Asia is rich with traditions, and learning centuries-old craftsmanship techniques not only gives you insight into the region’s greatest treasures and cultures, it can also boosts your creativity. You don’t have to wait until New Year to try new experiences. We’ve rounded up five fascinating artisanal classes in Asia that you can take now:
1. Make wagashi with a prominent Japanese patissier
If you’re a fan of the dainty, intricate Japanese sweets, you’re going to love making batches of wagashi with Chikara Mizukami, a world-renowned confection expert. The session, which lasts for two hours, offers you the chance to visit Mizukami’s shop and explore the beautiful philosophy behind the preparation of wagashi, in addition to creating your own wagashi with his guidance. Transportation, professional photography, and kimono are also provided upon request.
2. Create Korean pottery with renowned artist Yi Yoon-Shin
Korean ceramic artist Yi Yoon-Shin is the founder of Yido, a famous ceramic-ware company that produces handmade ceramics made from 100% natural materials. Her product’s signature look emphasises on simplicity without unnecessary decorative elements, a nod to minimalism and practicality. At the Yido Academy, you get to learn the art of traditional Korean pottery and bring your masterpiece home.
3. Learn medieval bookbinding with Bynd Artisan
Medieval bookbinding is not for the impatient ones. The process is highly detailed and requires concentration as you use a sewing frame to stitch different sections of paper together and accentuate the raised bands at spine with a piece of natural grained leather. You’ll come up with a duo tone notebook at the end of the day. Workshop dates are subject to change so check in from time to time.
4. Learn the art of Indonesian batik making and natural dyes with Agus Ismoyo
Who would’ve thought that batik making could be such a spiritual journey? Organised by Threads Of Life, the 5-day workshop will be taught by batik experts Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam. You’ll learn Java’s ancient Three Worlds creative process called Tribawana, a three-fold process that requires you to look for the source of creative inspiration within yourself, to develop an intuitive connection with the natural world, and to discover a personal spiritual connection with the creative source.
In addition to that, you’ll also learn how to dye and prepare dye with fresh indigo from the dye garden, use sustainably sourced Ceriops dyes that form the basis of the brown tone in Central Javanese batik, explore Indonesia’s indigenous red dye from the root bark of Morinda citrifolia and prepare for the 2-month oiling process, and learn the use of Symplocos plant-based alum mordant.
5. Learn the art of tea pairing with Vivian Mak
In certain cultures, knowing the art of tea pairing is imperative if you want to make a good impression and be seen as cultured. Vivian Mak, a tea master based in Hong Kong, offers four types of tea pairing workshops: tea pairing with chocolates, tea pairing with pastries, tea pairing with delicatessens, and tea pairing with different cuisines from around the world. Pairing the right tea with your food could also lead to greater vitality, which you’ll learn more about at Mak’s workshops.