Things never come easy to my family.

It has been two years and counting since I came back to the family business. The greatest motivation for returning is definitely my family and my love for ceramics.

Grandpa started this business with five of his children and till now, his children are still working hard for this business. I admire them, they are my role models, my pillar, my shelter. Without them, I doubt I could enjoy such a different childhood, staying in a kampung house and enjoying Mother Nature. Without them, I will not learn about something that couldn’t be found in a textbook – 人情。The only thing that came to me when I decided to quit my job was, “ I should repay back”. So I texted my uncle (Thow Kwang’s boss) of my plans to go back and we chatted and cried. I cried because partly I was guilty for not being able to come back earlier to help and partly because of the wrinkles on his face. Everyone at home is getting older.

My uncle once told me, ”This is something your grandpa passed down, with so much effort and hard work put into it. This dragon kiln is a family kiln, it is a heritage, a culture that we won’t be able to find elsewhere. And we want to keep it for the next generations to experience it in real life, and not just from a book”. I definitely understand it now.

I used to help out at the workshop during my secondary school days. There, I learnt that pottery making is not an easy task. Teaching a workshop is also not easy, from the preparation, to teaching, to cleaning and firing the art pieces. It is definitely a long and tough process. Back then, I have never thought of coming back to work full-time.

Even now, to be frank, I am still making mistakes and still learning. My aunt who is my teacher always says it’s a learning journey. I’m thankful that she’s a very patient and forgiving person.

From observing the workshops, to teaching and leading tour groups – that is the most unbelievable moment ever! Cause I never thought I would be able to teach.

From making my own wares to selling them to cafes, shops and customers – is also the most satisfied moment ever. Cause I never thought I would be able to sell my works.

How many “cause I never thought I will” do you have in life? Behind every family business, there are tears, sweat, blood. Things never come easy to my family. This is why I admire them, I cherish every single cent that come in, I cherish the moments.

Without my family, I won’t be doing what i’m doing now. My family is a pillar of strength and support, which motivates me to work harder. They bring out the best of me.
Stella