Why are we so fascinated by small things? Whether it’s the mini toys and figurines we used to act out stories as kids or even the cute, compact houses that are all the rage today, tiny has a lasting appeal. Singapore-based designer Jocelyn Teo expresses her love of the miniature with amazingly detailed, tiny sculptures of food, and while she sells many of her adorable creations on her website, she also wants to spread the art.
Jocelyn and her partner at AiClay developed a kit to enable anyone to indulge in their love of all things miniature. “After many years of conducting miniature food workshops, the favorite question my participants have is ‘So where can I get all the tools and materials from?'” Called the Pocket Kitchen, it’s a one-stop container of (almost) everything you need to make mini food sculptures. (All you have to supply is a toaster/convection oven so you can bake your polymer clay creations to make them hard and durable.)
Teo is a crafty whiz and has compiled her Pocket Kitchen kit based on her years of trial and error. It features some of the best, most reasonably priced products out there so your creations will last, including eight color packs of Premo! Sculpey polymer clay, one set of soft pastel chalks with the colors you need most often for miniature food crafting, a set of pocket rollers with five pairs of levelers of different heights, a bottle of FIMO liquid gel, a bottle of FIMO gloss varnish, two high-quality brushes (one for general painting and the other for those super-fine details), a set of tools including a stainless-steel tissue blade, a sharp needle tool, a dual-function scalpel/rounded needle tool, and a pair of tweezers, two ceramic tiles to work on, and two sets of glass bottles with accessory findings in case you want to make jewelry (jewelry tools are not provided, however).
Even though you might not expect it, technology also lends itself to this very hands-on art form. AiClay’s kit also provides a flash drive with access to 12 complete miniature food video tutorials based on Teo’s experience in crafting and teaching miniature food sculpting. She will walk you through each mini food project, and her clear instructions and the expert tips and techniques she shares will have you turning out realistic tiny goodies in no time.
Teo believes that miniature modeling helps us focus in these hectic, over-scheduled times and also relaxes us. “During the creative process, you immerse yourself in the physical experience of using the tools, seeing the material come to shape under your hands, and admiring your final work,” she explains. “It is a calming and rewarding journey which one has to experience to believe its effects on our overall well-being.”
She founded AiClay in 2009, and in addition to sculpting products to sell on her site and designing the Pocket Kitchen kit, she travels the world teaching miniature food crafting through workshops. Check out her own creations, and then get started making your own!