Classes & Tours
From a tiny glass bead to beautiful, spectacularly embroidered shoes, purses and a variety of other functional and decorative beadwork – this incredible transformation through the hands of an experienced beader delights all who see it. With few of the old masters of traditional beading still alive, most of whom have either given up or could not continue their work, Bebe felt convinced that the rich heritage of the Peranakan would soon be lost and forgotten. Rather than lamenting the passing of an era and the loss of an art, Bebe set about breathing new life into the dying bead trade.
She began to make beaded shoes in the late 1990s, whilst continuing her research and experimentations in beading techniques. Till today, classes to make one’s own beaded shoes are held for all handicraft loving people, thus bringing a new awareness to the enduring values in the Peranakan art of beading.
Peranakan beading classes are organised upon request, subject to the instructor’s availability and with a minimum of 4 participants. The maximum number in a class is ten. A one-on-one “crash” course package can be specially arranged for visitors with limited time.
Types of Beading Classes
D) 3-Dimensional Relief Beading
Advance project: Handbag with 3-dimensional beadwork and woven tassels. This is an advanced class only for those who have completed Peranakan beading (shoes) with Bebe.
SCHEDULE: Time & day to be arranged upon request.
LESSONS: 2 lessons (x 2 hours)
N.B: Only pattern and canvas provided. Beads, frame, other sewing materials and bag-maker’s charges are not included.
C) Beading on Velvet
Beginner’s project: A small coin pouch.
SCHEDULES: Time & Day to be arranged
LESSONS: 2 lessons (x 2 hours)
N.B: Pattern, velvet, beads and needles provided. Additional charges for beading frame applies.
B) Peranakan Bead-Weaving
Beginner’s project: A beaded bookmark.
SCHEDULE: Time and day to be arranged upon request.
LESSONS: 2 Lessons (x 2 hours)
N.B: Includes all materials
A) Peranakan Beading for Shoes
SCHEDULE: Wednesdays 10:30am – 12:30pm or
Saturday 3:30pm – 5:30pm
LESSONS: 2 lessons (x 2 hours) spread over 2 months
N.B: Fees depend on the design chosen and includes all materials, using size 15/0 Japanese glass beads.
Cobbler’s charges to make up shoes are NOT included.
PRIVATE IN-HOUSE TOURS:
Connect to Singapore’s history, from ancient Peranakan traditions through to colonial and present eras. The Rumah Bebe shophouse, located in Katong, is significant because of the notable role the initial owner of the property played in history. Tay Buan Guan was the family who prospered as property owners and established the first departmental and supermarket owner in the 1900s. The building, with the family initials – TBG – engraved on the entrance pillars, subsequently passed through another ownership.
Currently, owned and occupied by Rumah Bebe, the shophouse represents a fine example of a Peranakan home. Inside the house, filled with original furnishings and a remarkable display of decorative arts, visitors will learn about the Peranakans – explore their fascinating hybrid heritage of ancestral Chinese and Malay roots, their life-style and love for opulence. You will be given the perspective which only a native Peranakan can provide. Come and find out how the beads are stitched, one by one, according to a design onto a canvas before it is crafted into beautiful shoes. Watch Bebe create her signature style beaded slipper-top before your eyes.
Try dressing up in nyonya attire, discover the versatile ways of tying a sarong and wearing an embroidered kebaya, securing the buttonless top with only a set of brooches. At the conclusion of the tour, enjoy a light refreshment of home-brewed lemon-grass tea and taste delicate samples of nyonya savouries.
Duration of Tour: 45-60 minutes
Group Size: 2 pax (min) to 20 pax (max)
Strictly by Advance Booking, and for Adults only.