I finally attended a class in Irene Hoofs’ Bloesem Class space on Seng Poh Road. Bloesem Class is Irene’s second space in Tiong Bahru and regularly hosts visiting master craftspeople from Singapore and beyond. (Bloesem Shop, her first space, on Eng Hoon Road, sells wares often featured on Irene’s popular blogs, Bloesem Living and Bloesem Kids.)
I have recently acquired a rigid heddle loom and have become enchanted with all things woven. When the opportunity to study Tapestry Weaving with Natalie Miller, a talented fiber artist from Australia, in Singapore landed in my lap, I immediately signed up (despite the exorbitant price tag). This sort of education in the fiber arts, or any craft for that matter, is just so rare here, unlike in the United States.
In Natalie’s class, we experimented on a simple frame loom using her hand-dyed and sourced yarns. It was quite fun, and Natalie provided us with enough instruction (and excellent handouts) to continue our tapestry weaving journey at home.
But six hours was much too short! While Natalie shared a few techniques—to tie rya knots, for example—I found the instruction on removal from the loom and finishing to be much too rushed. And I wish I had had more time to socialize with my classmates. We didn’t have a chance to properly introduce ourselves to Natalie or each other! It would have been nice to connect in a meaningful way to like-minded crafters in Singapore.
And the cost! I suppose I’m used to prices back home for these sorts of things. For example, a three-hour tapestry weaving class at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, which covers the construction of a frame loom and includes all materials, is only US$75. And it’s BYOB ;). Saturday’s workshop was SG$320.00—welp! It was a huge, huge splurge.
Natalie will be teaching another session of Tapestry Weaving on Monday from 10am to 4pm and another session of Knots and Ropes (macrame) on Tuesday from 10am to 1:30pm. Sign up here. Tapestry Weaving was an excellent introduction to this ancient art, and if you have the time and funds, I urge you to go!
(Additional credits: Photograph via Instagram.)