Sunday, June 10, 2007


Saturday, June 2, 2007

A Sampling of Hand-crafted Clay Flowers

These are some selected samples of artificial, air-dried clay flowers which have been skillfully & artfully hand-crafted by my beautiful wife. She has studied the delicate art for four months under the personal tutelage of an expert in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.

For almost a year & working on her own, she has built up a personal portfolio of some sixty designs, comprising mostly orchids, roses, sunflowers, tulips, in various colours & sizes.

She draws most of her inspirations from personal visits to the Singapore Botanical Gardens & the Mandai Orchid Farms. Others are taken from photographs & posters.

The technology in artificial, air-dried, hand-crafted clay flower making originates from Japan. It has since migrated to Thailand & Vietnam.

In hand-crafting the clay flowers with the aid of an assorted range of clay art tools, she uses the finest imported Japanese luna clay as well as Thai terra clay mixtures. She often sets them in pottery with simulated soil or attach them to driftwood from Vietnam.

She has spent a lot of time studying most species of orchids & other flowers, & making the clay flowers as closely authentic & botanically correct as possible.

Constructing the flower arrangements is a very labour-intensive as well as time-consuming process. It involves several important steps.

Typically, she will first mix the clay with oil paint to give the clay its basic colour e.g. green for leaves.

[The clay is originally white & looks like fine china clay.]

Next, she flattens the clay & then individually cuts & shapes the petal & leaf pieces. After the pieces are air-dried for about 24 hours, she painstakingly paints the pieces to match the fine detail & subtle shading of real flowers.

She then assembles the various pieces into whole flowers, adding stems made of clay supported by thin floral wires, & using adhesives & wrap tapes.

Finally, she will place each individually completed flower arrangement into a pottery pot , a piece of driftwood or other decorative container as the base medium.

Fortunately, these clay flowers do not require the firing or heat curing process like other clay products. The resultant product is a long lasting decoration, yet still flexible & quite resistant to cracking (but somewhat fragile).

Each completed clay flower has a delicate appearance & looks exactly like the real thing. The "base" medium can often greatly enhance the character of the flower arrangement.

Because of their vibrant colours & exquisite variety, orchids form the majority of her flower arrangements, but she can make several other varieties as well. She can also vary & adjust the sizes of flower arrangements to suit individual requirements.

In fact, from my personal perspective, life-sized arrangements are always stunning in their realism, but many people also enjoy miniature versions, which my wife has also included in her current portfolio.

Enquiries are welcome.

To consult about business possibilities, order an arrangement, or simply ask a question about clay flowers, please contact Say Keng LEE via email or contact Say Keng LEE at 65698723, preferably between 2 to 6 pm, Mondays to Fridays.

Prices start at about S$10.00 for the smallest items to a few hundred dollars for the largest & most complex arrangements. I am looking forward to hearing from you.