Thank you Backpack Singapore for your feature story on Studio Asobi! It’s really great that you guys are putting together all these interesting things of Singapore for those who wish to discover more:) Glad you all had fun playing with clay at our pottery workshop and what a pretty piece Daniel made!
Asobi (遊び) means play in Japanese. It also means journey or to wander in Mandarin. The pictorial form of this character 遊 depicts a journey (巡行) with a flag (旗）and a student (学子). It represents how people used to go on boat journeys to observe and learn from different places in the olden days. It is interesting how it came to embody an element of play when the character is incorporated into the Japanese language. Perhaps this is indicative of how journeys are inherently fun by nature! This word holds a lot of meaning for us and hence we have adopted this as our studio name to represent our story.
I have always been a fan of Chinese Calligraphy as there is a certain spirit imbued within the moment of writing, which is captured on paper with ink. The thought of trying out calligraphy has been swirling in my mind for some time and I finally got hold of some paper, ink and brush yesterday. What I felt at the moment, I transferred to my brush. In many ways, it is like how I work with clay. I find it easiest to create when I immerse myself into the moment when it is just me and the way the clay is responding to my hands.
I have not taken any lessons in calligraphy and hence the writing is raw. I decided to give it a go nonetheless, because this is what asobi is about to me – to have a free spirit of experimentation and not be daunted by the unknown. Like the ancient student sitting on the boat going on a voyage of learning, it is exciting to find our way in this world and to choose where to dock.
2014 is coming to an end, and a new beginning awaits in 2015. May you continue to enjoy your personal voyage through life!
There is something mystical that happens in the belly of the dragon as it swallows wood after wood to feed its hunger. The flames climb high into the night and they lick and whisper into the pots as they exchange their smother for colours. As a potter, you can only surrender the last touches of the creation to nature and be at rest with what emerges from the test of fire.
Yet, all of these cannot happen without the hard work of people who continually feed the dragon to satisfy its appetite, well deep into the night. Special thanks goes to Mr Lim, Kwok Sun and students at Ceramic House, as well as organisers of the recent Awaken the Dragon festival. Thank you for making this possible!
Thank you Business Times for the wonderful feature! Like all the passionate craftspeople and indie food producers at Batch, it is a great joy to share our stories and our handmade offerings of love with you.
At Studio Asobi, our journey has only just begun. This encouragement reminds us that though the road ahead is full of uncertainties, as long as we keep doing the things we love, it will be a road worth walking!
For all of you out there who are pursuing your little dreams just like us, keep walking and don’t ever stop dreaming!
Extract from article:
WHAT started as a fun activity to be enjoyed with her husband grew into a full-time career for Lee Huiwen, a homegrown ceramist who creates one-off, nature-inspired works. It all began a year ago, when the Singapore Management University business graduate, who was in real estate business development before working for a non-governmental organisation, took a sabbatical.
“My husband and I picked up pottery because we wanted to learn something together,” explains Ms Lee. “We had just gotten married but were so busy with our careers that we hardly had time to do anything as a couple. He had a great experience doing pottery in secondary school and was very convincing!”
She picked up the craft in Singapore, but it was only when she enrolled in an immersive programme in the pottery town of Tajimi, Japan, that she decided to take the plunge and become a ceramist.
“The lifestyle there is simple but extremely fulfilling,” recalls Ms Lee. “People grow their own vegetables and the young potters I met are really dedicated to their art, staying humble and cheerful even though their income is not always forthcoming. My sensei is 74 years old and still shows up daily to work and teach and feast with his students.”
Now, she works from a home studio which allows her time to go out into the parks and neighbourhoods to get inspired by nature and people. The actual building, drying, firing and glazing process can take anything from a few days to a few weeks. And although her business, Studio Asobi, was founded only a few months ago, she has experienced a growing interest in ceramics, especially from young working professionals in their 20s and 30s. Ms Lee also sells her works to ceramic collectors, as well as others who are looking for functional wares or presents.
After several friends requested to be taught the basics of ceramics, she started a monthly workshop, aimed at giving beginners a hands-on experience with making their very own clay vessel.
“It was daunting at first, but gradually I convinced myself that if I have found something beautiful, there is no reason why I shouldn’t be sharing it with others,” says Ms Lee. “And it brings me a lot of joy to see the smiles on people’s faces when they discover the hidden artist within themselves!”
Different on the outside, but one at heart.
This pair of rice bowls is a gift from Shiwei to his good friends AA.ND, to celebrate their lifelong commitment to each other in marriage. May their love continue to grow in the simple daily joys of life!
To commission a gift for someone special, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org :)