Last January marked my first modern calligraphy workshop in Manila, Philippines. It was a lovely Saturday with absolutely no traffic jam. It was sunny, and bright light was streaming down the floor-to-ceiling windows of The Picasso‘s function room. I’ve set up without a hitch, with fairy lights nicely hanging on the glass wall.
I brought all tools and workpads from Singapore, so the class in Manila was basically the same Happy Hour Workshop that we have in here. Thanks to my kids who have airline baggage allowance for themselves (even infants get 10kg!), I did not have to pay extra for more than 20 sets of workshop kits! Yay!
We were packed to the brim that day. These amazing ladies got to work, practicing their letter forms, as I went around to see how each of them were doing. It’s so satisfying to see them struggle during the first strokes of the drills, then start improving as they start filling the pages with more letters.
Of course, a workshop is not complete without coffee and pastries, so we stopped mid-way to refuel and mingle. It was great to get to know each and everyone of them, find out what they do for a living and how they stumbled upon this workshop (someone said Google, which was awesome).
Thanks to everyone who came to the Beginners’ Class — hopefully I’ll be back later this year for an intermediate one, or even brush lettering! We’ll never know. Hugs to the ladies who had to travel quite far just to get the workshop. Lastly, high fives to the amazing team at The Picasso Boutique & Serviced Residences for giving in to my requests and setting up so nicely. I can’t wait to be back! Now here are more photos of the class. To those who weren’t able to come, hope to see you guys next time!
The last Beginners’ workshop of the year is worthy of its own blog post, because it marks the beginning of another year of learning and teaching this lovely craft. If I’m not mistaken, I started with the Happy Hour Workshops in March of 2014 with only 8 participants. At present, due to the demand, we have doubled that number and each class is still always fun and interesting, thanks to the diverse group that I get to teach every time.
Last Saturday’s workshop was packed to the brim. We made good use of the ‘Make Your Own Happy Hour’ pads, and were treated to a lovely spread of pastries and artisan coffee. The Untitled Space studio was bathed in beautiful light at that time of the day, and I couldn’t be any happier! It makes for great photos, too.
One thing I learned about teaching modern calligraphy is that each student has a certain difficulty to overcome, and it is through experience that I am able to address the issue. It feels great when after some drills and practice strokes, I could see the progress that each student makes.
I will be back in January for a couple of Beginners’ classes, and Advanced classes will follow (crosses fingers). If you’re interested, leave your email address to subscribe to the newsletter. I cannot wait for a new round of workshops for the next year!
For artists and creatives looking for a venue for your workshops and exhibitions, I would highly recommend The Untitled Space. The photos speak for themselves, don’t you think?
Hi everyone! I know it’s been a while since I wrote something about The Happy Hour workshops. The good news is, I’m writing about the revamped beginners’ workshops that I’ve started last 19th of September.
The demand for the HHP workshops is still overwhelming, which made me think about the class size. The only way to bring in more participants is to find a bigger venue — and here in Singapore, that is not an easy task. Good thing was I attended the Googly Gooeys’ Watercolour Workshop, and there I found a perfect venue!
So the first part of the revamp is having the classes at The Untitled Space, a centrally-located, light-filled workshop space that doubles as a photography studio and occasional cafe. The class size is still small, but the space was able to accommodate slightly more participants. As always, the coffee is sooo good (and there’s Rooibos tea for non-caffeine drinkers!).
The second part, and the most important project I’ve ever worked on for the workshops, is the ‘Make Your Own Happy Hour’ workpad. It’s exclusive to participants, and has a new set of exemplar and practice strokes. The alphabet guide is based on Copperplate but still follows my own style of modern calligraphy. It has beautifully-lined pages for drills and freeplay which participants get to take home for more practice.
I’ve scheduled a couple more modern calligraphy for beginners workshops in October. You’ve been notified of the registration if you subscribed to the newsletter. Hope to see you in one of my classes soon!
The latest modern calligraphy class at the library@orchard is by far the BIGGEST group I’ve ever had. Wow. I’ll let you in on the scoop — I was invited to teach 2 workshops at the Library, and I was given this spacious learning venue they call ‘Make’, with floor to ceiling windows and glass walls. Both classes were sold out, which means more people are interested to try their hand at this craft which I fell in love with so many years ago. library@orchard is by far my favourite library in Singapore since it opened, because it’s great for creatives and makers and they got loads of interesting events every month.
Well, glass walls also meant passers-by can have a preview of what’s going on in the class. As with my former Advanced Class, we mixed our own pots of gouache — first with a dark-coloured paint, then with white. Watching the participants write calligraphy with white ink on black is always amazing, because each one has a different style, and it’s always a sight to see! We ended the 3-hour workshop writing a short quote on black card stock.
Look at that group shot! I told you our group was huge.
As always, I’m super happy to see familiar faces who have been to my previous beginners’ or hand-lettering classes. Hoping to back at the Library for a workshop again, and I don’t mind being a student this time. As always, thanks to everyone who came and it’s always a pleasure to share the art of calligraphy to everyone.
Last month, I had the pleasure of bringing the Happy Hour Beginners’ Calligraphy Workshop to Manila, Philippines! It was for the Picasso Boutique and Serviced Residences‘ Live Art Project, where they invite different artists to teach a craft to a select number of people.
The Picasso is a boutique hotel known for having an Art Gallery and Picasso-inspired pieces of art in their rooms (which are amazingly spacious, by the way). It was an evening class, which was a first for me. It was also catered with delish finger food and champagne – which was definitely another first for me! Didn’t dare take another glass after the first one, though!
