Asobi: Living Playing Pottery
Backpack Singapore gets in on the action with Studio Asobi for some hands-on pottery
It shouldn’t come as a surprise really, if I told you pottery-making feels like clumsy fumbling with a sweaty lump of play-doh. But only more awkward since it’s been years since playing with one – let alone attempt to produce something respectable.
My “pot” – let’s call it that – is too heavy, it’ll probably make for an anchor on a ship in an ocean somewhere. Huiwen gently suggests that I “stretch out the nozzle and thin out the sides”, while her husband Kenneth offers to remove layers from the inner walls.
It’s funny because I could see that even though my lump of confusion was never going to grace the covers of Clay Times or Ceramic Review, still I was suddenly feeling very possessive of having it taken from me. No one touches my baby.
Where was I? Right.
Sunday afternoons at Studio Asobi are greeted once a month by the crossing of footfalls making their way for a private workshop of learning and hands-on in the art and craft of pottery. Other days, it functions as the clean and decorated home cum workplace of Huiwen and Kenneth.
Guests are ushered in by the unusual sight of a firing kiln, and then greeted by the various many cups, bowls and pots personally crafted and integrated into various home uses.
For starters, tea is served in tiny white teacups taking all but the tips of three fingers to cradle, the pot from which it is poured is a vibrant shell of aquamarine hues and bamboo-green hints, it sits idly on the by. And then there was the absolutely adorable semi-rounded cup coloured to coconut-like perfection, with a husk-coloured glaze on the outside, and a milky white inside. Simply charming.
For participants, it is a very welcoming environment you find yourself in as Huiwen and Kenneth takes effort in settling everyone down. Huiwen begins the session with a brief introduction and history, both of the couple and of pottery. And you are given a better understanding of the art, as well as insights into the local pottery scene.
Then comes the hands-on session that participants are all but guaranteed to detract from the sagely “consistency in pressure, consistency in movement, and a lot of patience” advice from Huiwen. Thankfully, it is a step-by-step process where you summon your inner-artist and are gently taught and guided to achieve the close-likeness of your ideal piece.
The whole process takes the better part of three hours and you are also given the opportunity to have a go at the electric wheel, which caps off the afternoon with some nervous thrill and discovery.
All in, Studio Asobi is a great place to get some hands-on and initiation to pottery. You get the very experienced and knowledgeable Kenneth and Huiwen at your disposal. And as a bonus, take home a beautiful piece of art.
I’ll vouch for that. There’s nothing Studio Asobi cannot resuscitate. Just look at my baby.
Participants’ works can only be collected at a later date due to the firing and glazing process.
The private 3-hour workshop by Studio Asobi typically runs once a month and is suitable for those with little to no experience with pottery. Studio Asobi also conducts group workshops.
Find out more about them here.