We had the good fortune of connecting with Thea Cheah and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Thea, what’s your definition for success?
I believe that success should not be measured by money. I think success means you have achieved something in your life that makes you happy and you are doing it because you enjoy it. As a result of that, other people recognize my work and my business. I am glad that sense of achievement is shared and the joy of clay making as an experience becomes a focal point.
What should our readers know about your business?
What makes A Touch of Clay a unique proposition is that it is a summation of our sense of connectedness to the earth. It means it must be accessible to everyone and not at impossible prices, for example, expensive classes for just a few people. Having said that, the biggest challenge I would say is changing the perception of art in Malaysia and its vocation as a whole.
More and more people are becoming interested in doing the art of pottery thanks to social media and celebrities I guess which is great but perhaps people’s reaction to the word ‘pottery’ should not be a negative one. I have learnt that there are tons of people who feel much happier when doing pottery that might be as equally therapeutic as meditation. It’s a great feeling to help people be happier!
I would dare say that because of my website which I recently made, the brand has become much more prominent, and people’s view of what artisan pottery really is becoming more shaped in the reality of what artists envision it to be.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If anyone comes over to Kuala Lumpur, I think the art scene is where the fun is. There are still places which remain hidden that even people in KL themselves do not know of. This includes art places, music gigs, and strange places. I really do not think that shopping malls are interesting myself as they mostly have the same stuff as anywhere else but there are hidden gems like artist spots in these places that try to distinguish the malls which I think is quite a good take of the ‘same old, same old’
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
If there is one person that I owe my success to, it would be my dad. My dad is a source of inspiration because of his ideas, concepts, designs and fabrication of pottery. He has always been a pioneer of sorts, and he never attempts to tell people how great he is. Instead, other people recognize his great talent and achievements. So perhaps, in the future, I could match his work and that might be quite a daunting challenge.