7/7/2023 was a good day for the IDS family to get together again for our Annual Teambuilding Day. Before starting on our main activity of the day, we dug into delectable Mediterranean dishes at Blu Kouzina @ Dempsey. The pita bread with hummus as well as the grilled prawns were certainly the dishes of the day! We also enjoyed other dishes which were served such as the lamb and chicken skewers, meatballs, seafood and vegetable platter, baklava, kunafe and many more.

After an awesome meal, we were all hyped up to get our hands dirty on some pottery fun! We headed to Goodman Ceramic Studio located at 71 #01-01 Ubi Crescent. As we entered the studio, we admired the various forms of ceramic artwork such as vases and other decorative ornaments of all shapes, sizes and colours which were displayed in the studio. The facilitator also brought us on a studio tour to show us the different types of blast furnaces and their different functions.

Then, it was time to get started! We headed to our respective stations and put on the adjustable apron. We were taught the basics 1st: how to use the pottery wheel machine. Once we knew how to turn the machine on, adjust the speed and change the direction of the spin, the facilitator did a live demonstration of wheel throwing. It was fascinating to see how easily she could turn a ball of clay into different shapes and sizes.

It was then our turn to get our hands dirty. We were given a ball of clay each and guided with simple step by step instructions to turn soft clay into beautiful forms. As this was the first time working with clay for most of us, we had a good laugh seeing each other struggle at first. Some of us had our clay flying around, some had their clay reduced to the size of a dipping sauce bowl and others just did not have a clue whether they were doing things right. The facilitators were very patient and helpful during the session. We ultimately familiarised ourselves with the steps, trusted our instincts better and gained confidence in working with the clay. By the 3rd ball of clay, one of us even managed to do a bowl with a wave-like rim while another did a mini flower vase!

After a short tea break, it was time for the group competition. We divided ourselves into 3 groups of 4 and then chose the best piece out of the 3 which we each created earlier. Each group had to decide on a theme before painting and designing the selected pieces. We also had to work on our own second individual piece. Before we started, the facilitator demonstrated techniques such as shaping clay into a square or heart, painting to achieve solid colours or an ombré effect and creating a handle. Little did we know, it takes so much effort to make a handle for a mug!

Time just flew by and before we knew it, it was time to present our group competition pieces to everyone! We were pleasantly surprised by each group’s creativity. One group did a red and white theme to commemorate the upcoming National Day, another put together a dinnerware set based on the company’s corporate colours while the last group worked on an infectious diseases theme with adorable illustrations of viruses and bacteria on their pieces. The cute designs and relatability to what we do as a company won our hearts (and votes) and they emerged 1st place in the competition! There was then a surprise competition for our individual pieces. It was a tight race between two ombre pieces but the pink one came in first with just 1 extra vote!

At the end of the day, we all had fun and are grateful for this experience. It was therapeutic and nice to escape our usual work environment and be able to let our creative juices flow once in a while. We look forward to receiving our works of art after they have been fired in 2-3 weeks’ time; to be kept as a keepsake for this wonderful experience we had as a team!

The lesson of the day: Team work is key for achieving results!