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Royal Selangor Visitor Center

Home > Penang Island > Exhibitions | Family | Fun Things To Do | Museums | Workshops
by Pauline (subscribe)
http://howtoi.com.au/profile/493/
Published July 4th 2013
Learn, discover and experience pewter-smithing
The Royal Selangor is a world renowned manufacturer and retailer of Malaysian pewter, known for its quality pewter and craftsmanship. Established in 1885, it is one of the oldest homegrown brands in Malaysia.

Royal Selangor Visitor Center, Straits Quay, School of Hard Knocks, Penang attractions, Royal Selangor pewter
Royal Selangor Visitor Center in Straits Quay, Penang

In a recent trip to Straits Quay Penang, I've visited the 4000 sq ft Royal Selangor Visitor Center with my family. It was an opportunity for us to learn about its history and the art of pewter-smithing through its multi-sensory interactive exhibits and a complimentary guided tour.

Royal Selangor Visitor Center, Straits Quay, School of Hard Knocks, Penang attractions, Royal Selangor pewter
Early pewter artifact

A friendly staff greeted us and immediately led us to the upper floor where the museum tour began with a brief history of Royal Selangor. There were several early artifacts of pewter objects on display such as teapots and old tin currency.

Royal Selangor Visitor Center, Straits Quay, School of Hard Knocks, Penang attractions, Royal Selangor pewter, guided tour, chamber of chimes,
Chamber of Chimes and Wall of Finishes

At the Chamber of Chime section, visitors get to ring the chimes hanging from the ceiling. These chimes were made of metal, bamboo, wood and pewter which produced different tonal qualities depending on the materials used. Behind these chimes is the Wall of Finishes, featuring various textures and patterns of pewter. Visitors were encouraged to examine the tactile qualities of pewter by touching them.

Royal Selangor Visitor Center, Straits Quay, School of Hard Knocks, Penang attractions, Royal Selangor pewter, pewter smithing, pewter demonstration
Demonstration counter

As we proceeded to the demonstration section, the lovely staff briefly showed us the "elaborated" process of pewter-smithing which included casting, filing, polishing, soldering and hammering.

Royal Selangor Visitor Center, Straits Quay, School of Hard Knocks, Penang attractions, Royal Selangor pewter, guided tour, pewter filing demonstration
Pewter filing demonstration

We were told that all excess pewter from filing, shaving and polishing processes are collected, recycled and melted down to create new products.

Royal Selangor Visitor Center, Straits Quay, School of Hard Knocks, Penang attractions, Royal Selangor pewter, Giant Container of Pewter swarf, recycled pewter
Giant container of recycled pewter swarf

There was a giant container at the center which was filled with 4150kg worth of pewter swarf. As stated on the container, swarf was defined as "fine chips of filings of stones, metal, etc.".

The tour ended with an optional participation in School of Hard Knocks workshop which required a small fee of MYR60 (approx. AUD20). It was a fun and interactive activity for visitors to get hands-on experience. Some of us decided to join in for fun and it was indeed a worth-while experience. The workshop required us to make a pewter bowl engraved with our names.

Royal Selangor Visitor Center, Straits Quay, School of Hard Knocks, Penang attractions, Royal Selangor pewter
Stamping letters on pewter disc

We started off by stamping each letter of our names on the pewter disc followed by molding the disc into the shape of a bowl using wooden mallet.

Royal Selangor Visitor Center, Straits Quay, School of Hard Knocks, Penang attractions, Royal Selangor pewter
Molding the disc

Once it's completed and inspected by the staff for quality check, we were given a certificate for graduating from the School of Hard Knocks. Best of all, we get to keep our final product as souvenirs!

The whole tour lasted for about 1.5 - 2 hours but it was well-worthy of the time and money. We all had great fun and would definitely recommend it to friends and relatives.
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Why? Learn and discover the art of pewter-smithing
When: Daily 10am - 10.30pm
Phone: 604 891 2018
Where: Straits Quay, Penang
Cost: Prices for some activities vary
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