My clay making experience!

Jakarta, 25 February 2017

I’m extremely happy this morning! Although it’s 34 degrees Cel outside, I did something productive with a bestfriend of mine, Alda Suwardi.

So here’s my story.

For a while, I’ve been listing fun places to go in Jakarta (as well as BoDeTaBek). Personally, ‘fun’ for me are anything creative and cultural, as I mentioned before, I like to go to galleries, museums, and also join crafty workshops. Then someday earlier this year, I thought of F. Widayanto Clay Statements, where I once had a clay making session years ago  in 5th grade. So proud of myself having created such cool ceramic pieces, I decided to do a little nostalgic experience today :’) Since Alda and I are two busy bees (even on the weekends wkwk), we had to postpone this so called #claydate for almost a month. Then finally today was the day! Yasss. 

It was 1 hour and 20 minutes from Bintaro to Depok, we arrived around 11am when the sun was right above our heads. Huf. Then rightaway we went making clays! We got to pay Rp10,000,- for the entrance fee which includes complimentary Teh Sereh and Pisang Goreng (seger banget! pas buat ngadepin panasnya Depok wkwk). Participants will be given 400g of clay for each person to design (Rp145,000,- per-400g of clay). Fun part, the workshop provides us with various kinds of mould for us to choose!

Left: Choices of mould
Right: One of my choices. The Rooster!

The technique that Alda and I used for today’s pottery making is hand-building process. So everything is done using only our hands, without any machines or so. It was kind of simple and straightforward, but tiring as we need to put extra power on our palm hands  😚🖐🏽. As we start filling the clay into the mould, we have to ensure that it’s filled with a compact amount. That’s to produce a subtle result of pattern for your clay.

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So mine’s the one on the left. My 400g resulted to 3 bees, 1 rooster, and a leaf. While Alda’s, on the right, resulted to 2 butterflies on a leaf and 1 lotus flower.

After 1.5 hours of designing, the clays have to go through a cooling process for 4 days then to be burnt in a 125ºC firewood. And in 3 weeks, we can collect the ceramics  (or minta dikirim pakai Go-Send) which also has been painted by the clay makers from the workshop. You can also colour it yourself though, tapi ke Depok lagi setelah seminggu pembuatan clay-nya. Mager gaksih hehe.

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Left: Me, Right: Alda

As we finished all the bits and bobs of clay making, we did a little tour exploring the area. So mainly Rumah Keramim F. Widayanto has 4 rooms. The workshop (where we did the design process) which accommodates up to 120 participants. Then just below the workshop,  F. Widayanto exhibits his artworks in a sort of gallery. However due to capekness and kepanasan, Alda and I didn’t stop by 😅  Then of course, there’s a shop where visitors can purchase his ceramics. Lastly, a restaurant with such old and antique Javanese design got me fell in love with the place even more.

A little preview of the restaurant.

So that’s basically a recap of my clay making experience. Definitely a place for you who’s looking for something to do on the weekends. Very child friendly, kind of romantic too (lol), and most importantly it’s a fun place to tune out stress and tensions from work.

I bet Nicke would like this too! ❤

Catcha later!

P.

The Concrete Jungle Everyone Loves, New York City.

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If I could blame one person who should be responsible for starting my New York City fantasies, I would probably point my finger at Kevin McCallister. That’s right, everyone’s favorite kid in the 90s. Going way back around 17 years ago, I remember it was my very first time watching the Home Alone series while eating breakfast cereal with my little brother. We loved it so much that it instantly became our favorite movie at that time. Even though both of the movies were great, the sequel which was shot in New York City, was the one that captivated me the most. From his adventure, Kevin McCallister managed to impress me by showing how magical and amusing the city is, especially during the holiday season. Central Park looking all white covered in snow, the skating rink, the toy store, the magnificent view of Manhattan from the top of Twin Towers, the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, everything seemed wonderful. I was so stunned to the point where I promised myself to visit the city one day no matter what it takes. I fell for New York City ever since.

Before I came here, I’d heard stories that New York is not as pretty as the one you see in the movies. It’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s unsafe, and all sorts of other bad stuff that you could imagine. Well, they are right. I hear sound of sirens everywhere I go, it’s so loud but that’s fine. It’ll probably be gone in 20 seconds or less. There are always piles of trash in the sideways. As a matter of fact, I’m starting to think of it as part of the landmark now. This city can be harsh and mean as well. One day, some guy tried to snatch my phone from my hand when I was walking down the busy 42nd street but hey, I managed to get it back plus a random stranger happened to help me get up and made sure I was ok. So yes, New York City might not be as fantastic as I had envisioned before and I sure did need a little getting used to at first, but today I’m already feeling like at home.

