And that, we did. When the studio was almost ready, we caught up with her at her new studio to get to know more about her and to take a sneak peek!
How cute is the name of the studio!
Named the Garden Club Makers, you could feel the laid-back and relaxing vibe that her pottery studio have when you first set foot into it. You might actually just want to spend the entire day here! Here are a few more snippets of the studio.
Her own concoction of glazes all ready for her studio users
Her kiln firing up the goodies in her 'kiln' room
As we shadowed her around her studio (like the pesky little pests we are), we managed to shoot her some questions too!
Hi Lerae, congratulations on the new studio - we love the aesthetics! We don't think we have ever asked you about this so let’s first roll back the years and get to know about your first foray into ceramics.
Sure, I actually started learning ceramics way back in 2015. Initially, I simply set out to find a new hobby as I really enjoy being a complete beginner and learning new skills from scratch. There are so many different aspects to pottery so I was able to continue taking lessons for a few years without ever feeling bored. Over the years, I grew in love with the craft and decided to turn it from a hobby to a full-time job in 2020.
Lerae hard at work, wedging her clay
And here she is throwing her pieces for our exclusive collection
Evidently, Lerae's passion for her work certainly shines through and was easy to see as we followed her around the studio. On top of her usual production work, she now has to set aside time for studio duties as a new studio owner.
For her own line, depending on which stage of the process she is at, she will schedule pockets of free time to throw, trim or glaze her works. The rest of the day is spent on teaching as well as studio commitments such as recycling clay, testing and making glazes, loading the kiln or cleaning the studio.
She mixes her own glazes too!
Some of the jumbo mugs from our exclusive collection are being put out to dry
Watching you at work seems like you are balancing quite a lot and it looks like you have a good system chugging along! For your own product lines, do you have a certain process or are you more like a go-with-the-flow kind of person?
For production work, I am pretty strict about the process. I will sketch out the designs and throw a few samples, keeping in mind the final dimensions that was planned for. This is very important as clay shrinks when it dries. When I am pleased with the samples (size, proportion, overall look including the glaze), I will then proceed to throw a larger batch.
For one-off decorative pieces, I will have a shape in mind and the rough dimensions too, but in general, the work doesn’t have to be as precise, so there is room to go with the flow as I am throwing.
Her test pieces that were put on display
We can certainly see that you really have such deep love for clay and the pottery practice in general. What do you think is the toughest thing about being a potter?
Clay is a wonderful but a pretty unforgiving medium to work with in my opinion. So, there is a lot of making and remaking involved - the work can be rather tedious and back-breaking at times! I think the physical aspect of it is really the hardest thing about being a potter.
Are there ceramicists that you follow closely?
Hmm, to name a few - Kansai Noguchi, Shinobu Hashimoto, Wu Wei Cheng, Han Chiao. Actually, Garden Club Makers has an on-going series of stories on potters we love so do check out our Instagram for more!
Lastly, are there certain aspects of pottery that you would like to explore more?
Pottery is a really interesting domain where there is always something new to learn. I have yet to learn reduction firing and mold-making, both of which I am very interested in.
We teamed up with Lerae Lim to create an exclusive collection that will be made live on 24 March 2023, Friday - you can check out the collection here. In the meantime, enjoy the following snaps.
Freshly thrown cups literally basking in the sun!
An up-close shot of her wheel-throwing process!
Some of the bisqued pieces on her shelves that are lining up for glazing
And we're done for the day (to be honest, she still had to clean up after that)!
The glazes, concocted by Lerae herself, that are exclusive to Eat & Sip!
Leave a comment