Addressing Soil from a Local Potter’s Perspective

part of a series on craft, labour and local stories, re-claiming home one stor(e)y at a time

Spanning 4 weekends, these workshops form a series of experiences that explore different parts of life in Singapore, through the different talents of local youth growing their craft. Join a local potter in a pottery workshop, a gamemaster in his experiments creating imaginative spaces through role-play games, a philosopher’s take on social change, and a performance poet in her journey to help younger artists find their personal voice.

In this session, we spend a lazy afternoon with Elizabeth Gan, a potter researching into clay-based practices in Singapore.

// TALK: 2pm

To farmers, soft, loamy soil is good soil; to engineers, hard, rocky granite makes for durable foundations. How do potters look at the earth that we tread on? Explore a lesser known narrative of soil, sweat and the quest for commercial viability in local histories of ceramics culture.

In an age of kickbacks to old-school cafes, nostalgic games of old and hawker craft, what stories do pots hold for us—in its purpose, shape and the feel of the material? What are the contexts for us to look at local pottery?

Join Elizabeth as she presents a selected overview of influences and capital flows contributing to the ceramic forms present locally today.

// HAND-BUILDING WORKSHOP: 3:30pm – 5:30pm

Price: SGD$ 60 per person (inclusive of materials and firing charges)

In this hand-building workshop, participants can look forward to creating a miniature Kendi. The Kendi is a well-known form in the Southeast Asian repertoire of vessels, and it has played a significant role in the rituals and daily life of the region since ancient times. Elizabeth will also demonstrate the basic methods of pinching, coiling and slab building. These techniques offer the possibility to create anything from sculptural forms – figurative or abstract – to functional objects such as bowls, cups, platters and tiles.


Talk - free!


*We are fortunate to have the folks from GUI supportive of this event. All additional donations will help us cover their costs of running the space.


Elizabeth GAN is a potter and writer. She is currently taking the year to focus on developing her pottery production and technical skills while freelancing as an art administrator amongst other odd-jobs.

A commonplace material evolving across time and space as various societies use things born of the earth, work them with their hands, clay culture has largely been communitarian in nature. Spanning the breadth from utilitarian goods to art objects, Elizabeth is drawn towards what this material manifested in all its various forms can provide and reveal about ourselves. She believes it can be very humanising when we re-discover these ideals.

You can learn more about her work at lizbakesclay.tumblr.com. Or contact her at elizabeth.ganzy@gmail.com.


Ground-Up Initiative is three MRT stations away from Bishan MRT interchange. Drop at Khatib MRT station, walk to Orto Park, and look for Ground-Up Initiative on the map at the entrance. Dial Huiying at 92204806 if you need help!

Event Timeline
  • The event description was updated. Diff 2015-09-20 15:16:45
More updates
Sun Oct 4, 2015
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM SGT
Add to Calendar
Ground-Up Initiative
Talk+Workshop $60.00
Talk+Workshop (Students) $27.00
Venue Address
Ground-Up Initiative, 91 Lorong Chencharu Singapore
10 min walk from Khatib MRT station, right next to Orto Park