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Meet My Craftsman: Albert Tay of Tay Guan Heng

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Tay Guan Heng

4002 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10

Singapore

Singapore

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Refund Policy

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Event description
Fancy painting a lantern or being part of a lion dance ensemble? Pick up some nifty skills from our country’s beloved practitioners.

About this Event

Remember those traditional joss sticks makers, rangoli artists and lion dance troupe members? Despite rising competition, many intangible cultural heritage practitioners remain passionate about their craft. Meet My Craftsman brings Singaporeans to visit nine of these craftsmen, and at the same time, have their hands at practicing them!

About Tay Guan Heng

Tay Guan Heng which has roots going back to the 1930s. It started out producing mosquito coils out of wood clay - a technique the family had brought over from their Teochew hometown in the Chaoyang district of Guangdong, China. The shop today specialises in making giant joss sticks for Taoist temples, deity birthdays and other religious events. In recent decades, the shop has ventured into the production of customisable wood and clay figurines as well as gingerbread houses for secular clients.

About the Craftsman

An expert at joss stick making, fourth generation owner of Tay Guan Heng, Albert Tay, gave MCF2020 the lowdown on the craft. And it seems that a lot of patience is needed to produce a good quality product.

For instance, making the body of a joss stick alone requires 14 days of waiting time for two layers of sawdust, compacted by artisans, to dry up. Thereafter, a layer of clay made from the wood of a wild cinnamon tree is applied to seal the body. Mr Tay explained that the wild cinnamon tree contains a form of resin which when grounded into powder and mixed with ordinary sawdust, forms a paste-like material. In all, creating a set of joss sticks takes between a staggering six to 10 weeks to produce. On the ground, when in use at say a temple, a joss stick of about six feet in height can burn for about 13 hours, he said.

Due to manpower issues, Mr Tay no longer makes the base of his joss sticks by hand. He now focuses on decorating them using his homemade wood-clay formula which he kneads with the help of a machine, and occasionally, a bottle of wine. With the closure of yet another joss stick manufacturing company earlier this year, Tay Guan Heng appears to be the last remaining place where customers can customise their own joss stick designs in Singapore.

Details of the Programme

  • Language: English
  • Dates:
    • 12 Dec (Sat) 2pm-3.30pm
    • 19 Dec (Sat) 2pm-3.30pm
  • Meeting place: Blk 4001 Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 1 #01-25 Singapore 569622 (Nearest MRT: Ang Mo Kio)
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before the stated meeting time for registration and temperature taking. Our facilitators will be wearing our event t-shirt.
  • Venue is not wheel-chair accessible.
  • Parking is unavailable at the premise.
  • The workshop will proceed rain or shine.

What to bring?

  • Wear a mask and comfortable clothes (no Bermudas!)
  • Bring along hand sanitisers, disposable gloves, an umbrella and a bottle of water
  • Asthmatic individuals are encouraged to bring their inhaler.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

  • All participants must wear a mask.
  • All participants must complete the Safe Entry, health declaration and temperature taking before the event.

Instructions for Participants

  • Participants must abide by the house rules set out by the host (eg. out-of-bound areas, use of toilet). Facilitators will brief participants before the start of the programme.
  • In lieu of the recent COVID19, participants will be required to take their temperatures and submit a health declaration form for contact tracing. Please do not attend the event should you feel unwell.
  • There will be no refund if you wish to cancel your tickets.
  • By agreeing to participate in the activity, participants will be responsible for any injury, loss or damage due to negligence of other actions on his/her part or that of children under his/her charge.
  • It is compulsory for a parent/guardian to accompany any child of or under the age of 12 children under his/her charge.

For updates:

  • Visit www.mycommunityfestival.sg for updates.
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Date and Time

Location

Tay Guan Heng

4002 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10

Singapore

Singapore

View Map

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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