Maker Traveler | Clay Fish in Singapore, Pewter Bowls in Penang/Georgetown, and Okonomiyaki in Tokyo

Well, back for a while now but had a little (okay, more than a little) trouble with re-entry into “normal” . . . time change was much harder coming back and very much disliked having to (horrors) actually drive myself places after a couple of weeks traveling via plane, bus, taxi, or train. I’ve been back in the studio a couple of times since and hopefully will have a few finished pieces again this week but wanted to say hello and share a bit of my experiences here.

My family had told us about an opportunity in Singapore for a pottery outing so as we were on the plane over, I started thinking that it would be interesting to make a souvenir in each location we visited and to some degree that came to be. We went to an awesome workshop in Singapore at Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle where we made clay fish. 

We used a hand-building technique that was new to me and one I may start incorporating into my regular works soon. The pieces had to dry prior to being fired (it’s an open air space so it takes a little longer) and we were only in town for a few more days, so we’re still waiting for the fish to make their way over – yet to be seen whether they’ll be swimming or flying . . .

In Malaysia we visited Penang. Most of our time was spent in the Georgetown area wandering through Little India and Chinatown checking out the shophouses – and street art. This is probably my most favourite thing about traveling, just seeing another city’s normal routine.

We ventured out to Straits Quay where we made pewter bowls at Royal Selangor’s School of Hard Knocks. Not nearly as relaxing as the time spent making clay fish in Singapore – but then we did get to bring the finished product home!

In Tokyo, we were scurrying around so much that the only thing we made were “pancakes” – okonomiyaki – for dinner one night. Those weren’t brought back of course but gobbled up in a few minutes time. We visited so many places in Tokyo!

As nice as it is to be back home, I do wish we had more time everywhere that we visited. Nowhere more than Japan – we did venture out to Mt. Fuji for a day trip and were lucky to have a beautiful view of the mountain, but there is so much more of Japan, even just in Tokyo, that I would love to see sometime!

One thing that held across the board was how nice everyone was to us – no matter where we were and how inconveniencing we might have been at the time (and we were somewhat frequently imposing on someone). I hope I/we are the same to visitors here also – something for me to continue to think about and take more notice of my own behaviours.

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