Forget Shopping–Craft Something The Next Time You’re in Singapore

Connect with Singapore’s rich artisan heritage with a few of the best workshops in Singapore.

Shopping when you’re in Singapore is overrated. There, we said it. Sure, who doesn’t love retail therapy. But why not make better use of your time, by, well, making something. Be it if you’re one of the business travelers streaming through this entrepot, or if you’ve made the city-state your Singapore serviced apartment, these workshops in Singapore will help you craft new trinkets that’ll spruce up your life in Singapore, especially when you’re staying here for a longer period of time.

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A History of Craftsmanship

Perhaps the humble streets of Little India and Chinatown still bear the remnants of the enterprising spirit of traders past. Back between the late 19th century and 20th century, immigrants from India, China, and the rest of Southeast Asia came to Singapore in the hopes of a better life. Some of them had already honed their craft blacksmiths, image carvers.

One fascinating example is the Banjarese people from South Kalimantan in Borneo, a land known for precious stones and metals, with diamonds being the most prized resource. The Banjarese were one of the earliest people to mine and trade diamonds. There is even evidence as early as the 17th century, where diamonds were part of the tributary gifts to the Chinese emperor.

With the riches from the diamond trade, it paved the way for some Banjarese to move to Singapore (even if there was no such thing as a Singapore serviced apartment yet). Some of the Banjarese families continued the diamond trade, while working with other artisans and craftspeople to create intricate jewellery.

Through the early 20th century and after postwar Singapore, the city-state prospered. With it, traditional crafts began to evolve, adapting to the rapidly changing needs of the people. Cobblers proliferated as people switched from wearing clogs to leather shoes. Painters also worked on movie posters for the likes of Shaw Brothers and Cathay Keris. Some street barbers were even able to move into their own air-conditioned shops. All of it laid the groundwork for Singapore’s quiet, but rich tapestry of craftspeople today.

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Fading From Time

Yet, time marches on. Most of these trades and crafts began fading from view as the years progressed. There are a couple of factors at play here. One of the more obvious ones is the advancements in manufacturing. With new technology and machinery, factories were able to mass-produce goods more cheaply and efficiently. Working spaces within factories were getting more comfortable too, compared to the arduous conditions of occupations such as blacksmiths and goldsmiths. Along with better hours and wages, most preferred to leave older trades and crafts.

New policies for land, labour, and the economy also decimated most of these trades. In Singapore’s roaring 80s and 90s, many shophouses were demolished to make way for skyscrapers, housing the corporations of the new economy. Craftspeople and peddlers relocated to factories. There were new environmental regulations for the streets too, and the younger generation then preferred less labour-intensive work. 

Even so, some survive the test of time. Perhaps you’ve even seen them before: itinerant ice cream cart vendors, traditional bakeries, independent provision shops. They are still able to find a space to thrive amidst the ever-changing cityscapes. Today, new generations of artisans and craftspeople are taking up the mantle. So let’s find out how they share their traditions, and how they spark new ones by running workshops in Singapore.

Acrylic Pour Workshops

This trend is tearing up TikTok. And we’re all up for it. Because the results are simply stunning, and will definitely jazz up your living spaces. The entire process is soothing and meditative–the colours all flowing and melding into one another. It’s perfect for a relaxing afternoon of creating with friends and family. They come in all shapes and sizes too, from clocks to coffee tables. 

The studios you can look at are The Amery Guild, and Room to Imagine. They have frequent workshops throughout the month that you can try.

The Amery Guild

Address: Blk 22 Sin Ming Lane, #02-75, Singapore 573969

Email: [email protected]

WhatsApp: 8801 7393

Opening Hours: Mondays: 10:30am–6pm | Tuesdays to Thursdays: 10am–8:30pm | Fridays and Saturdays: 10am–7pm | Sundays: 10am–8pm

Room to Imagine

Address: 57 Ubi Ave 1, Ubi Centre, #07-04, Singapore 408936

Email: [email protected]

Nearby MetroResidences Serviced Apartments

MetroResidences Newton

Address: 1A Surrey Rd, Singapore 307741

The Central

Address: 8 Eu Tong Sen St, Singapore 059818

Liberte

Address: 6 Sims Dr, Singapore 387388

Sophia Hills

Address: 5 Mount Sophia, Singapore 228453

6 Derbyshire

Address: 6 Derbyshire Rd, Singapore 309462

Ace Lodging

Address: 34 Lor 33 Geylang, Singapore 387989

Jewellery Making Workshops

Intricate, beautiful: handcrafted jewellery is definitely one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give. There’s plenty of room for you to express yourself as you mould the metal to the shapes you desire. Most workshops will take you through the entire process, from understanding the materials and techniques to the tools and safety precautions.

You can find Basic Jewellery Casting, and Basic Silversmithing at places like Fat Anvil Studios and Artisan8 Studio. The Imperial Smithster even offers an Introduction to Lost Wax Casting, a centuries-old technique for casting jewellery and sculptures.

Fat Anvil Studios

Address: 573A Balestier Road, Singapore 329888

Email: [email protected]

Opening Hours: By Appointment Only

Artisan8 Studio

Address: 150 Orchard Road, Orchard Plaza, #03-06, Singapore 238841

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 9474 7252

Nearby MetroResidences Serviced Apartments

Sky Habitat

Address: 7 Bishan St. 15, Singapore 573908

Sims Urban Oasis

Address: 6 Sims Dr, Singapore 387388

EuHabitat

Address: 230 Jln Eunos, Singapore 415867

Ace Lodging

Address: 34 Lor 33 Geylang, Singapore 387989

Geneva Duo

Address: 54 Lor. G Telok Kurau, Singapore 426237

Leather Crafting Workshops

Durable, elegant, functional; that’s why leather goods are great gifts too. Every imperfection only adds character to what you’re making–no matter if it’s a key fob or a wallet. Leather crafting workshops are a great way to build trust and understand how your partner works.

Bynd Artisan is a household name with their handsome card holders and coin pouches. Now, you can even make one yourself. Do take a look at Crafune too. 

Bynd Artisan

Holland Village Flagship Store: 44 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-54,  Singapore 278116

Raffles City Shopping Centre Atelier: 252 North Bridge Road, #03-24, Singapore 179103

ION Orchard Bynd Artisan + Sunday Folks ION Experience Store: 2 Orchard Turn, #04-11, Singapore 238801

Email: [email protected]

WhatsApp: 6267 5066

Crafune

Address: 38a Haji Lane, #02-01, Singapore 189231

WhatsApp/LINE/Telegram: 8218 4223 | 9107 5168.

Nearby MetroResidences Serviced Apartments

Park Avenue Rochester

Address: 31 Rochester Dr, Singapore 138637

One-North Apartments

Address: 7 One-North Gtwy, Singapore 138642

Duo Residences

Address: 1 Fraser St, Singapore 189350

Sophia Hills

Address: 34 Lor 33 Geylang, Singapore 387989

V on Shenton

Address: 5 Shenton Way, Singapore 068808

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Looking for your next long term stay in Singapore? We’ve got you covered.

MetroResidences’ Singapore serviced apartments and residences are perfect for your next business trip. Our serviced apartments are conveniently located, with hassle-free access to public transport. It all comes fully furnished too, so you’ll be enjoying amenities like wi-fi, air-conditioners, and even fully-equipped kitchens.

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