Friday, June 22, 2018

Verlocal Diaries: Kin's Miniatures

Sean and Jonas came to my workshop last week . Below is the diary they did for me after the short interview with me.

Please visit the link below to view the video taken on that day.

Verlocal Diaries: Kin’s Miniatures

Each week, “Verlocal Diaries” records the Verlocal team’s adventures to various classes conducted by our hosts. From the narration of our hosts’ stories to the thoughts of our fellow participants, we piece together everything we have experienced to create a long lasting memory in the form of a diary entry — that is both personal and shareable.

Dear Diary,
Today we headed to Kin’s Miniatures, tucked inside a camera shop at Chinatown. Kin’s Miniatures was started by Kin as a hobby when she was 42, spending 3 years developing and honing her clay modelling skills.
I’m sure you have seen the unimaginably realistic food mockups outside Japanese restaurants, but have you seen this done with local food?

We were behind the camera for today, filming a curry puff / tutu kueh accessory workshop. The 4 participants for today were a pair of friends, Mandy and Hannah, and siblings, Asabiel and Anabiel.
“I joined this workshop because I thought it was so cute, and it looked very interesting. I also wanted to learn a new skill as well.” — Hannah

Shaping and Colouring

Kin started off by introducing us to air dry clay, which hardens when exposed to air as the moisture inside evaporates. When the clay is not being worked on, it’s placed in cling wrap to ensure that it doesn’t harden.
The base colour of the clay was white, so to colour the clay, acrylic paint was kneaded into it. After some kneading, the clay’s colour would magically change.
For its shape, Kin demonstrated how the clay should be kneaded into a perfect ball at first, before shaping it into the desired form.
Now that the basics were explained, time to get working!

Down to the Details

After shaping and colouring their foods, it was time to add the details! This was the most important part of the process as it determined whether the model was realistic or not.
The toothpick was the tool of choice this round. It was used to create the ridges around the entire tutu keuh. For the curry puff, the toothpick was used to pull and shape the swirls at the edges that formed the crust.
Mandy recalls this being her favourite part of the workshop
“I enjoyed carving out the crust of the curry puff, the waves.” — Mandy
This part proved to be the most challenging, with quite some time spent perfecting the details. However, the good thing about working with clay is that you can keep trying again and again until you get it right.
Kin also shared with us that we could use the actual tutu kueh mold as a template for a life-size tutu kueh model. It’s interesting that we can make use of real-life food molds for clay modelling (but it wouldn’t be a miniature anymore, would it)

Glazing and Gluing

Now on to the finishing touches. Banana leaves were rolled for the tutu kueh’s base, while a semi-shiny glaze was applied to the curry puff. This gave it a nice oily sheen which added to its realism.
After this, the final products were transformed into accessories, ranging from rings, earrings, and badges.
As you can see, the varnish adds a nice sheen to the food, giving it an additional textured finish! Common varnishes like nail polish can also be also be used to achieve this effect.

Final Thoughts

The workshop was carried out smoothly and everyone was happy with what they made. Kin was always there to guide and give pointers on the process.
“I really enjoyed the workshop. Kin was very patient in teaching us, helping us correct our works. We also get a chance to really see our effort being translated into jewellery which you can use in the future.” — Hannah
I feel that creating clay miniatures with local food is a fun and creative way to express our local culture. With our food culture being so rich and diverse, there an endless amount of food we can miniaturise! Apart from curry puffs and tutu kueh, Kin also holds miniature workshops for dishes like chicken rice, bentos and even tsum tsum figurines!
Start your fake food journey here 🍱🍔🍰
Take a look at more of Kin’s amazing creations in our feature video below!

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