Now that I’ve lived here for several months, I guess it’s neither the tall buildings, the landmarks, nor the fancy little restaurants that fascinates me about the city anymore. It’s the energy that I get from these inspiring New Yorkers everyday. It’s the spirit of creativity and the sense of freedom. New Yorkers are nice, they are genuinely nice and helpful to me no matter where I come from and what my sexual preference is. They make me feel like I belong in the community although I’m a foreigner. I can go on and on about this but eventually, there’s only one thing to say: I can’t help but fall deeper for the city.

Often times I still find it hard to believe that I’m in New York City right now, especially when I realize that I’m actually living here, not just visiting. It feels surreal.

N.

Grad School: Should I or Shouldn’t I?

It’s almost the end of January which means winter break is nearing to an end and it also means that I will have to start school again. For those of you who don’t know, I go to New York University. Not an Ivy League school but still considered as one of the top prestigious schools in the United States of America. Don’t worry, I’m not going to brag about how awesome my school is and how wonderful it is to live in one of the greatest cities in the world. Well maybe later, but definitely not now.

The thought of going back to school again in less than a week makes me want to share my views about grad school in general with examples based on my personal experience. I repeat, based on my personal experience. Ok, first off, why did I decide to quit my job and go to grad school? The answer is pretty simple. Frankly, I got tired of sitting on my office desk 9 to 6 (or even more most of the time) and I felt like there wasn’t any more room for me to grow. Don’t be mistaken, I loved my job. It’s not everyday a recent college graduate get the privilege to start her career in a huge multinational company, which I’m pretty sure a lot of people know and even admire the brand. I was assigned in the Corporate Marketing department, specifically in the Marketing Communication team. Throughout my two and a half-year tenure, I had done various projects which got me deeply interested in marketing. Long story short, grad school seemed attractive to me at that time. I realized I wanted to hone my skill in marketing and I specifically want to learn it in America. Why America? Well, it’s because most of the big successful brands out there are American brands and what better way to learn about brands and marketing other than from the expert itself?

I know it’s only been five months since I started grad school but I feel like I’ve learned so much already. I had no idea how grad school was going to be, I eliminated all the voices that whispered saying how terrifying grad school is and came here with (almost) zero expectation. Surprisingly, for me grad school is almost similar to when I was working for a company. We mostly work in a group and were given real business cases. I have to be honest though, group projects are pain in the ass. Some Professors even invited actual C-level clients on our final presentation. So the pressure and struggle is real, my friends. Working on my final projects last semester forced me to interact professionally with other fellow students in a business setting. From there I’ve learned that there are two groups of people in terms of why they want to go to grad school:

  1. Those who want to learn a new skill set and meet inspiring people who share common interests.
  2. Those who go to grad school merely because they don’t know what they want to do.

The first group, OMG! They are undeniably amazing group of people. As exhausting and as stressful group projects can be, I enjoyed working with them A LOT. They are intelligent, fun, inspiring, passionate and most importantly they are highly motivated. On the other hand, the second group are people who have no clear intention why they are going to grad school. This group usually consists of recent college graduates who lack/have no professional background. I’m not saying these people don’t deserve grad school, it’s just that my patience gets (just a wee bit) tested every time I work with them. Again, based on my experience, they are typically irresponsible, spoilt, lazy and you know what? these people drive me nuts most of the time.

There might be a lot of recent college graduates out there who feel pressured to go to grad school just because their friends are going. My advice is, take a couple of years to figure out what you are mostly interested in, test the water until you are 100% ready to dive deeper. Think of the skills you want to hone, the network you want to build, and the direction you want to go in your career. If grad school is essential to all those things, then consider going. Those who go to grad school just because they don’t know what they want to do don’t end up fulfilled and all they do perhaps, is whine or complain, which by the way, annoyed me a lot. Nobody wants a negative energy in the class room. Am I right or am I right?

Grad school is worth it for anybody who is dedicated to learning and gaining insight. Grad school is hard. It is very time-consuming, draining, and it changes your life completely. There is a tremendous amount of stress and competition. But then again, grad school may offer an incredible opportunity to learn new skills, gain expertise, and build a network, which can increase your ability to make an impact in the areas you care about.

