Tuesday, 30 September, 2014

Published July 05, 2014
Home & Garden
Making hands meet
Nearly 50 participants are featured in the inaugural learning festival Makers' Block as the crafting trend gains recognition in S'pore. By Tay Suan Chiang
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'The familiarity, sustainability, recyclability, accessibility all add to the appeal of cardboard for me,' says Mr Ting (above adjusting a cardboard Optimus Prime robot figure). - PHOTOS: JOSEPH NAIR, TRI-WALL

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HOW exciting can cardboard pieces be? Give some to Bartholomew Ting and he makes them come to life by turning them into robots, animals, and even an F1 racing car, sometimes creating larger than life pieces.

Mr Ting first discovered his love of working with cardboard when he was creating a float during his university days. The cardboard sculptor is often hired to design pieces for events, such as a 12.5m-high cardboard pavilion for Singapore Management University Patron's Day 2014. "Cardboard is an everyday material. The familiarity, sustainability, recyclability, accessibility all add to the appeal of cardboard for me," says Mr Ting.

For each creation, he does rough sketches and elevation views before creating a 3D digital model out of them, and then converting the 3D model to 2D templates. He used to manually cut the pieces of cardboard into shape, but now uses a machine. The pieces of cardboard are then later assembled by hand. He uses cardboard from Tri-Wall Group, a cardboard manufacturing company.

Mr Ting is one of nearly 50 makers participating at Makers' Block, the largest learning festival for makers in Singapore.

The makers' culture in Singapore tends to focus on crafts and food. Makers' Block still celebrates the hand-making movement but with a slant towards art and technology. So think 3D printing, miniature plastic sculpting, soldering electronics or even learning how to build your own app.

"The makers' scene is still very new and fresh," says organiser William Hooi, founder of SG Makers, a community that advocates technology and innovation through the makers' movement.

Mr Hooi hopes that Makers' Block will mark the start of more similar festivals and open new opportunities for local makers and future would-be makers to exhibit and market their work.

"This is also to encourage Singaporeans to work with their hands and create something of their dreams," he says. "Making things with one's hands brings pride to the individual when others admire the hand-made, completed work."

  • Makers' Block is on till July 7, from 10am to 8pm, at Suntec City Mall, Level 2, opposite Cool De Sac, #02-379/380