If you’re noticing a resurgence of ceramic art in Singapore lately, you are not wrong. The recent Singapore Art Week in January, for instance, witnessed one of the largest surveys of the discipline since the ’90s. Titled Singapore Ceramics Now 2021, it featured works by 19 Singapore-based practitioners.
But the popularity of this craft extends to the number of ateliers that have popped up on the scene too, with many offering beginner and advanced classes as well as open studio sessions.
Ahead, we highlight seven studios with distinct POVs that you can check out if you’re all for creating beautiful pieces from clay.
The lowdown: A studio founded by ceramic artists Ng Seok Har and Michelle Lim, both of whom have been practising for over 14 years. The dynamic duo was even commissioned to create a 90th birthday present for Queen Elizabeth II, gifting her with a tea set on behalf of then-Prime Minister Tony Tan. Bringing a fresh look to ceramics, all glazes here are made using self-concocted recipes – their modern approach has led to boundary-pushing pieces like dinnerware plates for French restaurant Lerouy.
Classes: Their two-and-half-hour Beginners Course takes you through basic techniques like coiling, slab building, throwing, trimming, and glazing. Classes cost $315 per person for five consecutive lessons. Advance classes cover the depth of ceramics via a monthly structured syllabus.
Mud Rock Ceramics is at 85 Maude Road, Singapore 208357. Visit its website for more information.
The lowdown: The Potters’ Guilt is a collective group of artists with a strong passion for handmade ceramics, comprising of Thomas Cheong, Daisy Toh, Todd Tok and Huey Min. All four have impressive resumes as well, having done artist residences in numerous countries around the world. Huey Min was also awarded the UNESCO City of Craft Memorial Award, while Cheong was an invited artist to the Cheongju Craft Biennale. With such experienced artists, it’s no surprise that many of their classes are currently fully booked.
Classes: Its most popular class is the Pottery Do-It-All, a three-hour introductory session ($80 per person). If short on time, check out the Pottery on the Wheel Experience ($55 per person), where you can make your own tableware in just 90 minutes. Do note that many classes are booked up till April or May, so register early or sign up for their waitlist to be notified of slots.
The Potters’ Guilt is at 195 Pearl’s Hill Terrace, #01-03, Singapore 168976. Visit its website for more information.
The lowdown: Clever wordplay aside, this specialised pottery studio features an experimental approach towards traditional pottery. It was founded by ceramic artist Alvin Leow, whose thought-provoking and unique works have been featured in numerous art exhibitions and commissioned by private art collectors. Aside from classes, the studio also produces handmade functional wares, sculpture and ceramic tile murals.
Classes: Not sure if pottery is for you? Check out its 90-minute trial lesson ($60 per person), which lets you take home a piece of glaze-fired pottery. Or opt for the Wheel Pottery beginner classes ($400 per person, consisting of eight beginner sessions). You’ll be taught to create basic shapes, as well as glaze and firing techniques.
Urth & Phire is at 2 Pereira Rd, #05-02A, 2connectt@TS, Singapore 368024. Visit its website for more information.
The lowdown: An art gallery and studio featuring local ceramic artists, along with collections from visiting countries. It was founded in 1998 by master potter Chuan Siang Boon, whose works have been sold internationally and even chosen as state gifts for foreign officials such as French politician Bernard Kouchner. Boon’s pottery is also a platform for Singaporean artists to showcase their works, many of which feature a distinctive local flavour and can be bought at their e-shop.
The lowdown: One of the newest studios around, Terra & Ember was set up just two years back. Husband-wife team Alan and Sarah took a spontaneous pottery class in 2016, and have been working hard to perfect their trade ever since. Their Geylang Road Studio is a cosy, minimalistic (and very Instagrammable) loft, which also serves as a craft space for independent artists to run their own workshops. The owners also make small batches of ceramic ware inspired by the ecology around their neighbourhood.
Classes: This is one of the only studios to offer mobile pottery classes, so you can pick up the craft at your desired location. We also recommend the unique Mini Potters workshop ($65 per person), where you wheel-throw miniature clay vessels on a tiny pottery wheel.
The lowdown: Euphoramics is helmed by artist Loy Yan Ling, whose portfolio includes exquisite tableware combining both form and function. Having been trained in ceramics for more than 20 years, her clever use of colours and beautiful glaze finishes certainly stand out. Loy has also attended workshops by established artists like Candone Wharton, and moderated the National Ceramics Forum in Singapore.
Classes: Euphoramics’ three-hour-long Wheel Throwing Workshop ($80 per person) lets you create up to three pieces of works on the wheel. The Fundamental Wheel Throwing Lesson ($280 per person) − where you’ll create teacups, mugs, or bowls − consists of three wheel-throwing sessions as well as a session of basic glazing.
The lowdown: Padme Hum is all about freeform experimentation, with small classes and an unstructured learning environment. Founder Tania Misra first trained as an architect and urban designer, before honing her ceramic skills under master potters like Sasha Wardell. She opened Padme Hum in 2018, and now teaches students to express their creativity through sculpting their own unique pieces.
Classes: The two-and-a-half-hour Ad-Hoc Pottery Class ($85 per person) teaches you both hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques, along with the chance to experiment with various shapes, patterns, designs and tools. The studio also offers membership package pottery classes, as well as self-practice open studio sessions.
The lowdown: Thow Kang Pottery Jungle is home to Singapore’s oldest dragon kiln, and is a traditional Chinese form of kiln, used for Chinese ceramics. Started in 1965, the family-run business is a major importer and exporter of pottery wares, and also conducts classes for all ages. You can also shop its extensive range of ceramics, from Peranakan collections to cooking wares.
Classes: Single sessions with hand-building techniques only are priced at $28, while those with use of the potter’s wheel are priced at $50. There’s also two-hour workshop ($75) that guides you through pottery basics and you’ll be able to go home with your masterpiece. Or if you’re in it for the long haul, check out the Long Term Potters’ Wheel Course priced from $380.
Thow Kang Pottery Jungle is at 85 Lorong Tawas, Singapore 639823. Visit its website for more information.
The lowdown: Husband-and-wife duo as well as full-time potters Kenneth and Huiwen are behind Studio Asobi, with “asobi” meaning to “play” in Japanese. They boast a rather impressive resume as well, having created an installation for Singaplural as well as decorative vases and selected dishes for local restaurant, Whitegrass.
Plus, part of the proceeds goes to free monthly workshops for migrant workers. The couple teach migrant workers who have been injured in their line of work on a pro-bono basis, not only as an anxiety-reliever for the workers, but also to help them create functional wares for themselves with newly acquired pottery skills.
Classes: Single introductory sessions are available at $90 for three hours, and will cover techniques such that you can create your own cup, bowl, or planter. It also offers regular courses, but these have been fully booked as at the time of writing. Please refer to the website for updates.
Studio Asobi is at Block 705 Hougang Ave 2, #02-265, Singapore 530705. Visit its website for more information.
Text: Rebecca Rachel Wong/Female Singapore. Addition text: Michelle Lee