Handcrafted with Love

pottery-singapore-asobi

At Studio Asobi, we believe that there is a place in this world for beautiful creations crafted by hand – slowly, lovingly and uniquely.

Our clay vessels each bear a name and a little haiku, and just as we have enjoyed making them, we hope that they bring the same joy to whoever holds and uses them.

The pictures below are a glimpse of our pottery works and creative process. Larger sculptures and installations can be found here.

We welcome you to join our pottery journey too, with our individual workshops, corporate sessions, regular classes, or volunteering.

Little droplets of mud

Little droplets of mud ...

This little vessel came out of our kiln just in time for my cousin's housewarming! 

In the midst of completing commissions and running workshops, making these simple pieces feels almost like a restful pause.

On a separate note, meeting my cousins these days makes me feel so old! It seems like ages ago when we were all jumping into drains and playing with sparklers - now everyone is grown up, even our kids are growing up so fast!

Back then, I was one of the more straight-laced kids among all the cousins. Who would have known that after all these years I would end up being the one playing with mud for a living?

This little vessel came out of our kiln just in time for my cousin's housewarming!

In the midst of completing commissions and running workshops, making these simple pieces feels almost like a restful pause.

On a separate note, meeting my cousins these days makes me feel so old! It seems like ages ago when we were all jumping into drains and playing with sparklers - now everyone is grown up, even our kids are growing up so fast!

Back then, I was one of the more straight-laced kids among all the cousins. Who would have known that after all these years I would end up being the one playing with mud for a living?
...

We wrote a devotional and prayer titled "Entering God's Rest" for this incredible labour of love - ‘Poets & Prophets: Songs of Justice’, a debut album by @micahsingapore . Locally produced, there are seven songs paired with devotionals exploring themes of justice, neighbourliness, Kingdom, and the Christian’s response to the challenges of living in today’s world. Love it! ♥

"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep." - Psalm 127:1-2

I was listening to the Song for the Sabbath this morning as I did an early morning cycle and musing over Elizabeth Elliot's words about doing the next thing when things are overwhelming.

Life is demanding and there is no doubt about that. How then shall we hold in balance doing the work that find its way into our path and staying rested in our inner beings? That is a worthy pursuit and thought for my week ahead. 

You can listen to the album and read all the devotionals (scroll all the way till end of page) via the official website. Be blessed! 

#songsofjustice #poetsprophets #justice #mercy #love #culturecare #songs #reflections #studioasobi #micah

We wrote a devotional and prayer titled "Entering God's Rest" for this incredible labour of love - ‘Poets & Prophets: Songs of Justice’, a debut album by @micahsingapore . Locally produced, there are seven songs paired with devotionals exploring themes of justice, neighbourliness, Kingdom, and the Christian’s response to the challenges of living in today’s world. Love it! ♥

"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep." - Psalm 127:1-2

I was listening to the Song for the Sabbath this morning as I did an early morning cycle and musing over Elizabeth Elliot's words about doing the next thing when things are overwhelming.

Life is demanding and there is no doubt about that. How then shall we hold in balance doing the work that find its way into our path and staying rested in our inner beings? That is a worthy pursuit and thought for my week ahead.

You can listen to the album and read all the devotionals (scroll all the way till end of page) via the official website. Be blessed!

#songsofjustice #poetsprophets #justice #mercy #love #culturecare #songs #reflections #studioasobi #micah
...

It has been intense for the past week or two, and I am especially grateful for this breather of respite at @apartmentcoffee. 

To be able to sip from our studio's handmade cup on beans grown in faraway Panama; each step a labour of love and care from all involved in getting this handbrew to the table.

It is fitting that I am also chewing over the words of @iamfujimura, who has recently put forth a new book relating to the Theology of Making. 

Mako has been a source of inspiration for us and the aroma of culture care permeates through his paintings and reflections.

To paraphrase something that he said, each day we are either creating culture or consuming culture. It is not about waging cultural wars; but to see culture as a garden to be cultivated. 

This moment sitting at a cafe with a book is idyllic and not part of our everyday work. But today, it is my little way of tending to the garden of my soul - to nourish it with fresh thoughts so that what we do can continue to be cheerful and purposeful. 

May you find that space to tend to your garden too:)

#culturecare #cultivation #respite #handmade #madeinsg #pottery #ceramics #artandfaith #studioasobi #theologyofmaking

It has been intense for the past week or two, and I am especially grateful for this breather of respite at @apartmentcoffee.

