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!
Slowing down a little not only gives us happiness but also gives us a chance to bond with our friends! Yesterday at our first corporate workshop, we hosted a team from Amex who took time off from their busy schedules to have fun together and refresh themselves with some clay therapy. As our minds relax, our creative souls start to surface, and this can be seen from all the wonderful little masterpieces that emerged!
We love running pottery workshops because we always meet interesting new friends and they in turn inspire us with their creativity! Watching the participants pinch their way to express what is beauty in their hearts is always such a joy.
While some of the amazing designs we saw yesterday were intentional, others emerged from little accidents along the way :) Isn’t that what life is all about? Sometimes we row the boat, sometimes life carries us along, like a dream.
We are happy you all had lots of fun and got your hands dirty while trying out the electric wheel. Looking forward to fire up each of your creations and seeing you all again!
Visit our page for updated details of our workshop and dates:)
Do you ever find it difficult to get a gift for someone special? I had the lovely opportunity to work with L who wanted to give her boyfriend a nice Christmas present under the Northern Lights. After brainstorming on ideas together, L came up with the name 星星相印, which is a play on the Chinese idiom that means two hearts beating as one. Those four words inspired this aroma oil burner that holds 2 tea lights, each shining out like stars under the night sky, two flames igniting together in love.
After months of exploration and reflection, we are really excited to finally reveal the charity we will be supporting – Mercy Centre’s Trolley Ministry! Mercy Centre is a local charity, and their Trolley Ministry is an outreach serving the homeless in Singapore.
Living in this affluent city of ours, it is hard to imagine that there are still homeless people on the streets, but there are, many of them – camouflaged within the dark, hidden corners of our sanitised urban landscape. After joining the Trolley Ministry on one of their “night runs” to bring food and friendship to the homeless, we found ourselves deeply moved by how the staff and volunteers went beyond addressing physical needs, focusing instead on building loving relationships with those who have no one to turn to.
To the founders of the Trolley Ministry, food is more than sustenance – it is a means by which people can connect and share their love for one another. This is how we view pottery too – each vessel embedded with love, hope and peace, connecting the makers and users together in spirit. We hope that our works will be a little blessing in your homes, and we’re happy to say that with every vessel you buy, you will join us in being that little blessing to those in our country who have no home to call their own.
Beyond pledging 20% of our profits to the Trolley Ministry, we’ve also been volunteering with them and slowly getting to know the homeless friends we’ve had the privilege of meeting. If you would like to find out more about the Trolley Ministry or join in for the trolley runs, do drop us a quick note and we’ll get back to you!
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!
Christmas is a month away! Over the weekend, our home studio in Singapore was buzzing with friends who came to experience working with clay at our pottery workshop. After a few hours of pinching and carving, we discovered many hidden artists!
Really excited to see the teacups when they are fired and glazed, just in time for Christmas giving!
Pottery is fun, yet meditative at the same time. Come, try it for yourself:)
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!”