Scattered on sidewalks
Till the wind gathers them up
For another dance
One of the very last commissions that we completed in 2020, and one of the few that are worked on by both of us!
As a new year dawns, we know that there will be things we leave behind, giving way for things that are to come. There is a price to pay for each step we take into the future - we have to let our lives quietly slip away, never to return.
But today I'm just marvelling a little at this wonderful thing we humans are blessed with - dreams. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes frightening, often perplexing. Our brains sifting through the thoughts and sensations and feelings that we have experienced, weaving these transient filaments together into surreal stories that can only be told when eyes are closed.
In my dreams, I can fly, dive, drift through space. I can solve complex problems and write beautiful music. I save good people and kill evil robots. I can feel pain, and have unspeakable joy. What a rich and marvellous world!
Could it be that while we are on this earth, our dreams are our little glimpses into eternity, from which we came, and to which we will eventually return?...
Christmas day may be over but that's no reason to take down the lights, put away the tree and stop the snow! For the birth of Jesus marks for us not the end of the year, but the beginning of life.
And talking about beginnings, for the first time in our little tradition of chalkboard Christmas trees, this beautiful painting wasn't done by us. It was painted by Liv, a lovely young lady who recently joined our team. Prior to this year, we were confident that we wouldn't hire anyone, as we were not at all interested in running a bigger business. But as we reflected about our blessed journey these 6 years, especially in the light of this pandemic that has upended the lives of many people, we felt that God was nudging us to take our adventure in a slightly different direction and to travel alongside some fellow sojourners.
Who knows what God has in store for us, and for Liv, in 2021? But maybe it's enough to know that God is with us every step of the way!
So here's to new beginnings, wherever you are in your own journey!
This pretty little ceramic snowglobe is a commissioned gift to replace one that was broken.
I realize that these few years of making things for a living has gradually shaped my perspective of material possessions. I used to be very sentimental about material things, but being able to create things from scratch has caused me to hold on to things a lot more loosely. After all, if I break or lose something, there's always a good chance I can make it again!
At the same time, I now treasure experiences a lot more. Whether it's watching a vessel slowly forming in my hands, or playing with my child, or cycling to nowhere with Huiwen, all these experiences help me remember that I am alive on this earth. And that I won't be alive on this earth forever.
Beside a river of dreams
Waiting to be found
So delighted with these mossy mushrooms. We are still not sure how self-sustaining they would be, but as initial prototypes go, these are already beautiful successes!
The inner stem of the bisqued top soaks up the water in the glazed outer stem through capillary action, spreading the moisture outwards across the roughened surface, providing a conducive substrate for the moss to grow. With the water covered and contained inside the vessel, we also achieve a constant water source without the risk of mosquito breeding.
At least that's how it is supposed to work! Mosses don't have roots and so it's hard to say whether a moist substrate will really contribute much to its thriving, but we'll see!
This is our first creation integrating bisqued and matured vessels, and also the first time we have made use of a living thing as our "glaze". What a nice feeling to create something we've never seen before. Makes me want to keep sitting there and spraying it with water every chance I get!
Work In Progress. Harvested some fresh moss for little personal project after a lovely playdate with my 20 year old friend.
Ok... More like friend from 20 years ago...we are all so old!
Those two years in junior college were probably the least productive years in my life. I spent the bulk of my mental capacity trying unsuccessfully to be cool, wishing unsuccessfully to be in a relationship like everyone else around me, and working abortively towards medical school.
But it was also during this time when I crossed paths with a small number of schoolmates with whom I would forge the deepest of friendships many years later. Till today, I have hardly any close friends besides Huiwen. It's not that I don't meet people - over the past few years we have spent a great deal of time with friends, both through church and through Studio Asobi. But, perhaps ironically, it is still these few people with whom I have hardly met in recent years, who have the fullest picture of the person I really am.
I don't think I have changed much over the years, but I suppose my junior college days were when I was the most careless about guarding my emotions and behavior. The older I got, the more I learned about how to act appropriately, talk appropriately. My heart, which used to be worn on my sleeve, gradually retreated till it could only really be fully expressed in the privacy of our home, between the two of us.
And so there is only this handful of people who really know who I am, by virtue of having known me through those two heady years of youth, and still considering me a friend after two decades.
... Moss takes a long time to grow, and doesn't look particularly striking, but it just gives you that soft, fuzzy feeling doesn't it?
How about you? Who would you consider your deepest friends, and why?...
There is quite an intimate relationship that exists between technical proficiency and creativity.
Today, as I was preparing to make my glaze test tiles on the wheel, I suddenly had a thought - why not make a double-ringed form so that I can produce almost twice the number of tiles with pretty much the same effort? Before this, I would just make two separate rings and cut them individually. Still ok but less efficient and less satisfying!
This thought certainly wouldn't have occured had I not spent a significant amount of time practicing throwing double-walled vessels (for other purposes). And so this little moment today reminds me that there is really a benefit to practicing over and over again, even if right now we don't fully see the purposes of our efforts. And at the same time, I believe there is also great value in daydreaming and having a (healthy) level of "joyful discontent" for whatever we are doing!
...and now I just need to figure out how to cut these rings up so that the outer tiles don't end up way bigger than the inner tiles!...
SEE YOU LATTE
When the clouds drift in
And sprinkle the earth with mist
We'll have another
These two vessels, with their muted glazes, just fills me with such peace and warmth. I remember those days, before we could call it love, when I would just sit there savoring the moments with you and feeling so content. When time stood still because time didn't matter at all.
No moments last forever, but even those that have drifted past us can be savoured again - sometimes in a quiet stroll together, sometimes with a warm drink, sometimes as we close our eyes and dream, side by side.
Perhaps somewhere on Mars, it looks like this too? :)
Help us stretch our imaginations and expand our minds by sharing interesting social media accounts you follow in the comments section below! Those that are whimsical, experimental; those that make you wanna go make something of your own!
P.S. Doesn't have to be just pottery related 😄 Thank you in advance! :)
Made this little vessel out of leftover clay from our workshop, to try out some carving techniques. It wasn't particularly spectacular, so we used it to try out a glaze, and then we thought it could be quite useful as a pen/brush holder. So now it has left the shelves, and arrived at our table.
I realize that over the years, it is usually these random, average looking clay vessels that we end up using the most, and loving the most.