To be able to sip from our studio's handmade cup on beans grown in faraway Panama; each step a labour of love and care from all involved in getting this handbrew to the table.

It is fitting that I am also chewing over the words of @iamfujimura, who has recently put forth a new book relating to the Theology of Making.

Mako has been a source of inspiration for us and the aroma of culture care permeates through his paintings and reflections.

To paraphrase something that he said, each day we are either creating culture or consuming culture. It is not about waging cultural wars; but to see culture as a garden to be cultivated.

This moment sitting at a cafe with a book is idyllic and not part of our everyday work. But today, it is my little way of tending to the garden of my soul - to nourish it with fresh thoughts so that what we do can continue to be cheerful and purposeful.

May you find that space to tend to your garden too:)

#culturecare #cultivation #respite #handmade #madeinsg #pottery #ceramics #artandfaith #studioasobi #theologyofmaking
...

Sometimes we just have to retreat into our minds and imagine our feet sinking into powdery snow, our eyes squinting at the sunlight reflecting off the surface of an icy lake, our faces caressed by a wintery breeze, and a cup of hot chocolate waiting for us back at home.

Switching on the aircon helps!

Sometimes we just have to retreat into our minds and imagine our feet sinking into powdery snow, our eyes squinting at the sunlight reflecting off the surface of an icy lake, our faces caressed by a wintery breeze, and a cup of hot chocolate waiting for us back at home.

Switching on the aircon helps!
...

Some days we find them like this - silent, motionless, golden tiger eyes piercing the air, bodies wound up like springs ready to unleash their feline fury onto some hapless wandering creature.

Other days, they are sprawled comically over the sofa - yawning, bleary eyed, skinny limbs splaying out awkwardly in all directions.

Who are they, really? And what is going on behind those shimmering eyes?

Some days we find them like this - silent, motionless, golden tiger eyes piercing the air, bodies wound up like springs ready to unleash their feline fury onto some hapless wandering creature.

Other days, they are sprawled comically over the sofa - yawning, bleary eyed, skinny limbs splaying out awkwardly in all directions.

Who are they, really? And what is going on behind those shimmering eyes?
...

7 years ago, in this same Lent season, I spent 40 days in Japan; primarily for a programme in a pottery studio. 

I didn't intentionally choose Lent nor 40 days; but I chose Spring. It was only while I was filling out my travel insurance form that I discovered the trip was exactly 40 days long, and that there was a church in the city where I could attend an English Easter service. What a pleasant surprise! Yet, this is an example of how I have experienced grace - the undeserved discovery of God's fingerprints over my little life on earth:)

Winter turning into Spring was a delight to my soul as I live in eternal summery Singapore. We mark the passing of time through public holidays and financial quarters. 

Having just celebrated New Year's Day with everyone else around the globe on Jan 1, we are still in the midst of the Chinese New Year where we bless one another with auspicious greetings and wishes. Yet by this time, often times our calendars have started to fill out and studies or work demands have quickly set in. Hurrying along, we can easily lose track of time and priorities yet again; as the resolutions fade like the falling of leaves.

I decided on a social media fast 7 years ago while in Japan and it did extremely well for my soul. Avoiding the easy entertainment of what was on my screen, I paid attention to what was before my eyes. It is perhaps funny I should write this via social media but this year we are on another social media semi-fast (from consuming posts as we are still sharing reflections). 

If you wish to recenter your life on what is of essential importance to your soul, I would like to commend to you to avoid saturating your free time with social media too:) 

Who knows, a fresh new wind of life may blow off the dross, and we all can have clear sight of the road to life set ahead of us:) 

Wishing everyone a blessed Lent season and 新春平安!

#reflections #lent #spring #japan #studioasobi

7 years ago, in this same Lent season, I spent 40 days in Japan; primarily for a programme in a pottery studio.

I didn't intentionally choose Lent nor 40 days; but I chose Spring. It was only while I was filling out my travel insurance form that I discovered the trip was exactly 40 days long, and that there was a church in the city where I could attend an English Easter service. What a pleasant surprise! Yet, this is an example of how I have experienced grace - the undeserved discovery of God's fingerprints over my little life on earth:)

Winter turning into Spring was a delight to my soul as I live in eternal summery Singapore. We mark the passing of time through public holidays and financial quarters.

