It would have been hard to imagine what "staying home to save lives" could possibly mean in 2019, but around the globe, millions are now doing so in 2020. Real life is stranger than fiction!
In some ways, home has reclaimed its place of importance - a place to retreat into safety; a garden to nurture shoots of relationships. There is now more time to do all the things we didn't have time to tend to.
How are you doing? Are you coping well?
Take heart, the storm will pass! ❤
P.S. Loving this quaint pottery by one of our students watercolouredberries
Pottery is often seen as a pretty individual endeavour - and indeed its therapeutic and meditative qualities make it an ideal activity for introverts!
This workshop was a little different from our norm, however, as each of these beautiful vessels were made by four hands, not two. We conducted this session for an organisation preparing for a period of leadership transition and individual life transitions, and the unique creation process encouraged some deep conversations about letting go, mentoring, and spiritual maturity.
Thanks for trusting us with your precious 4 hours, and for blessing us with your stories and perspectives! May your works be a reminder of God's goodness in your lives!
One of the hardest things for me to grasp about pottery, even after all these years, is just how much clay shrinks from the moment it is moulded to the moment it is lifted out of the kiln.
The vessel at the bottom right is a completed sample we made for a client - the other three are freshly thrown on the wheel, before trimming and drying. So much shrinkage! We often have to just suspend our disbelief and keep to our measurements, trusting that everything will turn out just fine.
Aren't there things in life that are like that too? Where you have to labor long and hard in a certain direction where the result isn't particularly apparent?
I've never really thought of grey as an interesting colour, but ever since about a year ago (on Holy Saturday), when I spent a few quiet hours at the sea shore under an overcast sky, I've been quite taken by the mysterious and emotive qualities of this colour.
And so here are some recent experiments with grey matte glazes - still work in progress but I'm pretty excited after discovering what Nickel Oxide can do!
Two more BELL vessels fresh out of the kiln. Really love these matte glazes, particularly because we didn't expect we could produce these colours!
After spending a good deal of time teaching workshops, it's really rewarding to find the time and space to make things for our own use.
For our artisan friends making a living with your crafts, hope we can all find time to quieten down and take pleasure in our creations, even amidst the challenges of work. It's something we honestly don't remember often enough!
Singapore may be small, but we definitely punch above our weight when it comes to strategic thinking and action.
Feeling especially grateful today as we see the number of new local COVID-19 cases drop while there is a steady and growing number of discharged cases. Thank you to all the healthcare and police staff for the relentless hard work and sacrifices!
We continue to pray for the people in ICU and elsewhere in the world who are battling to contain this outbreak and may wisdom and clear minded action help to safeguard the precious lives of each individual.
We also remember those who grief...over the lives of those whose evening came too soon.
O Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
P.S. the beautiful local tembusu wood is from our friends at rogerandsons! Do continue to support local companies and small business owners; especially the ones hardest hit and who are trying to support their staff on payroll. Don't forget others in need too. Let's all jiayou together!
Rocks are a constant in Chinese landscape paintings. Quiet and unassuming, they are often not the core subject matter, but a scene without them may inevitably carry a sense of incompleteness.
I can't paint them (yet), but I guess I can make them! 😄
It was quite a difficult decision to pause our classes in February while we monitored the Covid-19 situation in Singapore. But two weeks into this break, we have found time to test a number of new matte glaze formulas and the results have been really nice!
A big thank you to our regular students who are sticking with us during this little hiatus - we hope to be back in March if the situation stabilises, with good precautionary procedures in place and exciting new glazes to choose from!
From the break of dawn
Till the fading of the light
There is always time
All of us know very well that feeling of anticipation. It's time for coffee break! It's time to knock off from work! It's time to open the kiln!
This bell-shaped vessel we are working on as part of a cafe commission reminds me of the joy of time approaching. I probably experienced a lot more of this feeling in my childhood days, when there were cartoons to catch every weekend, swimming excursions, even P.E. lessons. And most of all, when the school bell rang for the final time each day!
Life is a little different now, with all the responsibilities that adulthood brings, but there are still so many wonderful things to look forward to if we look hard enough, or creatively enough!
Really pleased with this kiln opening too, and loving the gentle hues of this new matte glaze we formulated. Waiting for a nice name to come to mind!
In the past, the only reason we had migrant workers in our home was to have them install or repair something. To be served. So it really moves me to see this man in our home today, holding a vase that was moulded with his own hands and glazed by our volunteers. Nothing much was really done by us, but all the same we had the privilege of witnessing this scene and being part of a community serving these migrants.
Thank you to everyone who has extended your love and helping hand for our migrant pottery sessions!...
Reflecting on COVID-19, there are many thoughts that come to mind. Foremost is mourning for the people who have passed away, those struggling in ICU, those whose lives are turned upside down, those who are separated from support and loved ones, those in lockdown situations without any clue of when respite may be in sight.
And then there are many more. The special needs families who may have trouble with their grocery buying, the expectant mothers who have to visit clinics and have fears of being infected, those with chronic illnesses who now have additional mental burdens about whether they should proceed or postpone their medical appointments, the ordinary folks whose livelihoods are affected, the needy who rely on big pool of volunteers, the ones suffering from OCD or anxiety and panic attacks who are distressed etc.
When I see pictures of chinese and local doctors and nurses with their temporal marks on their tired faces from long hours of wearing protective gear, I see their beautiful sacrificial hard work to save lives.
It inspired me to create this vessel, which bears marks of scarring, and some of these scars will run deep, some of these are not so obvious to the eye.
We all wish none of this have happened, and that life can be smooth and normal like before. But it is critical that we face the grave situation for what it is, and show care and consideration for others and the healthcare workers by not contributing to the local transmissions.
Apart from practising personal hygiene and social responsibility, let us spare a thought for those in vulnerable demographics whom we owe a duty of care. The more we can each play our part to contain the spread, the better it is for the whole society.
I ended the vessel with an upturned face - as there is always hope at the end of any crisis. We are also inspired to see all the ground-up initiatives that are kind and helpful. We are also thinking of what else we can do.
Take care and wishing everyone grace and good health:)...
An anxious heart robs one of clarity and strength and I needed to do some soul care today.
God is ever so gracious to reveal answers through His creation, and there it was as I looked up.
The light that dispels darkness (swipe right to pic 2) is right there - all along, brightly shining, but it may be easily missed if we do not pause to shift perspectives. It is obvious after you see it, but it can very well remain hiding in plain sight if we are too busy or troubled to look.
I thank desiringgod for the word in season as it reminded me of the awesome truth in Psalm 127. Unless the Lord builds the house, all labour is in vain.
Wishing you shalom - a holistic peace that transcends all understanding:)...