Treasures of clay
A FLORAL BOUQUET IS a must-have item on a bride’s wedding day, so much so, most of us may not know its origins. Back in ancient Greece and Rome, the bridal bouquet used to be a bundle of herbs or flowers to ward off evil spirits. By the 19th century, it became the bridal accessory we all recognise.
As beautiful as bouquets may be, fresh flowers wilt. Don’t you wish you could keep those beautifully arranged flowers forever as a momento of your special day and maybe pass them on to your daughters for their special day too?
Mother of three, Rena Kho might have come up with a creative solution to preserve this sweet momento from a bride’s wedding day. For three years, she has been doing clay crafting, and more recently started to get into sculpting flowers.
“It really depends on my mood, sometimes I do flower designs or small figurines. But these days, I prefer to do flower designs because I can combine them with my embroidery designs. In the future, I hope to come up with my own wedding series such as a flower bouquet for brides and wedding cake topper figurines,” said Rena.
Initially Rena bought paper-light clay from the local bookstore for the children at her church since she thought it would be a nice change for them as a Sunday school project.
Rena admitted that her first few attempts at clay crafting were satisfactory and so she began researching more designs and what else she could do with clay, eventually discovering more types of clay for different types of crafts.
Looking at Rena’s handmade objects, one cannot help but stop and admire her intricate work, especially her flower decor.
She became so engrossed with clay crafting that she took a flower-crafting course in Singapore in 2013. For Rena’s purposes, she uses paper light clay which does not require firing or baking in a kiln or oven. Easy to sculpt and mold while moist, the clay hardens on its own.
Aside from making flower designs, Rena said this type of clay was also suitable for fabricating clothes for figurines as it allows her to create the illusion of movement in her work.
For avid jewellery collectors, Rena has a wide variety of jewellery to choose from. From elegant handmade jewellery with beautiful flower designs to cute and whimsical hair clips, each piece has its own fine details.
Rena uses polymer clay for her jewellery line. It’s actually not true clay but rather made of a polymer called polyvinyl chloride (or PVC) and obtains it name from the clay-like properties it possesses. The clay requires to be baked in the oven under 110°C.
As the clay comes in colours and does not require painting, Rena creates depth and variation of colour by combining layers of different colours together and then passing them through a pasta maker.
In addition to making jewellery and flower decor, Rena also makes personalised key chains according to customer requests.
Aside from planning on opening up a series of bridal accessories and wedding decor, Rena also supplies clay and art material, perfect for those interested in taking clay crafting classes.
“Clay crafting is still new in Kuching and I hope to share the craft and more of my creations with people,” said Rena.