In September 2014 there was a special exposition of tea cups – Chawans in Singapore: Chawan Expo Singapore 2014. It was because of Lou Smedts, the founder of the expo, that I joined. I met Lou in Croatia in 2013, where he did a workshop and where I first got to know wood firing.

Since then wood firing is my favorite way of making ceramics. I don’t have the proper kiln yet so I fire when I get the opportunity. This year I did one in may in Croatia again, and one in Singapore.

Expo was amazing. The showroom was spectacular. Not because it was big, snow white, elegant and well lighted, but because of the Chawans all put next to each other. There were so many exquisite pieces of artists I have admired for a long time and there got the chance to hold their work. It lasted for a week and many people came to see it.

But the purpose of the expo is not bringing great ceramics together, but to bring together their makers. Potters and ceramist from all over the world can join, no matter their status. This is the reason I got in; not because my work is great, but because someone gave me the chance to step into the world of top ceramics. All that is owed to Lou, who knows how hard it is for beginners.

About 130 participants joined and about 40 came to Singapore. Every year the expo gets bigger and changes the country. Next year there is going to be a 10th anniversary in Belgium, back to where it started. I already applied.

Participants are old from maybe 19 – .. and i noticed one main difference between the younger and the older generation. The first one was asking questions and the other answering it. So it was a great experience for me and learning week of pottery secrets.

Expo lasted a week and in between we got to know Singapore, visited jungle island Pulau Ubin, drank Singapore Sling cocktail in hotel where it was invented and also had tea ceremony, demonstrations, presentations, masterclasses and workshop along with firing the dragon kiln of Singapore.

All of that was overwhelming with our timetable being completely full from early morning till late night.

I learned many things: some new techniques, how being a potter is really hard and not many of them are full-time potters, how i still have much to learn, how I want to do it even more and how amazing potter friends are. I also took the chance and ask potters who are wood firers as many questions I could. I know now I really want to build my own wood kiln.

Thank you Lou, I will be forever grateful. I owe you all!