23/07/2015 13:33 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Gorgeous Clay Flowers

The newly introduced art of making artificial flowers with clay has attracted much attention from Vietnamese artistic flower enthusiasts, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The art originating from Japan requires much delicacy, dexterity and creativeness.
Clay flowers are made by hand from special air-dry polymer clay or cold porcelain. Polymer clay is a type of hardening modelling clay based on the polymer PVC and is generally used for making arts and craft items. Cold porcelain is a non-toxic and easy-to-work-with material whose main components are cornstarch and white glue.

With the help of scissors which are specially designed for each type of flower and special tools, the soft clay is cut and formed into parts such as petals, sepals, stamens and a peduncle. After drying, these parts are very precisely assembled into a whole flower. When made by a skilful artisan, clay flowers can be very realistic. It is the artistic skills of the makers that turn lifeless clay into beautiful flowers.

Bees Shop situated at 27 Phung Chi Kien Street, Cau Giay Disitrict, Hanoi is a training place for those who love making clay flowers in Hanoi. Every Saturday, many trainees come to the shop owned by Le Thi Thanh Tra to attend classes on clay flower making.

Nguyen Thi Thanh, a trainer at Bees Shop acknowledged that the most challenging process is to select colours to make flowers and arrange them. Each flower arrangement also needs a suitable vase to go with it.

50-year-old Nguyen Thi Thao, who is attending a clay flower making class at Bees Shop, said: “I love handmade things so the more I learnt to make clay flowers the more passion I give to the art.” Thao is now able to make simple flowers after two days of learning.

Imported polymer clay with numerous colours. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Polymer clay is safe and easy to tint. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Using scissors to make a petal from a thin layer of clay. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP

Completed clay petals with veins and peduncles. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP

Covering a piece of wire with clay to form a peduncle. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Using a steel stick to form the petal’s natural curvature. photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Makers have to carefully study the colours and size of real flowers to make realistic clay flowers.
Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP

A very realistic lily. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP

Doan Thi Diem Phuong, owner of Ngoc Diep flower shop in Ho Chi Minh City,
has over 10 years of experience in clay flower making. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP

Clay flower making also catches much interest from artificial flower makers in Ho Chi Minh City. At the present time, there are a lot of clay flower shops in Ho Chi Minh City owned by experienced artisans. These people often open clay flower making classes for interested people. The art is also a profession for those who have passions for it.

Doan Thi Diem Phuong, owner of Ngoc Diep clay flower shop in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City said that clay flowers and other clay craft items receive much praise from people because they are attractive, affordable, easy-to-maintain and permanent. Products made from clay sold in Ngoc Diep shop consist of flowers, fruits and statues of celebrities.

Clay objects can serve as decorations in houses or workplaces as well as presents to friends. They are also exported to many countries such as Japan, Australia and Canada.

Some pieces of clay flowers:

A small flower pot. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

A hand-held bouquet with white and orange flowers. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP 

Colourful roses. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

A pot of colourful orchids made by artisans at Ngoc Diep clay flower shop. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP

Clay lotus that look like real flowers. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP

A bouquet of wedding flowers made from clay. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNp

A pot of yellow apricot blossoms made from clay. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP

A unique bicycle decorated with clay flowers. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP

A clay picture combines clay flowers and oil painting. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP

Story: Quynh Anh, Son Nghia
Photos: Nguyen Luan, Van Quyen