"... it's a precious opportunity for me to support fellow artisans who are supporting their families through their craft and creations, just like my mother did!"
― Chloe Chew
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Early this year, we got connected with Chloe, architect turned Clay Artist from Lovelystrokes Studio. A keen eye for shapes, colours and design, Chloe is not only one who is gifted with her hands, but also possesses a lovely, sweet personality altogether. Armed with a similar mission of sharing one's gifts and talents for the common good, we hit it off from day one.
Our first project together in February marked the start of our partnership with Chloe - one which we both envision will be for the long-haul.
With a bag full of brushes, paint, a notebook and a pen, Chloe was ready to train our artisan, Ms Tan. Stroke by stroke, Chloe could be seen patiently demonstrating paint techniques, erasing and redoing till it was perfect. See Mui, though at times found it hard to imitate the exact strokes, persevered knowing this was a new experience that she wanted to learn besides her day-to-day job.
It was a beautiful sight to see how Chloe and Ms Tan, though different in so many ways, bonded over what was one's vocation and another's hobby. Undergirding it all was founded on a simple principle - sharing. Both had to share their skills, talents, time and effort.
Catch the behind-the-scenes of the training session below.
Lovelystrokes Studio was born from an architect’s desire to transform everyday patterns and sights into handmade wearable art. As an architect for two years, Chloe was constantly toying with multiple art mediums.
Combining an observant eye, abstract imagination and meticulous attention to detail, Chloe’s lovingly handmade pieces are guaranteed to inject a new lease of life and energy to every wardrobe.
Hear from Chloe on her journey:
1. How long were you an architect for?
Before university, I took a gap year to work as an architectural designer. Subsequently, after I graduated with my Bachelor's, I returned to work for another 2 years, before jumping the boat.
2. How did you start Lovelystrokes?
It started out as a hobby. I was working as a UX designer in a local startup, but had quite a bit of free time. So, given that I had played with polymer clay when I was younger, and in search of doing something to fill all the spare time I had, I returned to it and started making earrings for myself. I made 5 pairs and posted them on my personal IG account, just to show them off ;p Who would have thought that I would actually sell 4 of those 5 pairs! I started staying up all night after work to make earrings and didn’t feel tired at all. When I ventured out into having my own booth at pop-ups, I told myself that if my first pop-up went well, I would quit my job and make clay my full-time job. And as they say, the rest is history.
3. What made you leave your full time job to do this full time?
Overall, I was feeling unsatisfied with my job and felt like I needed a change. I guess in a way, Lovelystrokes came to me at the right time - I thought to myself, if I'm going to take a risk, better to take it while I'm young without any liabilities. After all, who knows what the future holds, right?
4. Why did you agree to do this project with Barehands?
My mother was a jewelry maker herself, so I saw firsthand how much time and effort she put into her work to take care of our family. I was thrilled when Our Barehands approached me, because it felt like I was coming full circle - it's a precious opportunity for me to support fellow artisans who are supporting their families through their craft and creations, just like my mother did!
ABOUT THE ARTISAN
Ms Tan is from the Deaf community in Singapore. Having graduated from La Salle College of the Arts some time ago, she is one that loves forming, creating and designing with her hands. Depending on her free time, she can work on crafting for three to four hours without rest, yet still feel recharged.
When asked why was she interested in painting, she replied that painting was a habit for her since young. As a form of relaxation, she would draw on every recycled paper she could get her hands on. Painting was a world where she could express herself without judgment, and an art form that enabled her to be herself.
As crafting was one way Ms Tan could run away to since young, she decided to further hone her skill and passion through the sharing of her talent with those within the Deaf community as well. She regularly paints on clay and sell through the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Federation Singapore, amongst others.
What story will your hands tell?
Shop the collection of Clay Tiles at Lovelystrokes Studio on 14 Jun, 12pm.