Whether you are a novice or a seasoned ceramics artist, our clay programs are designed to promote inner peace, joy, and community among people who love pottery.
Making pottery is symbolic of the journey of life. The process of making 1 piece of pottery requires a few steps. At each step, it is possible that something unexpected may happen and your piece may not turn out nicely (sometimes by no mistake of yours!). One valuable lesson of pottery is to embrace uncertainty. If something unpleasant happens to your piece, let it go and try again. Never give up; press on and make many more successful pieces.
"3So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him." Jeremiah 18:3-4
The piece that did not turn out the way you intended can be recycled. Any piece that has not been bisque-fired can be returned to the recycle bin and reconstituted to be made useful again. How delightful! There is no wastage, no failure, and you can definitely practise the Buddhist philosophy of having no attachment.
Even if your fired piece should one day break, it can still be pieced back together. In Japanese aesthetics, this method of joining a broken piece back together is called 'kintsugi'『金継ぎ』, and the piece is considered to be even more beautiful.
To apply yourself in pottery, you have to be present in the moment, be strong and focused, yet sensitive to the touch and feel the subtleties of the clay. The wheel spins while you concentrate, center your clay, and use your senses to mold your piece. The experience is therapeutic, as you draw parallels to the passing of time. At Center Pottery, we believe that no matter where you are or how you feel on this life's journey, let pottery help you center your mind and spirit as you experience this transcendental art form at our tranquil studio. The lessons you take away from pottery will significantly benefit your mind and body.
Center Pottery is founded by Joan Huang. She studied Medicine and Japanese Studies. Center Pottery is a culmination of her life and work experiences, and her passions. She brings together her pottery expertise and healthcare experience, and uses her knowledge to promote the benefits of clay, ceramics, and pottery for mind health in Singapore. Pottery is beneficial for patients with mental health issues, such as anxiety, attention-deficit disorder, depression and trauma etc., and also patients who need occupational therapy for rehabilitation of their hand dexterity.
Joan has deep appreciation for the Japanese aesthetic, and ceramics is one of the pillars of Japanese Art. She studied ceramics at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, under the tutorage of master potter Sumi Maeshima. Her passion for making pottery led her to continue her study at the Main Line Art Center in Philadelphia, with master potter Bob Deane.
Joan enjoys making utilitarian forms; ceramic pieces that are useful and used daily. Metaphorically, she sees each piece as an extension/projection of self, thus it is important to her that each piece is useful, just as she hopes to be useful. She also enjoys the sport of sailing, where you have to attune your senses to the elements, the wind and water; similarly, pottery is a sensory experience where one relishes the touch and feel. It is ideal when the end-user touches and feels the piece made, to appreciate its texture, weight, thickness of the walls, design of the foot (bottom), etc. For Joan, the greatest joy comes from holding and using each finished piece. She hopes that the end-user appreciates this tangible piece of art, to hold and contemplate the process of creation, of life, of usefulness and meaning.
"Every piece of work we will make together holds the spirit of our journey through life, and is a reflection of how we use clay to express our thoughts, hopes, and struggles. Through the physical touch we have with raw earth, we hope students will wake up and come to class full of appreciation for the life we have, celebrate the beauty of creation, and go forth to share love and gratitude with others." – Joan