4 art workshops to try at GMBB, Bukit Bintang!


Looking for something fun to do with your friends or loved ones? Or perhaps you’re looking for a fun Mother’s Day activity with your mom? The art workshops at GMBB might just be what you’re looking for. For the past few years, GMBB’s presence in the creative ecosystem has been growing as it positions itself as the premier art and creative mall in the city. This creativity is not limited to art exhibitions and products to purchase, as GMBB’s tenants have been working hard to prepare many workshops for the general public to try their hand at making their own creative projects like sand paintings, resin art, and pottery.

They reached out to BASKL to invite us to try their workshops, and we eagerly accepted, signing up for four, aiming to try a diverse range of workshops that would be most appropriate for couples or groups of friends.

Jesmonite clay workshops with Shi Terrazzo Atelier

This is the first one we tried, and immediately we were struck by the vibrant designs on display at Shi Terrazzo Atelier. Colourful dots and multi-hued flecks decorated the jesmonite clay vessels. Practical and pretty, there were a range of different trays, coasters, and dishes. Jesmonite is an eco-friendly alternative to materials like resin, plaster and concrete, and thus can be used to play a similar role in arts and crafts.

Xin Lin, the founder of Shi Terrazzo Atelier and our instructor for the day, gave us many options to choose from for the type of vessel we wanted to make in a variety of sizes, patterns. and colours. The colour was chosen by selecting different coloured jesmonite chips and mixing coloured dyes into the jesmonite mixture. This was a real challenge for our aesthetic sensibilities, as we wanted to mix colours that would look good together with the jesmonite chips. We added the coloured dyes bit by bit, cautious not to add too much and darken the mixture’s colour too much. We then poured the jesmonite mix into differently-shaped moulds as per the types of vessels we wanted to make.

Jian Wei’s vessel was a baby blue vessel with large yellow and blue spots. The jesmonite that made up the yellow parts had to be mixed separately from the blue, and created by carefully pouring the yellow jesmonite mix first, allowing the thick and viscous mix to naturally form circles. The process was then repeated with the darker blue mix. This was a rather nerve-wracking process that was made a lot easier by the careful guidance of Xin Lin. After the yellow and blue spots had somewhat dried, the baby blue mix was poured into the gaps left by the spots.

After the jesmonite had fully dried, it then had to be sanded to ensure smoothness and evenness throughout the whole vessel. This took quite a while as we had to switch to increasingly fine grains of sandpaper to achieve the desired quality. The final products were still a bit imperfect due to our inexperience, but we embraced all the flaws as part of the vessels’ personalities. Much satisfaction was had and we each had a tangible and functional piece of art to take home.

Visit Shi Terazzo Atelier’s Instagram page to contact them for workshop details!

Location: Unit 8-36, Level 8, GMBB

Textured sand and clay art workshop with Summer Galleries

Summer Galleries, as the name suggests, evokes imagery of summer, sunshine, and the beach. The decor and the paintings hung on the walls are mostly seaside-themed, so it will come as no surprise to the reader that for this workshop, we worked on using textured sand to create beach scene paintings. According to the instructor and owner of Summer Galleries, the textured sand used in our paintings was a simple mixture of sand and paint. This created a realistic effect that simulated the look and feel of the beach perfectly.

We began by placing masking tape near the middle of the painting to separate the sky and the sea. We then began painting the sky section, using traditional watercolours and a flat brush. It was great fun to see the colours blend on the canvas just like the natural wash of colours at sunset.

After that, we pulled off the masking tape and began to work on the beach and waves, both parts created using the textured sand. To achieve the colours, we mixed blues and whites with the sand for the waves, and yellows and browns for the beach. Starting with the ocean section, we tried to apply the textured sand in waves to recreate the look of ocean waves, while for the beach, we tried to apply it as smoothly as possible to recreate the look of a tranquil beach.