Everyone was really into the craft, with some practicing the letter forms even before we started. I’m hoping they will continue practicing calligraphy after this class. It was an awesome group, and the lovely staff at The Picasso were very warm and accommodating. Some of them even tried their hand at calligraphy as well!
I cannot wait to be back in Manila and meet another group of calligraphy enthusiasts. Thanks to everyone at The Picasso for having me!
I was amazed by so much talent during the first Calligraphy In Colour advanced modern calligraphy workshop here in Singapore. I was happy to be back at Joo Chiat Place, too! There were some familiar faces, ones who I’ve already met in my beginners’ classes. There were new faces, too, and all 12 ladies were very enthusiastic about mixing colours and exploring new styles.
During 2014, I’ve always had beginners’ classes where we use black ink and focused on drills and basic letter forms. In the advanced class, we used different types of coloured paper, different kinds of inks and paint, and an end project that everyone so creatively pulled off. We got a little technical as well, because I believe that these things are better taught during an advanced class where everyone is already familiar with pointed pen calligraphy.
Oh, and as always, we’ve got a sumptuous menu for our lunch specially catered by Carpenter and Cook.
I’m looking forward to having another Calligraphy In Colour class in the next few months! If you’re curious if this class is for you, well, you just need a basic knowledge of using a flexible nib and be familiar with the letter forms. A more detailed class description can be found here. After practicing calligraphy in black ink, it’s a whole new experience when you start customising colours and finally creating your own work of art. Thanks to everyone who came, you were all awesome!
I’m still on a high from last Saturday’s Happy Hour Workshop! I think this is the first time that we had 3 Michelles in the group! Who would think modern calligraphy drills would actually be fun? I was teaching myself years ago and drills were a chore (albeit necessary). I’m still quite amazed at how patient these ladies were, even when there were quite a few scratchy sounds, ink blobs and spills.
They were all so into writing, it was difficult for me to coax them out of their seats to have lunch! Finally, the smell of Quiche Lorraine and pastries lured them downstairs and we all enjoyed a hearty meal (thanks to Carpenter & Cook, as always!).
I should’ve known that this group is really into learning modern calligraphy. When I opened the registration for this class, all seats were snatched in minutes. I was in awe!
I’ve been receiving a lot of emails regarding the upcoming workshops – looks like everyone wants to get into the craft before the year ends! Great news – I’ll be having one session specially for those wait listed from this October session. Another will be for subscribers of the Workshop Newsletter, so leave your email address on the right sidebar to get the first dibs. I cannot wait to meet all of you, and I promise to have more classes in 2015.
I’m sending another shout out to Heaven In A Wildflower for having us at her lovely, lovely, lovely home studio.
Last August’s Beginners’ Modern Calligraphy Workshop was super fun! What I love about these classes is meeting different individuals from different fields, all eager to learn a new craft. Some are even eager to take an advanced class (which I’m preparing for, by the way – thanks for the feedback!). Here are the photos from The Happy Hour!
I was back at Joo Chiat for the June session of The Happy Hour Modern Calligraphy Workshops. I love this group – our small class of 8 wonderful ladies arrived all eager to learn a new craft. I had the pleasure of finding out how two of them wrote Arabic calligraphy when they were young, and how totally different it was with pointed pen calligraphy. We had a wedding planner, and one who is getting married next year (yay!), one who is into the art of paper quilling, and one who was moving to Bangkok the coming weekend! I have to say we were a pretty diverse group.
I’ll let these photos speak for themselves! Curious to know more about what went on? I loved reading about the participants’ side of the story. Read more from Priya and Adilah. Oh, and I’m giving a special shout out to my hubby and photographer Reggie who always helps me set up and take photos of every class I have. <3
Sign up for class registration updates here. Hope to see you in my next class, and immerse in the art of modern calligraphy!
It has been raining sporadically here in Singapore lately – you can never tell when it’s going to pour or how long it will last. Fortunately, the weather cooperated last 31 May. The Happy Hour Calligraphy Workshop took place during a beautiful sunny afternoon at Joo Chiat! I felt very lucky to be surrounded by another batch of creatives who were eager to learn a new craft.
As always, I try to keep my class as intimate as possible. Introducing modern calligraphy to 8 individuals is perfect for all of us! It’s always a joy to see how each person’s handwriting transforms into a work of art on its own. Those 3 hours were spent effectively learning about the upstrokes and downstrokes and getting our hands inky with drills and flourishes.
The studio is always worth mentioning – I simply love its character. I spent a looooong time trying to find a right venue for my workshops and it was pure serendipity that I stumbled upon Studio@Heaven In A Wildflower. Tea break was such a welcome treat especially with delish cakes from Carpenter and Cook.
From left to right: Eunice, our hostess and owner of Studio@ Heaven In A Wildflower, Frances, Davinia, Pauline, Amanda, Pratiwi, Esther, Iris, Intan and Karina
I’m again tipping my hat to the lovely ladies who came to the class – some have been traveling, some busy with work and mommy duties, but found the time to pick up a new craft. Thank you to those who came to Singapore just for this workshop – you know who you are! I’ve been busy as a bee lately, with classes and calligraphy commission works . But each class I teach is a learning process for me as well, and looks like we’ll be having more for the rest of the year! Be in the loop by subscribing to the mailing list. Oh, and here’s what went on in the inaugural HH Calligraphy Workshop.