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.

This has got to be the most challenging vessel I have ever thrown on the wheel. 1600g, 30cm (H) x 6cm (W). A 5:1 ratio cylinder with an inner diameter significantly narrower than the width of my hand. 

So this is how my day went. After we dropped Tobie off at school, we had breakfast, and I started making this around 10am. After 4 failed attempts, it was 2pm and I suddenly got a call from an elderly church friend who had a fever and needed help getting to a doctor. Huiwen thought it would be a good idea to give my clay-soaked, wrinkled fingers a rest, and so off I went on an excursion to Joo Chiat.

At 5:30pm, I came home, showered, and tried again. Another failed attempt, and then it was time to entertain my boy whom I had promised to take to the park after school to play at the sand pit. So I cut up my piece, analyzed my mistakes, and went on another excursion to Punggol Park.

At 10pm, I returned home with my wide-awake son, showered away his grime and left him to the capable hands of my wife to be dispatched into dreamland, and embarked on one last try.

It's now 2am.

Moral of the story - with clay, there are times where it's pointless to keep trying. Just got to rest, recuperate, and fight again. 

And also, there are only so many times in this life that my boy would ask me to take him to the playground. Work can always wait.

This has got to be the most challenging vessel I have ever thrown on the wheel. 1600g, 30cm (H) x 6cm (W). A 5:1 ratio cylinder with an inner diameter significantly narrower than the width of my hand.

So this is how my day went. After we dropped Tobie off at school, we had breakfast, and I started making this around 10am. After 4 failed attempts, it was 2pm and I suddenly got a call from an elderly church friend who had a fever and needed help getting to a doctor. Huiwen thought it would be a good idea to give my clay-soaked, wrinkled fingers a rest, and so off I went on an excursion to Joo Chiat.

At 5:30pm, I came home, showered, and tried again. Another failed attempt, and then it was time to entertain my boy whom I had promised to take to the park after school to play at the sand pit. So I cut up my piece, analyzed my mistakes, and went on another excursion to Punggol Park.

At 10pm, I returned home with my wide-awake son, showered away his grime and left him to the capable hands of my wife to be dispatched into dreamland, and embarked on one last try.

It's now 2am.

Moral of the story - with clay, there are times where it's pointless to keep trying. Just got to rest, recuperate, and fight again.

And also, there are only so many times in this life that my boy would ask me to take him to the playground. Work can always wait.
...

Amidst the quiet moments of creation and the lively moments of hosting guests in our home, here is a shot of the sweaty, sometimes frustrating moments when time and effort is spent just getting things back to normal.

For a home studio like ours, these moments include mopping the floor, washing the clothes, wedging the clay, and less frequent but more complex tasks like deciding that our kiln elements have reached the end of their road, and spending a whole afternoon taking things apart and putting them back.

One of the reasons why we refrain from having workshops everyday and taking on too many commissions is because we feel that all these mundane or maintenance things that happen in the background still deserve our attention, our joy, and our peace. Of course, it feels bad to turn down requests, and often we question ourselves if we are being less hardworking than we should be. 

But for now at least, this feels like the right approach, so that we can continue being a home and a studio that is filled with love and joy!

Amidst the quiet moments of creation and the lively moments of hosting guests in our home, here is a shot of the sweaty, sometimes frustrating moments when time and effort is spent just getting things back to normal.

For a home studio like ours, these moments include mopping the floor, washing the clothes, wedging the clay, and less frequent but more complex tasks like deciding that our kiln elements have reached the end of their road, and spending a whole afternoon taking things apart and putting them back.

One of the reasons why we refrain from having workshops everyday and taking on too many commissions is because we feel that all these mundane or maintenance things that happen in the background still deserve our attention, our joy, and our peace. Of course, it feels bad to turn down requests, and often we question ourselves if we are being less hardworking than we should be.

But for now at least, this feels like the right approach, so that we can continue being a home and a studio that is filled with love and joy!
...

Who knew that making flat things was so difficult?

Here are some tiles we are testing out for a project, and they are nothing complex - regular rectangular tiles covered with a layer of local clay. But the thing about clay is that it contains lots of water, and when water evaporates, the clay shrinks. Laying a flat piece of clay on a flat surface often means that it dries up faster on one side, causing uneven shrinkage and a warped surface. Getting slabs to shrink evenly is something we haven't quite mastered, and so this project is surely going to accelerate our learning curve!

Hopefully without too much heartache...

Who knew that making flat things was so difficult?

Here are some tiles we are testing out for a project, and they are nothing complex - regular rectangular tiles covered with a layer of local clay. But the thing about clay is that it contains lots of water, and when water evaporates, the clay shrinks. Laying a flat piece of clay on a flat surface often means that it dries up faster on one side, causing uneven shrinkage and a warped surface. Getting slabs to shrink evenly is something we haven't quite mastered, and so this project is surely going to accelerate our learning curve!

Hopefully without too much heartache...
...

Work in progress! Letting these playful little plates catch some late afternoon rays. 

Making plates is always somewhat of a tricky affair, especially those done using the slab method. Anyone has any good techniques for preventing warping?

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #plates #commission #slab

Work in progress! Letting these playful little plates catch some late afternoon rays.

Making plates is always somewhat of a tricky affair, especially those done using the slab method. Anyone has any good techniques for preventing warping?

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #plates #commission #slab
...

Once in awhile we find some time to make some things for ourselves! If all goes well, this is going to be a tray for our washing liquid and hand soap in the kitchen, with the little winding river helping to drain water into our sink!

Once in awhile we find some time to make some things for ourselves! If all goes well, this is going to be a tray for our washing liquid and hand soap in the kitchen, with the little winding river helping to drain water into our sink! ...

Father son bonding time. Our little boy working the earth just like us! Posting this from under a shelter at Bishan Park after getting caught in a thunderstorm cos both of us didn't look at the sky.

That was supposed to be mummy's job...

Father son bonding time. Our little boy working the earth just like us! Posting this from under a shelter at Bishan Park after getting caught in a thunderstorm cos both of us didn't look at the sky.

That was supposed to be mummy's job...
...

WHITE  DARK
First bitter, then sweet?
Let's agree to disagree
But give me a bite

She likes dark chocolate, I like white. Milk chocolate is a rather unsatisfactory compromise. When I buy chocolates, I always buy dark, because it brings a smile to her face.

She likes to work hard first, then have fun. I like to have fun first, then take a nap. When there is work to be done, she always gets it done.

I love my wife.

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #coffee #chocolate
#love #marriage

WHITE DARK
First bitter, then sweet?
Let's agree to disagree
But give me a bite

She likes dark chocolate, I like white. Milk chocolate is a rather unsatisfactory compromise. When I buy chocolates, I always buy dark, because it brings a smile to her face.

She likes to work hard first, then have fun. I like to have fun first, then take a nap. When there is work to be done, she always gets it done.

I love my wife.

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #coffee #chocolate
#love #marriage
...

It's really fun for us when our students bravely play with our glazes, often in ways which we might not have done. And so in many ways we are learning as well, from those who call us their teachers!

Thank you Irene for persevering through this complex piece, it was worth it!

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #workshops #glazes #teapot

It's really fun for us when our students bravely play with our glazes, often in ways which we might not have done. And so in many ways we are learning as well, from those who call us their teachers!

Thank you Irene for persevering through this complex piece, it was worth it!

#studioasobi #handmade #madeinsingapore #ceramiclife #ceramics #sgceramics #sgpottery #pottery #artisan #workshops #glazes #teapot
...