Less than perfect but ready for a home.

December 6, 2011 § 3 Comments

This December, I’m potting in more ways than one. The clay kind and the gardening kind of course. All inspired by an encounter with a clumsy cat resulting in bird bowl and bird vase with no bird! It would have been a pity to just throw away the pieces, so I got a ceramic drill bit and made holes at the bases of some of these and got to planting them with a variety of succulents. Other pots with no holes are now home to water plants 🙂


Repurposed Pots with Plants

Making use of pots with small defects which would otherwise be smashed and gone to pot heaven, these pots have been given new life with a variety of plants living happily within. All less than perfect but ready for a home with a heart. All one-of-a-kind. Prices range from RM40 onwards.


ps. look at those beautiful new white walls! and that slatted light gray table… I’m so happy with the new coats of paint in the studio. It’s made all the difference to me.


DIY Sunday – Bamboo Tools

December 19, 2010 § 2 Comments

In the last trip through the forest in Kuala Kubu Baru, I picked up some strips of bamboo. “Yeah I can make tools of these in a SNAP! No problem!”. Yet they sat wrapped in newspaper by my bed for three whole months, until a quiet Sunday like today  breezed in. And so, after about 2 hours of DIY-ing, I now have a bamboo rib and two bamboo tapered end tools. Simple tools that are solid essentials when throwing on the wheel.

Step 1: Split the bamboo into manageable widths. You may have a huge piece of bamboo like this goliath on the right here, in which case you’d need a chisel and a hammer (fun!) or you may have cut a lucky break and found manageable little splices. Hopefully the splices are about 1-2 inches wide and 5-8 inches long, which is ideal.


Step 2: To make sure your tools last, you gotta cure the bamboo. I’ve been told that the traditional way to do this is to leave it submerged in running water for 3 months or so, in a river or in the sea. Since there aren’t any rivers or seas handy in the Damansara Heights area, I boiled the splices for 15 minutes. Theoretically, this would kill off any mites in the bamboo, and hopefully break down the starch in the bamboo making it unpalatable to any future mites.

Step 3:  Cut the rough shape out. Once the bamboo dried out, I found some tools – a coping saw and a mini planer. The planer is a beauty – made of finished hard wood, from Japan – when I bought it 9 years ago, I didn’t know what I’d use it for, but it was so beautiful I had to get it. Now my purchase is vindicated!

The bamboo was surprisingly easy to saw through. The coping saw allowed me to cut a nice curve for the rib, and I managed to keep it relatively straight for the tapered end of the sticks.

Step 4: Finish off the edges with the planer. Since I’m going to use these tools every time I throw on the wheel, they need to be comfortable in the hand.

I planed the grip edges of the tools to round. Sandpaper wasn’t even necessary, because the bamboo whittled off clean and smooth. And I kept the points as sharp as possible.

And that was it! Remarkably simple project, which I had put off for ages, suddenly done 🙂 I’ve still got a few pieces, which I’m planning to make into a throwing stick, scratch tool, and… who knows what else. I also want to make a coiled wire yumi…

Basic Bamboo Pottery Tools... Made At Home!


A Nest of Succulents!

December 10, 2010 § 3 Comments

Today I took a mini break from potting and do some potting of another kind… with earth and roots and green stuff 🙂 A few days ago I got a free plant (woohoo!) at the mall, courtesy of Honda (tq Honda I drive one too!). A really nice succulent, which inspired this project…

First I dug out from the dusty recesses of a store cupboard, one pot with a very convenient crack at the bottom. I always imagined it’d be handy for a bonsai, but then I’m not one to be manipulative with plants – my approach to gardening is more like plonking plants in the ground or in pots, and then finding a spot the plant likes by asking it repeatedly ‘do you like it here? huh huh huh?’ and watching fixedly as I imagine them growing in answer. This was the pot – some nice Steve Tool action going on around the sides…

And then I trolled around for assorted small plants gathered from freebies at the mall, dark ‘n damp corners of the garden and the neighbourhood nursery. Didn’t really have much choice because the garden is a wild place filled with monster plants which are mostly too huge for this little pot. These were the suitables:

The white pot was the Honda plant. Nice huh. I chucked  out the old plastic pots and arranged the plants as and how they would fit together, and TA DA!

A spiky spanking new centrepiece for the worktable! Now I hope they grow really slowly because they fit just nice right now…

Side Project: Rubber Alphabet Sets

October 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

As I write this, I’m mentally rubbing my hands in glee! I finally have more alphabet stamps!!! And this time, instead of splurging on metal type, I DIY-ed it with rubber stamps.

The benefit of doing rubber stamps is the utter flexibility of it. You could basically make your own handwriting into a set of rubber stamps… but I settled for a lower case sans serif set, and a small caps serifed set.

Step 1:  Select a typeface and size that you want. Print out the characters you want and take to rubber stamp shop.

Step 2: Get complete rubber stamps made (expensive!) and then your DIY project is done, or do what I did, and just get the engraved rubber bits made.

Step 4: Select suitable sized wood lengths. Cut to a comfortable size for each alphabet. It’s got to be long enough to easily hold. Sand sand sand away.

Step 5: Cut rubber type into size to fit wood squares. Don’t stick them on to the wood yet! Ink the alphabet and impress onto other end. Then check orientation and stick it on base. (optional: prime other end with white acrylic so it’s easier to see the letters)

Step 6: Find a good box to keep them well! Fun and done!

Sewing Furoshiki!

August 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

This is how inkypots’ packaging will look like in the upcoming Arts for Grabs sale. No plastic bag, no cardboard box, no headache over what size bags to stock. Instead, a square of hemmed cloth tied into a bag! Which can be used for whatever the imagination dreams up later. Headscarf can. Cloth to cover printer can. Dishcloth also can. Here’s how.

Tying it is fun. It’s the darned hemming that’s testing my patience.

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