers beginner-level classes on sewing items like blouses, backpacks and dresses from scratch. Most classes include a field trip to Chinatown, where you’ll get to select a fabric that suits your style the most. Then, it’s back to the studio to get the 101 on taking body measurements, understanding the different types of seams, stitches and finishings, drafting basic patterns from a bodice block, and attaching accessories such as zippers, pockets and waistbands.

A regular foundational programme will include eight sessions, each one four hours long. Express classes are also available, where each weekly lesson lasts 7.5 hours and spans four weeks. Once you’ve gone through the basics, you can move on to making cheongsams, messenger bags, princess seam dresses and fitted trousers.

4. Design a line of resin jewellery at The General Co.

Catered towards the inexperienced, The General Co.’s Resin Jewellery Workshop is conducted by Dawn Kwan, a multi-disciplinary artist who also works on paintings and sculptures and has collaborated with Singapore Tourism Board and the Swiss Embassy. Initially dabbling in jewellery making just as a hobby, she’s since grown to value the unorthodox craft that offers a way to preserve precious items and memories.

Most resin jewellery makes use of pressed flowers—mini daisies, achillea parker, hydrangea and the like—producing an alluring and exquisite bespoke piece of accessory. Nonetheless, other objects such as stones, charms, even hair and teeth can be incorporated into the design as well. After each session (which lasts 2.5 hours), you’ll get to bring back a pair of earrings and a necklace—the perfect, handmade gift for yourself or a girlfriend.

Image Credits: The General Co., Common Man Coffee Roasters