Since 1995, Loh Kim Meng and her husband Leong Chee Hsiung have been running their own quaint clay craft store called The Clay House located at the famed Jonker Street of Melaka.
Their shop is filled with all kinds of captivating decorations made out of ceramic and wood works that come in various shapes and sizes for your humble abode.
Inspired by Japanese and Taiwanese technique and designs, what makes The Clay House’s art pieces stand out is that the couple creates the art out of love with their own bare hands.
Leong is a known expert in ceramic art, his skills includes ceramic throwing and glazing techniques while Loh makes three-dimensional sculptures and wood carvings.
Even though the ceramics business does not make a lot of money, the couple has been determined to carry on all these years as they are driven by their passion for the art.
Speaking to FMT, the couple collectively said, “If you truly love something, you would have a burning desire to keep it alive.”
Now after 26 year of building their small empire, Loh and Leong are expanding the range of their artwork and sharing their knowledge of their labour of love with those who are interested in the craft.
The couple also co-founded the Malacca Art Association where their goal is to create a community of artists to help showcase their work, especially annual art exhibitions showcasing all different kinds of art.
The couple is also running a campaign for ceramic art to be taught in primary schools so kids are exposed to the art at a young age.
Loh and Leong believes that one is able to unleash their creativity on a clay model through their imagination and when a young child is able to achieve this simple step it draws them to dive deeper into the art of ceramics.
“We hope that more people are able to discover the beauty of ceramics. If you have what it takes, let the art infiltrate your life,” the couple said.
As their store’s business is dwindling due to the lack of visits from foreigners at the moment, Loh and Leong continue to work hard to keep their art alive.
Loh also shared the tale of how a Syrian sculptor who stumbled into the store was taken by her carving skills and offered to organise workshops at The Clay House so she and some friends could learn the art of sculpting using the medium of fiberglass.
The workshops held resulted in Loh creating many more exquisite artwork that were later auctioned off at the French Cultural Society while some still remain at the shop.
Despite the MCO, the couple is already working together with the students and alumni of Kuala Lumpur College of Art (KLCA) for future ceramics exhibitions once the Covid-19 situation dials down.
You can check out their artwork and get updates from their Facebook page.