Tag Archives: bookbinding

About Pooja, Bookbinding and a Collaborative Installation

I had an interesting chat with Pooja on the afternoon before she went back to New York for her break.

Although Pooja ran a workshop on concertina-spine binding last year at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013, I had no chance to meet up with her and speak with her. I had written a blog post then to introduce her based on some email exchanges, so this time round, I was glad to be able to arrange a chit-chat session.

Pooja offered to use a co-working space she has reserved. It is called Grey Projects and the location was at Kim Tian, Tiong Bahru. It is a nice quiet place and it also happened to be the day before an exhibition of self-published books that the Grey Projects has planned. So, thanks to Pooja, I had a quick glimpse of this interesting exhibition’s behind-the-scene preparation!

Opinion of the Singapore Maker Movement

As it is Pooja’s third-year experience at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (she was a visitor in the first year!), I was rather interested to find out her view of the maker movement here in Singapore. Compared to when Pooja first came to Singapore, she felt that the maker movement here had became more organised. She observes more ground-up efforts, more meet-up sessions, more people trying their hands on DIY stuff. She remarked that it is a dramatic development.

When asked whether there is any community that she thinks we can still reach out to, Pooja gave an interesting reply. Instead of highlighting a hobby group (which I was expecting), Pooja replied that we should look into programmes that can reach the senior citizens and the National Servicemen, based on her own observation at the classes she conducts for the National Arts Council (NAC). She elaborated that these two communities seem to have a lot of interest to pick up new skills. So, for makers out there, keep a look out for chances to reach out to these two communities!

Portfolio-making workshop

image_3Pooja will run a workshop to create a cloth-covered portfolio for holding stationery, drawings, photographs and so forth, using luscious book cloth and beautiful Japanese Chiyogami papers.

Her workshop will be held on 27 July, Sunday, 2.45pm – 4.15pm at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire at Senja-Cashew CC and you can find the registration site here.

Special Highlight : Bookbinding Day and Collaborative Installation

Besides conducting a workshop, Pooja is also participating in this year’s Maker Faire in two different ways. In three weeks’ time, Pooja will be part of the SMMF2014: Bookbinding Day where she joins Ian Tan, Mariko Watanabe and S T Leng in a series of bookbinding workshops to teach different bookbinding projects.

Pooja will also be embarking on an exciting project for all visitors of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, where everyone gets a chance to participate and create a “folded element” of a collaborative-sculpture book object. On the first day of the Faire, Pooja will be personally guiding interested visitors on the project from the opening of the event until 1pm. She will also be around on Sunday, both to conduct her bookbinding workshop from 2.45pm to 4.15pm and to conclude her collaborative project towards the end of the event. It’ll be another exciting component of this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire. If you are not able to drop by when Pooja is around, do not worry as we will also have volunteers who will help to guide you. Do come join us and have some fun creating!

Want to know what other things Pooja do? You can check out her blog here.


Concertina-spine bookbinding

The art of bookbinding caught my interest ever since I first heard of it. Imagine the amount of DIY stuffs you could do with it!

At this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire, we are fortunate to have with us Pooja Makhijani, who will be conducting a workshop “Bookbinding 101”. Read on to learn more about her.

About Pooja

Pooja moved from New York to Singapore nearly three years ago and is currently a “work at home parent”, balancing the parenting of her daughter and her freelance work. She conducts bookmaking classes, writes and edits, and serves as an early childhood education consultant to a host of non-profit and institutional clients.

Her background

Pooja first learnt basic bookbinding at the Centre for the Book Arts in Chelsea, New York City, and continued her studies as a creative writing graduate student at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.

Her avocation became a vocation in 2010 when her partner and her left their beloved New York City for an adventure in Singapore, leaving behind a strong book arts community in the States and eager to find or create one in her new home in Asia.

Her current endeavour

With that in mind, Pooja launched a series of classes via her blog in 2011 and was soon featured in the Straits Times as the person to look for on book arts. Currently, she is working with the National Arts Council to bring the book arts to as many as possible.

Pooja shared that in classes, she encourages her students, whether they are children, adults or senior citizens, to look at the book or book-like structure as an art object and not merely as a vessel for their content. She always highlights to her students that all the elements of an artist’s book – from the paper to the text and/or images – are deliberately interconnected and work in concert.

Besides teaching bookmaking, she is also currently editing a book, to be published by Math Paper Press, a small press publisher of poetry, new wave novellas, full-length novels, and essays by Singapore-based writers.

Her workshop


At the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend, Pooja will be teaching a unique concertina-spine structure that she had learnt from a master book artist, Barbara Mauriello, on her most recent visit to the States!

As Pooja is from New York, she shared that she has attended the Maker Faire there several times. She felt that it is important to encourage everyone to think and tinker, to explicitly critique consumer culture (which emphasizes that the solution to our needs is to purchase things) and instead encourage people to take art, craft and technologies into their own hands.

Pooja’s workshop on 27 Jul, 1 – 2.30pm, SCAPE Situation Room (Level 4) was fully signed up at an early stage of publicity, but if you are keen to speak with her, do drop by and hang around after her workshop is over!