Earlier this year, I mentioned on my Instagram that calligraphy was one of the few I wanted to pick up this year. Before I realised it, March had arrived. I began to wonder if I were ever going to start calligraphy. Hence, I went to Etsy.com to search for calligraphy kit. Immediately I realised Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls – one of the few calligraphers whom I followed on Etsy and Instagram – was conducting workshops in Singapore! I quickly went onto Instagram to check if her announcement on her Etsy store was an updated one, and asked for details of her workshops. Her weekend classes were filled up. Lucky for me, because Bloesem – where Maybelle held her workshops – just opened up a new class! I was thrilled! This was the first calligraphy workshop I ever attended. Maybelle’s first workshop in Singapore too!
I arrived at Bloesem 10 mins before the class commenced. The moment I stepped foot into Bloesem, it was instant love. The creative and retail studio was decorated with wooden furniture, flowers, plants, nature-inspired accessories and art pieces. It was such an inspirational space. Calming. Beautiful.
I was warmly welcome by Maybelle and Irene – the founder of Bloesem. We had a little chat. The room rapidly filled up with like-minded enthusiasts attending the workshop.
Each of us was given a calligraphy kit that included a nib, a nib holder, a bottle of ink, “Letterpress How to Alphabet” guide, practice papers, lined guide sheet, a practice book that was designed and personalised by Maybelle and an ink/pen holder beautifully crafted by Maybelle’s husband. All of them were specially handpicked and lugged to Singapore by Maybelle! Technically, she lugged them to Japan first as she was there to conduct workshops before coming over to Singapore for workshop.
Maybelle started the session with how to insert the nib, followed by how the pen and ink worked together, and briefed us the basic strokes and curves we needed to practice. She demonstrated her version of the basics strokes/curves, uppercase and lowercase letters.
I’m so glad that I attended the workshop. The first-hand calligraphy experience with Maybelle was nothing like watching a Youtube tutorial and try to figure it out. Maybelle was very engaging and encouraging. She walked around the room, looked at how we did it. She encouraged us to have our own unique style and her letter guide was a guide. I highly suggest to those who are interested in taking up calligraphy, let the teacher demonstrates while you are seated next to him/her. Listen to the nib gliding onto the paper, listen to the amount of pressure needed to create those gorgeous thick and thin strokes. Maybelle demonstrated on my paper when I was trying to figure how to make the thick portion of the letter B looked thicker. It was then I realised “Ohh… the nib is not going to break so easily!” LOL!
I was quite surprised that food and drinks, even lunch, were provided by Bloesem! Like Irene mentioned on her blog – “Of course a class in Singapore isn’t a complete experience without good food” – she was quite right about that! Haha! It was really thoughtful of them. I was expecting to quickly grab some bread and rushed back to work that afternoon.
And, do check out Bloesem’s creative and retail studio at Tiong Bahru! I absolutely love the space and the things they sell. They do have an online shop where they list the classes available too – bloesem.co/collections/all. But I really recommend you to drop by their physical shop at Tiong Bahru, it’s located diagonally opposite Tiong Bahru Bakery. You can get their address here.