We’ve recently held our very first Meet Your Maker(s) event over at *SCAPE. We hope that those of you who’ve attended our event had fun and enjoyed yourselves!
Maker Stories is a segment to get to know the Makers from Meet Your Makers on a more intimate level. Learn more about them, their craft and be inspired by their journey.
As a design challenge, I decided to use unconventional traditional materials that are sustainable. My original inspiration came from young Japanese designers. They would apply modern design thinking while using traditional Japanese materials. This combination allowed them to create something entirely new and different from ‘lost crafts’ and ‘dying traditions’.
I chanced upon abaca fibres which are handwoven from the Daraghuyan tribe in the Philippines. Abaca is strong and can be handwoven without additional heat or chemicals to hold them together. Thus, I decided to make hats out of them. Although traditionally, they weren’t used for hat-making. Instead, they are pulped and processed into speciality papers such as tea bags and writing paper. When I headed to the Philippines to show the tribe the hat I created from abaca fibres, they made me go through an ‘initiation’ process. That was really exciting and eye-opening.
What I love most about hats is that as a part of fashion, they are extremely versatile and can be integrated into everyday life as a form of art!
I’m a paper enthusiast! I love experimenting with all different kinds of paper (as you can tell from my custom-designed notebooks). I know it sounds crazy but crafting is really therapeutic for me. It allows me to unwind after a long day, yet allowing me to express my creativity at the same time.
One day, I came upon polyshrink paper and was just so intrigued by them. I love how you can make so many different things from them, including badges, magnets and even keychains! One of my workshop participants even created namecards out of them.
Also, everyone loves food! I love food too and that is why most of my products are food themed, with my favorite delicacies including Japanese, Western and not forgetting Local ones.
While studying abroad in London, I was bored. I wanted to find a new hobby, especially during rainy days when I would be stuck indoors. I managed to find out about quilling in a local crafts store which was selling strips of quilling paper. Almost immediately, I was fascinated by the intricate designs of quilled art. Hence, I decided to pick it up. After learning how to quill, I have tried many different kinds of other crafts, but I always find myself going back to quilling and thought that maybe it was THE craft that was meant for me.
Surprisingly, not many people in Singapore have heard about quilling. I had a workshop attendee who was extremely shocked that what she had signed up for wasn’t a quilting workshop. Actually, quilling is not a ‘new’ form of craft. It has existed since the 18th century, practiced by the aristocracy and confined among the upper classes. Only recently, quilling is enjoying a resurgence in popularity and appreciation.
Crepe Roses by The Art Bug
I decided to teach Crepe Paper Roses as Valentine’s Day is less than a month away. Crafting crepe roses is a family tradition. I first learnt this craft from my mother, who in turn learnt it from my grandmother. When I was still schooling, I used to make a lot of these during summer vacation, tying them to the real rose bushes. Everyone who came to visit thought that they were real!
I moved to Singapore and registered my business only recently. Within the Singapore craft community, I feel that there are ample opportunities here. I love that people here are quite active with many crafty happenings like workshops, markets and community activities!
Dreamcatchers by Mojo Atelier
I’d just started Mojo Atelier, and venturing into different crafts for workshops. My 12 year old niece knew I was researching all sorts of crafts, and asked me to make her a dreamcatcher for her birthday. I decided to give the traditional dreamcatcher a twist to make it more home decor-esque. That’s the strategy I’ve been employing for each craft I’ve picked up thus far; to find a differentiating factor. Coincidentally, Valentino 2016 Spring collection uses the dreamcatcher as the theme, so I thought I would ride on that wave and offer a modernised dreamcatcher workshop!
My advice to aspiring crafters would be to innovate, don’t stagnate. Keep questioning your process, and break traditions to create new methods of crafting. Learn other crafts, and then combine them to create your own distinctively unique style.
I started quilting in 2007. Being in Singapore where quilters are far and rare, I had a hard time finding good quality quilts for my new home. When I finally found a quilt shop in Suntec City, I was dismayed to find that a king-size quilt costs over $800!
I was then thinking to myself, “Hey, why not pick up a new skill & sew it myself?”. I immediately signed up for beginner quilting classes! I have to admit it was an impulsive decision back then as I was too carried away by my excitement. Not only had I not sewn for more than 15 years, I didn’t even have a sewing machine and sewing notions to start with! My confidence then was ground zero and I could remember vividly how my hands trembled as I touched the sewing machine during my first lesson!
I was determined though to play along with my “bad” decision, since I had paid over a $100 for the class and I wanted to have that quilt for my country home. From that “hand-trembling” and “nerve-wrecking” lesson, there was no looking back since. I sewed a 6-block beginners quilt during the class which is still my favourite quilt to date. Since then, I had quilted other items like bed quilts, wall quilts, cushions, table runners and more.
Before I started Hangmade by Gladys, I used to cross-stitch for a number of years, and tried out painting while living overseas for close to 6 years. I create patchwork bags and other hand-sewn articles, primarily stuffed animals, cushions and cushion covers, but lately tote bags and bag accessories as well. Each item that I create is unique, as I choose the fabric, create the pattern, cut and sew everything myself.
I love doing patchwork and other fabric creations. It gives me a lot of creative room to explore. The process of creating something people like and love does not have to follow a template 100%. Aside from that, crafting has provided me an avenue to engage with the community by teaching at community centres and conducting workshops. The positive feedback that I receive about my work has encouraged me to continue pursuing my craft.