After that, it was time for the finishing touches! We were given little real seashells to press into the beach section of our painting, to add some spice to the painting. They were even coated with transparent glow-in-the-dark paint! Overall, it was a highly satisfying workshop where we were able to put our creativity to the test, mixing beautiful colours and carefully applying sand to convey the mood of the beach at sunset.

Check out Summer Galleries’ Instagram page to contact them and arrange your own workshop!

Location: Unit 2-37, Level 2, GMBB

Foam clay mirror workshop with Sama-Sama Studios

Foam clay is a type of malleable putty that can be shaped into various shapes by only using our hands and minimal tools. It would then dry up and harden to a solid, lightweight form which retains the characteristics of foam. HueIsAlya is one part of Sama-sama Studio, a creative space which provides various workshops, one of which is the Foam Clay Mirror Workshop which she oversees. The BASKL team got a chance to experience the workshop and embellish a mirror frame with foam clay.

The workshop took about two hours from start to finish. In the beginning, Alya would explain the nature of the foam clay. It does not take any firing method to solidify, needs only to be air dried, and thus makes a wonderful medium for a workshop session. She then proceeded to guide us on how to shape the foam clay following our vision. There are some special tools needed to properly shape the foam clay like using a small knife to cut it into manageable pieces and a ball tool to make rounded shapes. Different colours of any shade can be produced by combining two or more pieces of foam clay, making imagination the only limitation when creating colourful artwork.

For inspiration, Alya offered us a catalogue of previously created works. However, it became apparent that most of the previous works were more feminine, as men likely only rarely joined this type of workshop. Instead of copying past works, Danial decided to turn his mirror into a magic portal, with trees surrounding the mirror, complete with vines and leaves. The hours went by as Danial enjoyed shaping and forming the foam clay to his imagination. It was a very fulfilling experience to be able to imagine something and then see it taking shape before one’s eyes. To complete the look of the portal, Danial created a mushroom sporting a witch hat to guard the mirror portal.

Costing only RM75 per person, it was a very worthwhile experience, especially since you can take home your mirror creation. Foam clay is also a great material for developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination which is practiced during the forming of the clay. Of course, one’s creativity is challenged as well during the decision-making of what to create for the mirror. All in all, it was a wonderful experience with Alya being a great teacher during the session, patiently guiding Danial, who had zero knowledge in sculpting.

Go to Sama Sama Studios Instagram page to find out more and book your session!

Location: Sama Sama Studios, GM2-49 & 2-50, Level 2, GMBB

Cake decorating workshop with Sama-Sama Studios

Great for solo, pairs and small groups, expect to have fun even though you have never baked once in your life! Says Kat, “I have even had real bakers come to my workshop to create display cakes for their bake shops.” After eyeing this workshop for a while, our writer Nabila is stoked to finally do it.

Participants will get to trick their closest friends and family when they bring back their super-scrumptious, brightly-decorated jewellery boxes! This isn’t your typical art jam – instead of pouring your heart out on a canvas, the Cake Attack Art Jam (available at weekends and weekdays on select dates) moderated by artist and illustrator Kat (Artthoukat) of Sama Sama Studios is an intimate session for a maximum of four people, where everyone is free to produce the tastiest-looking cakes according to their hearts’ desires. You are given three hours to complete your masterpiece, however, according to Kat, some participants would simply wrap up their decorating session in two hours. You can choose from a small round box or a medium heart-shaped box to start. With piping bags and tips as well as faux icing (aka lightweight spackling or putty filler mixed with acrylic paint), the steadiness of your hands are put to the test! Therapeutic and fun for ladies and gents, we are all for you attending this art jam in the light mood of a date, family or best friends’ hangout, bachelorette or even a weekend wind-down.

Bookings and info on this workshop can be found here. This art jam starts from RM99 per pax and is suitable for participants 15 years old and above. All decorating tools are provided. At the end of the day, all participants will be bringing back their inedible sweets in a cake box like Nabila did!

Location: Sama Sama Studios, GM2-49 & 2-50, Level 2, GMBB

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