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#13

Elena Hasbun-Quek

Architect & Ceramic Artist
Midway through our visit, Elena treats us to a beautiful impromptu piano performance, and it’s a testament to how diverse her artistic talents are. She shares with us the creative process behind Good Good Ceramics, which she runs with her husband See Hong, and their journey across Singapore, Tokyo and Los Angeles. Both architects by trade, their ceramics craft is mindfully reserved as a cathartic outlet. An intimate collection of their ceramic pieces and test chips of past clay firings are on display in their home, a loving documentation of their work. 

Ceramic artist in Singapore Elena Hasbun-Quek

“I am an architect by profession, currently focusing on ground-up single family houses in California. I work four days a week with a small office in Los Angeles, and the other three days I work on architectural side projects and ceramics.”

Home ceramic studio in Singapore

Right now, one of my side projects is a house addition for a fellow ceramic enthusiast - including a new workspace and ceramic studio for her. I’m quite excited about that one.” 

“Aside from architecture, ceramics is my main passion. It provides a creative outlet that is much more hands-on and immediate than architecture, where projects can take years to complete.”

Good Good Ceramics Vases made in Singapore

“See Hong and I trained separately in ceramics, him in Singapore and myself in Tokyo. Good Good began during the three years that we spent making ceramics together in Los Angeles.”

Home Ceramic Studio in Singapore

“We amassed a body of work that we were excited about, and realised this was a project that we really loved and wanted to push forward.”

“Good Good started as our way to document and archive the growing collection.”

Elena Hasbun Ceramic Artist based in Singapore

“I would say there isn’t much of a split of responsibilities between myself and See Hong. We both do everything whenever we have time. We work independently together, giving feedback and encouraging each other to push more, whether with ideas or techniques.

“We think and work very differently as creatives, and it’s a balance that we really love.”

Singapore Home Art Studio

“We see our strengths and weaknesses as opposites: my process being more free and intuitive, and his being much more planned and deliberate. We find that working together brings out the best in both of our work.

Looking through our catalogue, our friends like to guess who made what. We love when they get stumped.”

Experimental Ceramics made in Singapore

“I get intensely focused on projects and have a tendency to overwork. Music and some simple home comforts are important to me for keeping balance. When we moved to Singapore, we got a piano for our apartment before we got any furniture, and we bought our first SOJAO sheets that same week!” 

“Growing up with musician parents, playing the piano never fails to rejuvenate me."

Pianist in Singapore Home Studio

“Getting good sleep, going for runs along the river, getting out into nature – these are some of my favourite ways to find balance and recalibrate.”

Singapore condo bedroom minimal set up

Elena's bed is dressed in a Classic Mix & Match Bundle Set of a Classic Fitted Sheet in Forest, Classic Duvet Cover in Natural, a Classic Pillow Case Pair in White, an extra set of Classic Pillow Case Pair in Natural and a Classic Bolster Case in Natural. 

Sleep is precious to us for maintaining balance and having creative energy, so I have basically tried every bedding setup imaginable to optimise sleep comfort. I absolutely love our SOJAO sheets, they always feel soft and fresh!”

Musician and artist's bedroom in Singapore

“As makers of things, we love to know the people behind the products. We love to support products when we have some idea about their backstories and makers.”

“When we first stopped by SOJAO, we were just looking for nice sheets, but we left also invigorated by the energy of the team hustling together to create a product that they believe in. We could feel the passion and it adds so much joy to supporting them!”

Home Ceramic Studio Set Up

“I always have a list of projects that I'm itching to do, and never enough time to do them all. Most of my projects start with sketching. The night before a day of ceramics, I typically fill a few sketchbook pages with ideas right before I sleep. Then first thing in the morning, I'll select a few favourite ideas to work with for the day.”

Good Good Ceramics Studio in Singapore

“Our ceramic workspace is my favourite nook in our apartment. I am extremely grateful that our apartment had a laundry deck and storage room that we were able to convert into a small workspace.” 

Ceramic Studio Wall Feature

“We use the laundry deck area for two wheels and a work table. The walls are typically covered with inspiration images and sketches of pieces that we're working on. The store room has our tools, wedging board, and stacks of clay and raw materials for mixing our glazes.”

“It’s a small space, but has everything we need and I love spending time there. It makes such a big difference to me to be able to create at home.”

Ceramic Tools and unglazed pottery

“I love that each ceramic piece carries the memory of where in the world we made it, and can remind us of people and ideas that have influenced us over the years.”

Elena Hasbun-Quek from Good Good Ceramics

“If I had to pick a favourite one, it would probably be one of the bowl-plates that we used for all of our meals in Los Angeles with our roommate Erin, who is like a sister to me. Eating with those dishes in Singapore now always reminds me of the meals we shared in LA.”

Handmade Ceramic Dishes in Rust Brown

“I am a creative by profession and on the side because I derive immense joy from making things.”

Ceramic Artist Elena Hasbun explaining her work process and ceramic pieces

“To those starting to dabble with creating, I would say just iterate, and don’t be afraid of making some terrible things along the way!

I feel that iteration (a LOT of iteration) is the only way to eventually make something really beautiful.”

Good Good Ceramics owner Elena Hasbun

“Running into ugly things along the way, especially ones that seemed like a good idea when you started, will teach you a lot, and can help you hone in on something meaningful down the line.”

“I’m looking forward to a lot more projects, and expanding our creative community here in Singapore in the coming year. We love sharing ideas and things that we learn along the way, and getting to know people through shared passions.”

Ceramic work in progress pieces

A curated selection of Good Good Ceramics is exclusively available at our flagship store at 251 Joo Chiat Road

@goodgoodceramics
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