Jean was studying Japanese studies and fashion design in Japan when she decided to pick up pottery as a hobby, but it wasn’t until two years after she had moved back to Singapore that she decided to become a full–time ceramicist.
She was actually encouraged by her boss from her previous job. “He heard that I had done a couple of showcases and told me, ‘Give yourself a couple of years to try, and if it doesn’t work out, you can always come back. If you just take unpaid leave [to pursue this], you will feel like you have a ‘back door’ and won’t give your best’.”
Her design sense is “experiential, experimental and functional”, as one can see below, and often inspired by her personal experiences. While she gives away a lot of her creations, she also takes on work commissions and participates in exhibitions – plans are in the pipeline for a solo show as well.
As creative director of Ves.studio, she produces pieces under the studio’s name and teaches pottery – including planning a curriculum focused on building a strong foundation for the craft.
“To me, making ceramics is a lot more science than art, and I do everything from scratch. I mix clays and create my own recipes for glazes so that they’re unique. The process of getting something that’s just mine was what drew me in,” she explains.
Pottery has also provided her with several life lessons. “It has changed my outlook on life. Because the piece can fail at any stage, I am now a lot more tolerant of accepting failure. It has changed how I feel about the things. I no longer push myself too hard.”
PHOTOGRAPHY Makiyo Lio
CREATIVE DIRECTION Windy Aulia
STYLING Debby Kwong
HAIR Aung Apichai, using Kevin.Murphy
MAKEUP Nikki Fu, using Urban Decay
FLOWERS Charlotte Puxley
Cotton jacket and metal earrings, Bottega Veneta
This article was first published in the April 2021 issue of Her World.