founded in 1885, malaysian company royal selangor has a workforce of more than 600 skilled craftsmen. during the 18th century the company produced mainly incenseburners and candle holders for the oriental market. with the british colonials, they expanded to tankards, ashtrays and even tea services. the brand then became known as selangor pewter.

royal selangor’s school of hard knocks image © designboom

royal selangor’s school of hard knocks is a pewtersmithing workshop that offers a hands-on experience for visitors interested in trying their hand at pewtersmithing. the school is located within the company’s flagship store at clarke quay, singapore.

designboom visited the royal selangor pewter center and the school of hard knocks in march, 09.

royal selangor: 'money tree'image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree'image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree'certificate are awarded for the pewtersmithing course image © designboom

in royal salangor pewter center, we could find interesting pewter product called ‘money tree’.

royal selangor: 'money tree'‘money tree’ image © designboom

early malay coinage usually took the form of conventional discs with a central hole, these were produced following the chinese custom of molding coin-trees known locally as pohon pitis. the coins would be broken off from their branches and used as currency. they carried arabic inscriptions and were cast in tin.

royal selangor: 'money tree'arabic inscriptions carved in the coinsimage © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree' discarded pewter from the finishing process image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree'image © designboompewter is composed of tin, with a small proportion of copper and antimony added to strengthen it. unlike pewter in the olden days, pewter produced by royal selangor does not contain lead, and adheres to international standards.

royal selangor: 'money tree'various pewter products by loyar selangor image © designboom

the making of money tree.

royal selangor: 'money tree'cleaning the money tree mold image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree'money tree mold image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree'liquid pewter image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree'pouring liquid pewter into the mold image © designboom

as pewter has a low melting point and relative softness, it is an ideal material for craftsmen and designers to work with.

royal selangor: 'money tree'equipment for making the pewter products image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree'pewter craftperson holding mold firmly image © designboomroyal selangor: 'money tree'image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree' unfinished money tree next to completed oneimage © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree'elaborating process image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree'image © designboom

the material also lends itself to different manufacturing techniques, some of which have been handed down through many generations.

royal selangor: 'money tree' machine used for elaborating the pewterimage © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree' completed money tree image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree'wall made of pewter tiles image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree'detail image © designboom

royal selangor: 'money tree' the royal selangor story image © designboom