Polymer Clay Jewellery
I’ve always found the success stories of those close to me profoundly inspiring. It’s nice to see how friends find passion in something they love and turn it into something bigger. Just when I first started blogging, my friend, Nai Suzana launched her own HIAS – Whitening Lotion with SPF50. Then, Blogger Kolin Zainal and her strawberry-flavoured lip scrub, yummy!
(Featured Photo Credit: Ika’s Tea Party)
Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw an old college-mate, Ika Koeck (yes, she’s part Dutch and it’s pronounced like ‘Coke’, not that other thing, mind you) posting photos of her handmade trinkets in so many shapes and sizes. In brilliant colour combinations too!
I’d say I’m more of a jewellery person than handbags. I mean, I don’t mind using the same handbag for work and weekend hangouts until it rips apart but jewellery, oooh! I can’t pass a Lovisa store or those tiny stalls at malls where they sell an array of earrings without at least turning my head twice. When most friends my age start investing in gold and silver, the child in me still falls for fashion jewellery every time!
So, seeing Ika parading her handmade jewellery on the Social Media drives the jealous bitch inside me crazy, because let’s admit it, I want one (or more) too! Now I can since Ika has officially launched her own label, Ika’s Tea Party! I know, the name is just too cute.
Inspired by unique batik painting (Ika loves batik!) and colourful elements of nature (Ika loves nature too!), Ika’s Tea Party is a range of jewellery made of polymer clay material. She chooses to work with polymer clay because it’s flexible, affordable, easy to source and easy to clean.
“Actually, the whole thing was accidental!” Ika told me over the phone, while I was religiously munching my salad during lunch. “I work long hours on the computer and my eyes get tired after some time. So, I just thought I needed a new relaxing hobby as a therapy and I decided to take woodcarving”.
Eh, you serious is it? What you wanna make, lah, woman? Sofa? → this was me, thinking while listening to Ika.
“But the class that I wanted to take was full and I thought perhaps I could learn how to make jewellery instead. Well, there were no classes available on this so I thought, why not just learn from Youtube,” Ika added.
“So, tell me what was the first piece you created like? Did it turn out okay? Did you like it?” the hidden journalist inside of me started lining up questions for the fellow PR Girl, Ika.
Ika laughed, “That was an interesting experience, babe! The first earrings I made didn’t turn out as good as I had hoped. Back then, I didn’t know that I needed to be extra careful while crafting the clay. I mean, I realised much later that I left fingerprints on the surface. Then, the designs turned out bulkier after baking. Don’t even mention the dents and the air bubbles!”
We also laughed, joking about how long it must have taken Ika to split her cats’ fur from the clay’s surface every time she’s in getting her production mode on!
After a few trials, that was when Ika found the best way to carefully mould and refine her crafts. She explained taking about 15 to 20 minutes to knead the clay first to ensure the softness of the texture before making patterns with tools like cutters and needles. She has fallen deeply in love with this polymer clay jewellery craft that she just made an order for more cutters from my ahem, other hometown, Russia.
A complete set of earrings and necklace usually takes about 4 to 5 hours to finish. Then, add another hour for the baking process. What started from a therapeutic hobby later turned into a business opportunity for Ika when friends (myself included) started asking about the jewellery. She told me how overwhelmed she was knowing that people have started to take interest in her designs that she decided to launch Ika’s Tea Party.
“But the funniest thing is, I actually designed something that I didn’t really like. The colour combination was so off, beige base with red patterns. People even called it the ‘pizza’ design!” Ika added.
“Oh, my God! So, the pizza crust and pepperoni slices then?” I quipped, already imagining my old hamburger earrings from college days!
“I really didn’t like them! Tak cantik! But surprisingly, someone wanted to buy them!” she told me, laughing like the old positive Ika I remember from college.
We even started discussing new possibilities for Ika’s Tea Party. Like if she could explore using silver for her earrings, I know I can only use alloy earrings for half a day max before it gets itchy. I also ahem, whispered special requests for asymmetrical earrings since my left ear has five piercings already, so I usually wear the more prominent one on my right, haha! I also asked if she would consider making keychains for me. I’m thinking I should send some gifts to my media friends. Hey, this is how we do PR!
Oh, yes, in case you’re wondering, Ika is also a PR Girl for a major organisation and she writes stories too! Not the cinta-cinta (love) stories, she wrote sci-fi fantasies. Yes, something that might put me to sleep for a week but as a friend, I’ll continue to support her. You may find some of her works HERE.
Don’t forget to follow Ika’s Tea Party on Social Media to purchase and receive updates!
The price range is between RM15.00 and RM60.00 ONLY! Remember peeps, these are all handmade with LOVE!
And just in case, feel free to ask her if Promo Code: KAWANPARIS is valid here too! Haha!
Read this article in Bahasa Melayu HERE!