Having just celebrated New Year's Day with everyone else around the globe on Jan 1, we are still in the midst of the Chinese New Year where we bless one another with auspicious greetings and wishes. Yet by this time, often times our calendars have started to fill out and studies or work demands have quickly set in. Hurrying along, we can easily lose track of time and priorities yet again; as the resolutions fade like the falling of leaves.

I decided on a social media fast 7 years ago while in Japan and it did extremely well for my soul. Avoiding the easy entertainment of what was on my screen, I paid attention to what was before my eyes. It is perhaps funny I should write this via social media but this year we are on another social media semi-fast (from consuming posts as we are still sharing reflections).

If you wish to recenter your life on what is of essential importance to your soul, I would like to commend to you to avoid saturating your free time with social media too:)

Who knows, a fresh new wind of life may blow off the dross, and we all can have clear sight of the road to life set ahead of us:)

Wishing everyone a blessed Lent season and 新春平安!

#reflections #lent #spring #japan #studioasobi
...

WHISPERS
Faint rustling of leaves
Bear clandestine messages
Tree to silent tree

In these strange covid times, we have become more and more like silent trees, standing at a perpetual safe distance from one another. Yet across the invisible airwaves, we are chattering incessantly, even broadcasting our thoughts to the world (like now). What a strange juxtaposition! Really makes me wonder how our lives will be like 20 years from now. Will we still sit in cafes, sipping our coffees, leaning close to each other so that we can whisper across the background noise?

Who knows. But for now, here are five little pourers for the folks at @apartmentcoffee , as they do their work of calming nerves, lifting spirits, and soothing the palates of the sojourners coming in for a little pause in between adventures.

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #pourers #whispers #spout #coffee #tea #cafe #commission

WHISPERS
Faint rustling of leaves
Bear clandestine messages
Tree to silent tree

In these strange covid times, we have become more and more like silent trees, standing at a perpetual safe distance from one another. Yet across the invisible airwaves, we are chattering incessantly, even broadcasting our thoughts to the world (like now). What a strange juxtaposition! Really makes me wonder how our lives will be like 20 years from now. Will we still sit in cafes, sipping our coffees, leaning close to each other so that we can whisper across the background noise?

Who knows. But for now, here are five little pourers for the folks at @apartmentcoffee , as they do their work of calming nerves, lifting spirits, and soothing the palates of the sojourners coming in for a little pause in between adventures.

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #pourers #whispers #spout #coffee #tea #cafe #commission
...

So because I was an architect in my past life, here is a little eskimo house so I don't lose touch with the profession!

Did you know that the ice bricks in an igloo are actually built in a spiral fashion and not in horizontal layers? Well, I didn't either until Google informed me halfway through my carving... Too late!

Hope its furry little owner won't mind!

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #igloo #bricks #commission #hamster #hideout #wip

So because I was an architect in my past life, here is a little eskimo house so I don't lose touch with the profession!

Did you know that the ice bricks in an igloo are actually built in a spiral fashion and not in horizontal layers? Well, I didn't either until Google informed me halfway through my carving... Too late!

Hope its furry little owner won't mind!

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #igloo #bricks #commission #hamster #hideout #wip
...

Mondays are our rest days, and over the years this rhythm has become indispensable to the health of our marriage and our studio.

Today started with Huiwen riding out at 5am along Serangoon River to catch the sunrise, and ended with Kenneth completing this mural on our chalkboard.

In between, we had a lovely breakfast together, and talked about the implications of the RZIM revelations on our spiritual journey. We repented of our own lack of self-control, and of the hours we have wasted letting our minds be dulled by our media feeds. We listened to a powerful and penetrating sermon that spoke to our spirits. We resolved that 2021 will be different. We played our guitars, and harmonized an original song. We discarded some things at home that didn't spark joy. We poured tea for each other from a teapot we made together, and enjoyed the new year goodies that our families have blessed us with. We played and laughed with Tobie, and showed off our in progress "夕阳" to him. He loved it!

We're still slowly discovering the meaning of the Sabbath, but today finally felt like the kind of rest that we have needed for a really long time.

Mondays are our rest days, and over the years this rhythm has become indispensable to the health of our marriage and our studio.

Today started with Huiwen riding out at 5am along Serangoon River to catch the sunrise, and ended with Kenneth completing this mural on our chalkboard.