My room-mate, who is amazing by the way, told me the reason she went to grad school is because she wants to be a Professor when she comes back to Indonesia. Studying in the U.S and interacting with her Professors regularly taught her how passionate American educators are when it comes to teaching. She noticed the importance of bringing passion and enthusiasm to the class in order to get students excited during the learning process. According to her, that is something that she found lacking in our country. Passion is contageous. She is determined to use her degree and passion to inspire students for the betterment of Indonesia’s education.

According to a book I once read, before you decide to go to grad school, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will grad school provide me with a new skill set I need to learn or professional opportunities I don’t already have that will help me get closer to my purpose?
  • Will grad school introduce me to a community of people who will inspire me and support me in reaching my potential?
  • Do I have enough work/life experience to make what I’ll learn valuable?
  • Do I really want to go or is another person in my life pressuring me to go to grad school?
  • What sacrifices will I have to make if I go to grad school?

Lastly, don’t ever go to grad school to please anyone. Go because you absolutely have to.

N.

SE1

So God gave me this wonderful gift last year, which was to make me experience the great life in the city I most adore: London.

After my thesis submission last September, I decided to stay a little longer in the UK to gain more knowledge on graphic design and fine arts as well as doing a bit of part-time jobs here and there. What happened there was suprisingly magical (lol) and brought me with too many memories to cherish. And on my first post, I’d like to share about my neighbourhood — SE1, London Borough of Lambeth.

Basically SE1, the postcode, means ‘South Eastern’ part of London with a front view of the River Thames. It is also located in the central area of the city where access to tourism spots are walking distance. To be precise, I have an everyday view of Big Ben on my right and the MI6 Building on my left. Plus, Tate Britain is just accross the river. Isn’t it lovely?!

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Dearest Salamanca Street

The nearest station is Vauxhall, with an access to Victoria Underground line, Overground trains, and various bus numbers! Just a 10-minute walk from Salamanca Place (the name of the apartment I used to live). Definitely made it even easier for me to commute around the city.

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Vauxhall from Lambeth Bridge

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Now a view of Lambeth Bridge itself with the iconic Big Ben and Houses of Parliament. Can you also spot the London Eye?

Oh, behind Salamanca Place, there’s a street called Tyers Street. Along the street there are shops and small restaurants that can be considered quite completing my daily needs, including topping up my Oyster card (a smartcard which can hold pay as you go credit for traveling around the city with almost all Transport for London services).

One interesting place I used to stop by is The Organic Shop. Everything sold is organic groceries (obviously) and way cheaper than other stores in London (as far as I’m concerned). What I like about the store is of course the rustic ambience and also the super friendly owner who likes to share stories about his family or even what happened to him during the day. To add, he’s terribly funny even 80-year-old-look grannies laugh their asses off everytime he tells jokes, lol.

One more thing, accross Tyers Street, there’s a small lane going towards Newport Street Gallery, one of my favourite galleries in London where I used to take visitors to – except Nicke hahaha the gallery was closed due to change of exhibitor. More stories of London galleries and Nicke & Prita’s London trip will be uploaded on our next posts, wait for it!

Ah, well. Til next time for more of my London experience!

P.

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And… Dats me waiting for a bus, wkwk.

Hi, hello there!

Whoever says nothing good ever happens after 2 AM, definitely don’t know how late night conversations could turn out to be a start of a great idea. Like this blog, for instance. The idea of making this blog popped into our heads instantly during a conversation we had one night. You know how BFFs can go all over the place when they’re chatting, right?

Knowing that we share (mostly) the same interests and values but have different yet unique perspectives of viewing things, we thought why not put our thoughts into a piece of writing and share it with other people as well?

Basically, we both like the idea of sharing. We believe that sharing is a part of learning and we want everyone who reads this blog to be a part of our journey in learning what life is all about. What we mean by life here is all kinds of elements that makes us alive as human. And it can really be anything like our personal experiences, relationships, art, travel, education, you name it.

In a nutshell, we’re Nicke and Prita and we’ve been best friends for quite some time now. Just like most millennials in their 20s, we are currently climbing the stairs of success and doing whatever it takes to get there even if it requires the act of killing each other (nah, just kidding). We’ve laughed, cried, worked, ate, traveled together and most importantly is that we always have each other’s back.

Do look forward to our posts and feel free to share your thoughts with us as well 😉

N & P