Turning ideas into reality

Never too old for a new hobby

Mr Davy Young's ceramic leaf creations were a result of his love of the varied textures of nature and keen eye for detail.
Mr Davy Young's ceramic leaf creations were a result of his love of the varied textures of nature and keen eye for detail.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Mr Davy Young's ceramic leaf creations were a result of his love of the varied textures of nature and keen eye for detail.
ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Over the weekend, Maker Faire Singapore, a gathering of inventors and creators, welcomed a record 600 makers, 330 maker booths and 78 workshops. One of the main events of the Singapore Science Festival 2016, Maker Faire Singapore was held at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. The Straits Times speaks to three makers.

Mr Davy Young, 69, faithfully creates clay replicas of natural leaves, selling his creations under his label, Leaves with Memories. The retiree is this year's oldest participant in Maker Faire Singapore, an event that celebrates innovation, creativity and resourcefulness.

In 2001, he took up pottery as a hobby in preparation for his twilight years. His eye for detail, love of texture and affinity for nature led him to focus on ceramic leaves.

By a stroke of luck, his daughter saw British artist Judy Brown's ceramic leaves in a magazine back in 2003. Curious to learn the craft, Mr Young e-mailed her and she gave him basic pottery advice.

"I spent more than 10 years exploring different techniques, leaves and materials before I developed my own style," he said.

Mr Young, a Singaporean who was vice-president of retail business in a brokerage firm when he retired, has since gone from strength to strength. He started selling his creations at art markets in 2012.

This is his second time participating in Maker Faire Singapore. Besides showcasing his work, he also conducted ceramic art workshops on Saturday and Sunday.

NO AGE LIMIT

If you are young, you can explore many interests and slowly find your niche. However, you are never too old to start a hobby.

MR DAVY YOUNG

A perfectionist by nature, he can spend the entire day making ceramic leaves in his kitchen, toiling until midnight. Each piece is made by pressing a real leaf onto clay. The piece is then fired, glazed, and re-fired.

He works from home, producing small batches of 20 pieces at a time. Prices range from $18 for a leaf pendant to $150 for large pieces, for example a water lily dish. His earnings go towards buying the next batch of clay to make more creations.

Mr Young loves a challenge. "The more intricate a leaf's shape, the more fulfilling it is to immortalise it in clay," he said.

Age, to him, is just a number.

"If you are young, you can explore many interests and slowly find your niche," he said.

"However, you are never too old to start a hobby."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2016, with the headline 'Never too old for a new hobby'. Print Edition | Subscribe