Craftsmanship is ubiquitous: it is a piece of sombre beauty hiding in plain sight, an unexpected gift when needed most. And the awe commanded by impeccable craftsmanship transcends both time and technology.
With Toh’s background in craft and design, clay is a compelling medium to work with. Its enduring nature immortalises a craftsman’s work and preserves the palate of a generation. More pertinently, its wide-ranging textures and characteristics allow it to slip seamlessly into the mould of our daily routines. Through pots and vessels and sculptures and wares, the beauty of a thoughtful and well-made ceramic piece elevates our daily experience, even if it sits quietly in the corner of a room or beneath a sumptuous meal. This is the modest mastery of ceramics.
Given the repetitive and time-consuming nature of ceramic practice, it is tempting for artists to opt for a replicable process instead of developing one’s technique. Slip-casting is commonly referred to as a mass manufacturing process in ceramics. However, as part of Toh’s larger efforts to demonstrate the relevance of traditional techniques in today’s world, she works to adapt this skill to create unique pieces that reflect patience, practice and artistry.