Royal Selangor – Factory Tour – Kuala Lumpur

Looking for something not to taxing to do on a Sunday resulted in us heading out to the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory for the morning. 

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This is something we have been meaning to do for a while and to put it into context – Royal Selangor is to Malaysia what Wedgwood is to the UK – and both factory tours are well worth it.  Having painted a plate at the Wedgwood factory, we proceeded to hammer a pewter bowl at Royal Selangor.

A guide takes you on a tour through the small Visitor Centre, then onto some demonstrations of pewter making and then into the Royal Selangor Shop and Cafe to finish. The tour is well done and gives you a good insight into pewter and how it is crafted.

Founder in 1885 with a young pewtersmith named Yong Koon, Royal Selangor is now a global brand.  The tea pot pictured was made by Yong Koon where each piece was handcrafted and then soldered together. Today the same pot is modelled, so not the same detailing, but still a lot of the pewter is still manually handled and crafted.

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Pewter itself is a highly malleable metal alloy with over 90% tin and the remainder copper and antimony. It is an ideal alloy for craftsmen. There is a wall in the Visitor Centre covered with the hand prints of all the Royal Selangor craftsmen over the years and is a testament to the beautiful items that can be crafted with this material.

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I highly recommend booking into the School of Hard Knocks to make your own pewter bowl using traditional tools.  Next time we will book into The Foundry to craft our own pewter accessory – our guide showed us where this is done and it is pretty cool as you pour your own melted pewter into what ever you desire.

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