In between, we had a lovely breakfast together, and talked about the implications of the RZIM revelations on our spiritual journey. We repented of our own lack of self-control, and of the hours we have wasted letting our minds be dulled by our media feeds. We listened to a powerful and penetrating sermon that spoke to our spirits. We resolved that 2021 will be different. We played our guitars, and harmonized an original song. We discarded some things at home that didn't spark joy. We poured tea for each other from a teapot we made together, and enjoyed the new year goodies that our families have blessed us with. We played and laughed with Tobie, and showed off our in progress "夕阳" to him. He loved it!

We're still slowly discovering the meaning of the Sabbath, but today finally felt like the kind of rest that we have needed for a really long time.
...

Here's a beautiful and evocative creation from one of our handbuilding intro session participants.

Most of us would recognise the form of the Monkey God's headband "紧箍" draped around the neck of the vase. In the novel Journey To The West, the monk routinely uses a curse that causes the headband to shrink, giving the loyal Monkey God an excruciating headache and compelling him to follow the monk's well-intentioned but often misguided orders.

I have no idea what was in our participant's mind as she made this vase, but as I gazed at it fresh out of the kiln, I was reminded of all those conflicting voices in my heart, constantly fighting for my attention and action. Some of these I often listen to, others I routinely suppress. Perhaps this is a gentle nudge for me to review some of these mental reflexes, and see if anything needs changing as we drift quietly towards the fifth decade of our lives!

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #handbuilding #vase #monkeygod #reflections

Here's a beautiful and evocative creation from one of our handbuilding intro session participants.

Most of us would recognise the form of the Monkey God's headband "紧箍" draped around the neck of the vase. In the novel Journey To The West, the monk routinely uses a curse that causes the headband to shrink, giving the loyal Monkey God an excruciating headache and compelling him to follow the monk's well-intentioned but often misguided orders.

I have no idea what was in our participant's mind as she made this vase, but as I gazed at it fresh out of the kiln, I was reminded of all those conflicting voices in my heart, constantly fighting for my attention and action. Some of these I often listen to, others I routinely suppress. Perhaps this is a gentle nudge for me to review some of these mental reflexes, and see if anything needs changing as we drift quietly towards the fifth decade of our lives!

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #handbuilding #vase #monkeygod #reflections
...

Last night as I thought about what Valentine's Day means to me this year, the phrase "不吃力" (i.e. not tedious) came to mind. 

We fell in love in 2009, married in 2011 and so this year we will enter into our 10th year of marriage! ♥️

不吃力 can also be translated as effortless, but I wouldn't use that translation because while it is not tedious, there is definitely effort put in on a daily basis to keep our love growing strong. However, just like tending to your garden blooms or using your hands to craft, the effort is necessary for the outcome, but it is enjoyable at the same time. 

As I mused further, I thought of another phrase to describe our relationship, and that would be "力量支援” (i.e. energy giving). I am really thankful for having a strong partner to carry what I cannot carry on my own; to hold my hand as we explore this world together:) 

I thank God for bringing us together and for giving us our bundle of joy who cracks us up with his humour and who soothes us with his sweetness. 

Just like the bubble tea that we rewarded ourselves on this special day, may your days be filled with moments of 小幸福 too! ♥️♥️♥️

#reflections #valentinesday #studioasobi

Last night as I thought about what Valentine's Day means to me this year, the phrase "不吃力" (i.e. not tedious) came to mind.

We fell in love in 2009, married in 2011 and so this year we will enter into our 10th year of marriage! ♥️

不吃力 can also be translated as effortless, but I wouldn't use that translation because while it is not tedious, there is definitely effort put in on a daily basis to keep our love growing strong. However, just like tending to your garden blooms or using your hands to craft, the effort is necessary for the outcome, but it is enjoyable at the same time.

As I mused further, I thought of another phrase to describe our relationship, and that would be "力量支援” (i.e. energy giving). I am really thankful for having a strong partner to carry what I cannot carry on my own; to hold my hand as we explore this world together:)

I thank God for bringing us together and for giving us our bundle of joy who cracks us up with his humour and who soothes us with his sweetness.

Just like the bubble tea that we rewarded ourselves on this special day, may your days be filled with moments of 小幸福 too! ♥️♥️♥️

#reflections #valentinesday #studioasobi
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