Skill Enhancing Short Courses21 Jul 2016
Learning something new is always an excellent way to use your time productively. It helps you cultivate your passion in said hobby, gives you a topic to talk about and bond over with new friends, and it can become a new skill to add into your resume. Whether it’s flower arrangement and watercolour painting or baking and calligraphy, there currently exists an enormous variety of short courses and workshops where you can explore your creative interests and turn a passing fancy into something more long-lasting.
ART IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL
Art is a popular choice among those looking to enhance their creative skills through short courses, and the Clazroom Academy offers short part-time courses that cover everything from basic digital and figure drawing to more in-depth 3D modelling and oil paintings. A full run consists of eight to ten sessions that usually last for two hours on weekends, making them perfect for those with full-time jobs.
For watercolouring fans, Stickerrific holds beginner classes based around different themes such as food, flowers and wreathes as well as seasonal specials such as autumn elements. You’ll learn how to layer, detail and create gradients with a variety of different brushes, and you don’t even need to have drawing skills to join! Plus, you’ll now be able to decorate your own greeting cards or make simple labels.
Calligraphy often goes hand-in-hand with watercolour to create beautiful cards and invitations. Besides Stickerrific, KLigraphy also offers to teach you the basics in ‘the art of beautiful writing’ by introducing you to inks, pens, nibs and a full five hours of guided calligraphy activities to learn everything from strokes to flourishes. You can even explore delicate brush calligraphy and design your own tote bags!
Try learning about natural dyes and working with textile art at The Batik Boutique, where you’ll be taken through the process of both batik art and tie-dye to make your own colourful patterns on fabric using the removable wax resist method. For something different, they also hold shibori workshops where you can dye fabric after knotting, clamping or otherwise manipulating it to produce a variety of patterns.
CREATE YOUR OWN LOOK
Don’t want to shell out for a salon appointment for every hot date? Then do your makeup yourself by taking personal makeup lessons from the pros themselves at places like Makeup Miracle. You’ll start from the top with basic skincare and understanding your bone structure, then graduate to creating bases, eye and lip makeup and more. They provide the products and tools, but you can bring your own!
Feel beautiful from your head to your fingertips with a basic nail course at Colour Culture’s OPI Nail Academy, where you will learn how to shape, prep, massage and colour your nails with OPI products as well as how to do your own basic and spa manicure and pedicure. You can even step it up a notch by learning glitter tone and colour combinations as well as basic nail art designs with the nail art course.
Why stop at learning how to doll yourself up? Take your DIY personal grooming a step further by making your own cosmetics with the help of Soap Artisan! For a fee, they’ll provide you with all the material and knowledge you need in their DIY Cosmetics Workshop to make your own loose, brow and dusting powder, eyeshadow and lipstick from organic and natural ingredients – all within four hours.
Don’t just look good, smell good as well by finding out the best ways to use pure fragrance oils and even mix your own body perfume and body lotion with Best Formula Industries. Besides holding free workshops for cosmetic products, BF1 also has a strong focus on aromatherapy and will teach you how it can be used for pain relief and mental healing, as well as the appropriate massage techniques.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Everyone loves a good baker and the Pastry Institute of St Honoré will teach you how to win everyone’s hearts with a wide repertoire of sweet confections from muffins to macarons. You can choose to take a two-day individual class to learn how to make a variety of items under the same topic like breakfast pastries and classic cakes, or you can combine six or more topics by opting for a weekend class package.
What if you already know how to bake, but want to prettify your treats? Cake Connection can teach you how to use sugar modelling techniques to make little figurines to put on cakes, work with ganache and fondant without the use of special tools, paint flowers on sponge cupcakes with folk art brushstrokes and even make different types of ‘jelly art’ flowers that look almost too pretty to eat!
Otherwise, blow your date away with a full course of homemade gourmet delights courtesy of Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio, where you can pick up tips on cooking an extensive array of fine dining dishes from a master chef. Start with invigorating soups and delicate canapés, then delve into French breads, foie gras and fusion cuisine before finishing with temperamental soufflés, crepes and her famous macarons.
Brew up the perfect cup of joe and top it off with quirky latte art with the help of the folks at Hobby N Coffee. Their introductory-level classes teach you the basics of bean care and how to tell the difference between coffee types and preparation method. You can then learn how to make lattes and cappuccinos and finally etch, pour and draw on froth to crown your mug with latte art under the supervision of a senior barista.
A GIFT FROM THE HEART
There’s nothing quite like receiving a handmade gift, especially when you know it was tailor-made with you in mind. You can make your loved ones something shiny by taking a silversmithing course at Jewelz, which will teach you how to make pendants and rings with silver and semiprecious stones; or opt for a bead jewellery course and learn to use bead, thread and wire types in different wire working techniques.
If leather is more your thing, Yee Button offers workshops where they guide you in punching, sewing and burnishing tanned leather to make stylish items that range from multi-card holders and leather planners to frame and weekend bags. This versatile supply shop can also teach you to draft and sew children’s tops, skirts and trousers as well as patchwork projects like ‘rainbow bubbles’.
A beautiful bouquet of flowers never goes wrong gift-wise, and now you can learn to arrange your own blossoms with a floral course at Amtrol Flower Designing. Beginners should start with the Leisure Course to learn how to look after your blooms and arrange them into simple corsages as well as hand and bridal bouquets. Bonus: all finished works can be taken home to enjoy or to give away as a gift!
How about making your own aroma burner, teapot or vases? Get your hands dirty at Clay Expression, which will teach you basic hand building and wheel throwing techniques for working with clay as well as the firing and glazing process in their pottery classes. If you like working with glass, they also offer ceramic glass mosaic workshops where you can glue your designs around a mirror frame.
No matter where your interest lies, you’re nearly guaranteed to find someone that can help you explore your chosen subject and perhaps cultivate a lifelong hobby that will bring you joy and fulfilment in the years to come. If you don’t know where to begin looking into new hobbies, you can head to popular craft hubs like The Craft Crowd to browse for some ideas. Don’t hold yourself back from trying something new; despite the saying, it’s never too late for an old dog to learn new tricks!