When Lightning Strikes

I’ve not been very successful in capturing lightnings. However, this year I managed to shoot a few!

I shot this last weekend. It was only a 2-second shot and I managed to catch 3 strikes. I call it my lucky strikes!

The image below is a 15-second shot captured in April.

I guess I will have more opportunities to practise shooting as Singapore has one of the highest lightning activity with about an average of 171 thunderstorm days (days when thunder is heard) recorded annually. Can’t wait for November which has an average of 20 thunder days! http://www.weather.gov.sg/wip/web/home/lightning


All Set for the Dragon Kiln Firing

My teacups, bowls and pitchers are glazed with either white satin, shino or ash glazes! I added a sprinkling of banyan tree ash, hoping that it will create interesting effects on the surfaces.

This time all our clay pieces filled up 5 chambers! The kiln is packed and all is set and ready for the firing on Friday!

Potters at Work

After a long hiatus, the potters at Thow Kwang have been busy throwing, coiling and hand-building pieces for the upcoming wood firing. Here are some of them in action:

Tia and her mosaic piece made from multi-coloured clays.

Steven’s new series inspired by nature’s seeds and seed pods. He started with a coiled form and developed it iteratively.

Here’s a peek at the spread of the bisque pieces that we will be glazing in the next week followed by the laborious packing into the dragon kiln. There is still much to be done before the firing at the end of the month. As always, prior to a firing, we feel an equal proportion of excitement and apprehension.


On Saturday, 27th February, I was invited by Tia to join a group of sketchers for the first SketchCrawl of 2010. The main idea of a SketchCrawl is to walk the streets on a given day and record what you see on pen/pencil/ink and paper (i.e. sketch). Basically you walk, stop and sketch, move to another place, stop and sketch again. It can be for a whole day or just a couple of hours. SketchCrawl has become a worldwide event where people all over the world will sketch on the given day, and afterward will share their journals online.

I take photographs much better than I sketch so I decided to do my own photocrawl with the sketchcrawlers. 🙂 We started the day at City Square Mall on the fringe of Little India, and there was quite a turnout. Some of them were from Urban Sketchers Singapore. They were an eager bunch – all ready to put their pens and sharpened pencils to paper even while they were having their breakfast!

The sketchers “plonked” themselves on every street corner or any place they found interesting and began drawing furiously.

Some looked left, some looked right…

…all of them absorbed in their art – interpreting the world in front of them, in their own way, in their own unique style. Their hands followed what their eyes saw – capturing the sense of place, the sights and people of Little India in their sketchbooks.

Everywhere the sketchers went, they attracted curious onlookers.

These sketchers are a talented bunch! There wasn’t anything that they couldn’t or wouldn’t draw!

Throughout the entire morning, the urban sketchers stopped at about 7 different locations to sketch. Then they met up again at 1:00pm at a coffee shop for a well-deserved lunch break. During lunch, they shared their artwork and exchanged notes on the tools and techniques they used.

Although it was hot and humid, the spirit of  camaraderie among the artists made it a well-spent weekend morning. It was a privilege for me, a non-sketcher to be invited to join the group. I also learnt a thing or two about street photography. So, when is the next sketchwalk? 🙂

UPDATE: You can admire some of the impressive sketches from the sketchcrawl here. If any of the artists who participated in the sketchcrawl is reading this, please add a  link to your sketches in the comment box. I’m sure the readers would love to see your work. 🙂

Blue Moon at Monument Valley

A once in a blue moon event! A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month, and it is doubly rare that this December it falls on New Year’s eve. I was at Monument Valley to shoot this rare occasion. I was out at sunset and waited for the moon to rise over the horizon. As this was the first time I tried shooting a moonrise, it was quite an experience. I had to shoot at one place, and then every minute or so I had to move about 3 feet down to follow the moon’s path over the Mittens. I had to do this shoot-move-shoot sequence many times over the course of an hour or so. You can call it “chasing for the moon”!:-) Yes, it was cold to be out shooting with temperatures in the 20s (deg F), but what a way to end the old year and welcome the new.

Peace, happiness to all in 2010!