Yoon Koon, founder of the Royal Selangor Pewter
1885 ... still growing strong
The late Sultan of Selangor, Almarhum Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah gave the company the royal charter - Royal Selangor Pewter in 1992.
School's in again! Only for 25 minutes but I left school happy as a lark!
Behind the glass doors of the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre, in the School of Hard Knocks, I was really grateful to Mr KC who gave me his undivided attention to try my hand at a pewter smithing workshop. Normally, one has to book and a class has 5 students. I was the only one for that morning. Thanks, KC!
Here I was , hammer in hand, knocking hard ( my grip was so tight!)and then the arm began to ache !! The room filled with the noise of the pounding but it mattered not to KC. Unobtrusively he lent his comments like 'knock harder, keep turning , make it smooth, light taps.' Then I relaxed and patiently hammered away, turning the bowl sitting in the hole of the wooden block round and round to achieve the required shape.
Wouldn't Yoon Koon, the founder of the Royal Selangor Pewter, if he were alive today, impart his words of wisdom - about life and the hard knocks we have to face before we can taste sweet success !
Yoon Koon, a Hakka immigrant from Shantou, Guangdong, China, came to tin -rich land of then, Malaya, at the tender age of 15. He started a business with his pewter making skills and made prayer objects like - josstick holders etc. Soon this caught the attention of the British colonialists and more orders of other items like tankards and ashtrays were made.
The history of Royal Selangor Pewter comes alive daily as visitors stroll through the Visitor Centre, guided by by the inhouse guides. The Centre never sleeps as it is open 365/ 366 days of the year ! Such dedication to tell and show the story of the very humble beginnings of then Malaya Pewter, and how it has grown to be a world name. The 3rd and 4th generations of the this privately -owned business have made Malaysians proud with a truly MALAYSIAN brand.
A new flat disc of pewter - I liken it to a new life we all begin with :)
Letters of the alphabet A - Z to engrave our name - so we make our mark in life.
Spell it out - mine spells K E A T S
Use the basic tools to hammer and shape the pewter - the malleable pewter yields . Never give up even when you get 'knocked' about. Get your life into shape !
Wash with a mild detergent to get rid of grime and other stuff - get rid of negative , impure stuff out of your life - 'coz you're ready to take on the world!
Presto ! The pewter dish is ready - almost all the kinks and rough patches are smoothened by light tapping of the hammer - bright and shiny - you're ready to face the world with help from friends , here and there .
A reward for the hard work - recognition will come - just do!
Mr KC, my teacher for the morning, helped to take some pictures to record the stages of my work - thank you kind KC!
Pewter for everyone - Malaysia for the world to know!
The unmistakeable Selangor Pewter bag - my pewter dish is safe inside.
Photo credit : courtesy of Royal Selangor Pewter
I guess the honourable Yoon Koon will also say the same to ME!!
Royal Selangor Visitor Centre
4 Jalan Usahawan 6, Setapak jaya
53300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: + 60 3 4145 6122