I Have A Passion – Everyday Canoe
Xin Nie is a woodcrafter and designer by day with a passion for all things handmade. She has been running Everyday Canoe for 3 years, a craft studio that explores and makes wooden wares for the home.
Her interest in woodcrafting came about when she had to complete a studio assignment on redesigning a household item in design school. She picked the rice scoop, that is commonly made in plastic nowadays but used to be made in bamboo or wood. Hence, she decided to revisit that while redesigning the shape and the handle to accentuate the gesture of scooping rice and that was when she first experienced working in wood and she fell in love with it.
Starting off by looking online at existing websites on woodcarving and just trying it with the tools for herself, Xin Nie discovered a whole new world of woodcrafting. Taking little steps ahead and making mistakes along the way really helped her to figure out which process worked the best for her.
Everyday Canoe started with a love for God and a love for crafting in wood. With its motto, to stay slow and steady, it encourages everyone to take baby steps every single day towards your goal and see where your effort goes.
“There was a tough pocket of time between jobs where I had the space and freedom to re-think about what were the things I’d like to keep with me daily. What did I need, everyday of the rest of my life? To me, it was my faith in God. What could I do, everyday for the rest of my life? Carving wood. Both were in a sense journeys of growing that required me to slow down, be patient and realise that it’s going to take a lifetime of love and learning.”
Xin Nie looks up to people who are good in their craft and are willing to go after their passions. These people are admirable, to be able to pursue what they love to do and inspire others to do the same as well.
It is definitely not easy to take the first step towards realising your dreams. Being on the same boat, Xin Nie too is struggling to juggle between her day job and Everyday Canoe. Her passion is what drives her to advance forward even more each day.
What keeps you going?
“Knowing that I create not for myself, but for others, and that every piece will go on to serve and be part of someone’s life.”
It frustrates her whenever she has not having enough time on hand. With only 24 hours in a day, it never seems enough for Xin Nie. Hence, doing what she can do now and not being hung up about what it could be, is the best that she can do to make full use of her precious time.
As a woodcrafter, she figures that anyone who pursues a creative endeavor should have some form of determination and pursuit of excellence, whatever the medium or material may be. They can not be half-hearted about what they are doing, or else they will lose the true essence of doing it in the first place.
What is most challenging about woodcraft?
“There is no undo button when you cut a piece of wood or carve a chip away from it. So whatever you do needs to be intentional.”
One of the significant milestones in her career would be her very first collaboration with Aesop back in October two years ago. She was invited to make a series of soup spoons for a small press gathering for their Christmas gift kits aptly named, ’The Guild of Artisans’. They threw their own clay bowls at Mudrock Studios and lunch was served in those bowls together with the spoons, which they brought home as a memento.
“I had to make 30 spoons in total, each one a little different, and the invited guests selected the one that resonated most with them before the meal. I guess that made me realize how my works could be part of a larger experience for people and seeing them enjoy that experience just made that project very memorable.”
So far, Xin Nie was able to collaborate with The Little Dröm Store, a local store that is close to her heart. She worked together with Chloe Tan, a local ceramicist from Usually Usual, and launched a collection of breakfast wares.
She is currently working on a new collection and planning new woodcarving workshops to teach.
Any advice that you have for people who are interested in woodcraft?
“Take your time, persevere and enjoy the process.”
Xin Nie hopes that in the future, she would be able to bring the woodcarving experience to more folks and maybe have a little exhibition of her works some day.
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