Cover Thinking of learning something new? We've complied a list of creative courses in Hong Kong. (Photo: Courtesy of Bonart)

There's never been a better time to pick up a new hobby

Living in a competitive city like Hong Kong, it is sometimes difficult for us to escape from the stress of everyday life. While the fast-paced environment often prompts us to stay connected to our business and community through social media, it’s always important to maintain a good work-life balance and make time for yourself.

Even if you cannot travel to far-off places right now due to the pandemic, you can still find new ways of enjoying life and improve your mental wellbeing by taking up a new hobby. From practising calligraphy to learning how to design your own shoes and crafting beautiful glass objects and jewellery, here are ten interesting hobby ideas to keep yourself inspired and entertained this summer.

See also: What To Do In Hong Kong This Summer If We Can’t Travel

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If you’re dealing with stress and hoping to restore inner peace with a new hobby, calligraphy would be a good fit. At Kalo, which is known as Hong Kong’s very first calligraphy studio, you’ll find an array of classes, workshops and jamming practice evenings offered at beginner and improver levels.

When practising calligraphy, you’ll be free from all the distracting thoughts and get into the flow of creating beautiful hand lettering of your own with great concentration. This is not the kind of focus that leaves you exhausted, but more as a mindful practice for you to appreciate the art of slow living.

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See also: 7 Best Summer Family Activities In Hong Kong

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Pottery making is another mindful, artistic hobby that not only helps relieve your stress after a hectic day of work, it also boosts your confidence and allows you to express yourself in a creative way.

Tucked inside Hong Kong’s art and heritage gem, Tai Kwun, Touch Ceramics is an inspirational space for visitors to appreciate ceramic works and experience the joy of making porcelains. For those who are new to ceramics, don’t worry, Touch Ceramic’s regular workshops are suitable for all levels. The tutors here are professional and attentive, and they will assist you in crafting a unique piece that best describes your personality.

If you’re looking to join a small class with more individual attention given, head to Two Parts Studio, another highly-acclaimed pottery atelier that offers workshops for students offered at beginner and improver levels with a limit of four people. You’ll able to try your hand at creating cups, bowls, teapots, vases, and many more. 

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Crafting dim sum

Shout out to avid food lovers out there, this special cooking class offered at Yum Cha will lead you to explore the delicious secrets of dim sum—one of the city’s most beloved culinary traditions.

Yum Cha is best known for its innovative, contemporary approach to dim sum, where prides itself on offering dishes that equal parts delicious and Insta-worthy. Doggy Sausage Rolls and BBQ Piggy Buns are just some of the adorable creations you’ll find here.  

Besides learning how to craft classic dim sums such as hot custard buns and pork and shrimp siu mai, you’ll also get to enjoy a scrumptious afternoon tea set during the workshop.

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See also: The Best Dim Sum In Hong Kong: 2020 Edition

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Glassmaking isn’t probably the first leisure activity that comes into mind when you hear the word “hobby”, as the name may fool you into thinking you require good technical skills and good artistic ability. But with the right instruction offered by Glazden, anyone can master the technique of blowing air through a tube of semi-molten glass to craft beautiful glass objects.  
Hidden one of the quiet corners in Wan Chai, Glazden is an independent studio that specialises in glass sculpture that offers a plethora of glassblowing workshops, teaching guests how to make galaxy pendants, cups, wine glasses, Bohemia crystal roses, to name just a few. 
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Design and create your own shoes

Have you ever wished that you could design your own shoes? Shoe Artistry is the brand to know. Offering a bespoke shoe service and a wide array of quality shoemaking workshops, it’s one of the very few shoemaking labels in Hong Kong which strives to preserve and promote traditional shoemaking heritage.

Whether it's ladies sandals, unisex leather sneakers or ankle boots, the passionate team behind Shoe Artistry will make sure you have learnt the essential skills to craft your masterpiece without relying much on machinery. If you’re looking for a hands-on creative course to spend your free time feeling more rewarding, this one is for you.

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See also: 5 Must-Visit Sites In Hong Kong For A Glimpse Of The City's Cultural Heritage

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Jewellery making

Running since 2014, Obellery is a cosy and relaxing studio which houses an exquisite collection of artisan craft and designer jewellery. In addition to its beautiful minimalist interiors and quality handmade creations, Obellery also hosts a number of jewellery and metal workshops for visitors to produce a unique piece of gem by themselves.

Experienced tutors will walk you through the basic silversmithing skills including piercing, hammering and polishing, depending on the type of jewellery you decide to make. You can show up empty-handed—just bring your enthusiasm—as the studio will provide all the tools you need to create silver rings, bangles, pendants and more.

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Weaving and embroidery workshops

Those with a penchant for all things crafty will love the weaving workshops hosted by Make and Do Hong Kong. Here, guests will learn the basics of different weaving techniques, crafting everything from macrame earrings, shoulder bags, to dream catcher and even beautiful embroidery hoops inspired by Hong Kong culture, with patterns such as trams, dim sum and the Star Ferry. Places are filling up fast, so be sure to book well ahead! 

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Build a terrarium

Embrace your inner artist and spend a creative afternoon learning the art of miniature gardening at Bonart. The studio features an extensive selection of terrarium building workshops, where you’re invited to arrange your choice of succulents, bonsai plants, fresh moss, pebbles and even tiny toy figures to design your very own green terrarium.

The workshops take approximately 1.5 hours to complete and the whole process requires plenty of patience, imagination and planning—but you’ll be able to take home a beautiful mini garden and add a little green to brighten up your space.

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See also: The Easiest House Plants To Keep In Hong Kong

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Sample and appreciate Chinese tea

Rediscover your inner zen at Homeland Tea Garden, which offers unique Chinese tea appreciation courses prepared by local professional tea masters in a tranquil atmosphere.

From debunking common myths about tea, to teaching you how to brew a delicious cup of tea with the right amount of water and tea leaves, you’ll be able to explore and appreciate Chinese tea culture to the fullest here. Not only does tea appreciation help you to slow down and value the present moment, it also evokes a sense of wellbeing and calm. A perfect mindful alternative to meditation.

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See also: How To Digital Detox According To A Wellness Expert

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Chinese ink painting

Located amidst the hustle and bustle of Wan Chai, KA Atelier is a painting studio which offers you a perfect spot to relax and get those creative juices flowing under the guidance of experienced tutors.

If drawing Chinese motifs such as bamboo and flowers on a two-dimensional rice paper doesn’t sound fun and challenging enough for you, the studio also hosts other workshops that teach students how to paint and design on various medium including Chinese teacups, silk fans and wooden jewellery boxes. A free-flow of freshly brewed complimentary Chinese tea will be also served for a truly pleasurable painting experience—what’s not to love?

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This article was originally published on 3 February, 2020 and was updated on 14 July, 2020.