Tag Archives: ceramics

An inspiring tale of lifelong learning

Unlike many who shared stories of childhood inspirations, Mr Davy Young tells us a different tale, one that can inspire lifelong learning.

IMG_0277smallMr Young is a ceramic artist in his late 60s and he picked up pottery as a hobby when he was in his mid-50s in preparation for his retirement, attending basic courses in ceramic arts at a Community Centre. As Mr Young is a nature lover (having spent his childhood in the countryside), his ceramic art tends to incorporate texture formed by tree-bark and tropical leaves. In 2003, Mr Young was inspired by beautiful ceramic leaves made by British artist Ms Judy Brown, whose artwork was featured in a magazine. Mr Young corresponded with Ms Brown who shared some basic steps on leaf-making. From then on, Mr Young devoted much of his spare time exploring techniques to perfect his skills in leaf-making, developing his own artwork style in the process. He proudly shared that each leaf is unique because they were made using impressions of a freshly-plucked leaf, and they were both ornamental and functional.

Sometime after Mr Young retired from the workforce in 2010, he was encouraged by his potter friends to consider selling his artwork on the market. Encouraged by his friends’ support, he began to take part in art markets and approach some retail shops to carry this artwork. His artwork has since been carried by the gift shop at The Botanic Gardens and a shop at Haji Lane under the label “Leaves with Memories”.

Mr Young’s story is a good reminder to us that it is never too late to learn. We hope this story inspires you and that you will share this admirable spirit with those you know.

Come by Senja-Cashew CC this weekend to check out Mr Young’s work pieces at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire! He will also be giving a “one-session only” demo on ceramic leaf-making on 27 July, Sunday from 2.45 – 3.15pm.  See you there.

From Paper to Porcelain – Alternative ceramics art work

Can you imagine turning paper into porcelain? I was awed when I read about the idea, and totally amazed and impressed when I realised the lengthy and detailed production processes.

Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 would like to introduce Teo Huey Ling, the person behind this alternative ceramics artwork.

The artist

Huey Ling is a practising visual artist who specialises in ceramics, having gone through a 3-year apprenticeship in a bowl and plate-making ceramic workshop in Malaysia before going on to further study in Australia.

She shares a work space with three other artists at the Bedok Industrial Park where they have a kiln to fire ceramics art pieces.

Although she prefers to spend more time on her art works, the NAFA graduate also teaches part time in many places, sometimes in primary schools, mostly in NAFA and Temasek Polytechnic, covering subjects like 2D drawing and painting to 3D clay and wire.

The artwork

Through our interview, Huey Ling expressed her observation of a conservative and repetitive local ceramics environment due to the demand for more functional ceramic ware. However, in her opinion, the word ceramics should transcend beyond functionality into something more contemporary. What is interesting is that her porcelain art works are made of a diverse range of materials, including rice papers and even wool that are used for felting. Hence, her art works are considered unconventional by most in the Ceramics field. Huey Ling believed that the concentrated activity of the making processes will uncover the responsiveness hidden in the materials, hence bring forward the spirit of the process and its energy to the viewer.

Although her art works focus more on the aesthetic aspects, she had chosen to title them “Vessels” just like the wares she made as a potter, which contain and carry things. She sees her artworks as vessels of aesthetics, of the form, of the translucency and whiteness of the porcelain material. Below is an extract from Huey Ling’s blog on what the knitted vessel series is about.

Knitted vessel

Knitted vessel

“Knitted vessel series is an on-going exploration of form, paper, porcelain and slip casting. It is a combination of multiple methods and processes where rice papers were first cut and twisted into cords, then meticulously crocheted into shapes. The paper crochet shapes were then dipped into porcelain slips to form a slip cast on the paper crochet. Finally, the work is put in a kiln where the paper is fired away to produce the porcelain form.”

It is not difficult to imagine the tedious process where the artist has to go through trials and errors to master the materials and understand what works, and also the agony she probably went through when a full kiln of work failed 2 weeks before an important exhibition. As Huey Ling highlighted, it takes a lot of discipline and perseverance for one to become an artist in Singapore. I guess many makers will also find the challenges familiar.

The Faire

Huey Ling had learnt about the Singapore Mini Maker Faire through a friend and she was keen to get to know other people who like to make things. If you drop by her booth, do say “Hi’ to her!