Craft, Lifestyle
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BooksActually: Art + Design Market

What I did on a cold and wet Saturday afternoon: A solo expedition to the Art + Design Market, a collaboration by BooksActually & Sculpture Square. The three weeks of travel in Europe has introduced in me a hunger for exploration, the sheer excitement for discovering new things and feeling like a goodness-to-gracious tourist.

What I enjoyed most: Talking to and getting inspired by these creatives

wheniwasfour / 小时候
A quintessential representation of a rather local childhood through design and handmade products. Pins, tote bags, notebooks and even cushion covers. This was old school in a basket. Incidentally, they had a basket.

when i was four

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Armadillo notebooks
I had a nice chat with Jet, who explained that the leftover wallpaper by contractors often end up being heartlessly discarded. So, Armadillo rescues and transforms them into covers for these notebooks. No two books have the exact same print as they come from various parts of the larger whole. I’d like to think of them as tiny children with unique personalities, who come from the same set of parents, each carrying an empty canvas for the world to draw upon.

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Blu Bouquet by Michelle Kwah
Michelle’s story starts with her wedding bouquet. She wanted one that could last forever so why not make her own instead? Compare to faux flowers, not only would the paper bouquet conjure such deep meaning in her meticulously handmade piece of work, it is also expressive beauty no one else can ever replicate.

For a person who struggles at cutting along the lines, I truly have respect for people who do paper cutting. Besides scissor-skills, think about the patience and perseverance you would need to create something like that. She takes days for the cutting process and hours to assemble. A passion well-paid off (literally) when an interior designer recently got her to create a large framed floral piece for a show flat, which I think is absolutely stunning with the burnt tones for that extra crisp in colour. I can just imagine it in a snow white living room, adding that extra but subtle texture to a minimalist interior.

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Gentlemen’s Press
I’ve always found letterpress really intriguing. Mainly because I’m drawn towards the fact that the art of press combines old-time print, handmade craft, wood & heavy metal (machines). These century old machines do what the newbies can no longer achieve — a pristine texture like no other. Like wine, I’d say “the older the better” works well here too.

Gentlemen’s Press is located at 64 Neil Road and they’re open for retail from Tuesdays – Saturdays, 1230-1900. If anyone’s interested, they carry out letterpress workshops as well! I might have a go one day. Maybe.

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gentlemen's press
BooksActually
This independent bookstore has made quite a name for itself, specialising in mostly literature works. They recognise that some of us need in our hands a physical book with pages we can flip and attain paper cuts from. And the smell of old pages. Yes, that smell. I’ve yet to make a trip down to their store at No. 9 Yong Siak Street at Tiong Bahru but I shall. Then for coffee. That area screams my name.

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Happy-guilty with my buys. No more magazine-shopping for the next three months. I’ve been warned.

Sculpture Square
155 Middle Road
Singapore 188977
(Opposite Fortune Centre)

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