Launched in September 2018, Studio MU YU is an artisanal woodcraft brand in Singapore that encompasses slow-made jewellery, bags, lifestyle products and workshops. Studio MU YU is a romanisation of the Chinese characters ‘木语’, which translates to ‘the language of wood’. Every handcrafted wood trinket tells a story, and no two pieces are the same. Founded by Singapore-born Lyn Ng who learned the art of wood design in Taiwan, Studio MU YU strives to showcase the elegant imperfections of wood. Through distinctive wooden grains, contrasting layers of light and dark rings and exquisite textures, the timeless beauty of wood permeates each collection and speaks through subtle details.
As one of the few female wood designers and craftswomen in Singapore, Lyn aspires to showcase her love for woodwork with her intricate, slow-made designs which include earrings, necklaces, brooches, bags, planters and a range of customised products designed upon request. She also teaches and plans curriculums for lifestyle and corporate workshops in her well-equipped studio located in Kaki Bukit as well as at the preferred venues of her clientele.
What drove you to kickstart on your business?
I quit my job in December 2016 and I went for a six months woodworking course in Taiwan in February 2017. So that was a good three years ago when I was exposed to woodworking. During Taiwan, I realised I have a soft spot for old-new things – things that had faded away and were forgotten; only to be given a new lease of life. After Taiwan, I came back wanting to make furniture so I got an apprenticeship at a local carpentry studio that makes upcycled furniture. Over here, I learnt that numerous pieces of wood are discarded, forgotten and wasted along the production line. And this is how I got inspired to create something out of discarded wood pieces and to make wearable art for the modern women.
Are there any new / upcoming products or work-stops we can anticipate?
Because of the covid-19 situation, we are working with different makers to come up with interesting DIY kits targeted at special occasions for the home. In May, we will be doing a Mother-Daughter DIY Kit so both can do them together. At the same time, we are also working on another bag series and designer collection, solely designed and made by me!
What are some of the main challenges you face in your project?
Because we are the only ones making Wooden Bags in Singapore, there is a lot of trial and error in the process of launching every Bag collection. One thing that I faced is thinking that a certain design will work. But it didn’t end up the way I expected it to be. That was when I got slightly disappointed and lost the motivation to continue! Or if sometimes our collection launches were not as great, that kind of ‘money mindset’ took the fun out of it.
What other artists / crafters / brands do you wish to collaborate with?
The biggest dream will be to collaborate with MUJI or Uniqlo and get our brand associated with the minimal living concept that these brands are known for.
Locally, I want to collaborate with anybody who believes in my craft and vice versa.
What are the 3 words you associate your brand with?
Sustainable fashion, Wood Jewellery and Bags, Made by hand
When did this idea came about and how did this idea come about?
As mentioned, while working at a local studio, I realised that there's so much waste along the production line and most of them are small pieces that cannot be used for any after-production. So that was when I decided to start with jewellery and expand from there.
What accessory of yours is a personal favourite?
Stay tuned as Lyn and her team will be working on a bag series and designer collection, solely designed and made by Lyn herself! Follow @muyu.co to learn more about their products, which are also available at komma!