Fashionable bakes: an interview with clay jewellery maker clayvoyant

(Feature image courtesy of clay.voyant)

Not too long ago, Digital Senior explored the challenges and joys of pursuing a crafting career full-time. This time, we take a look at someone who chooses to pursue it part-time! In this feature we speak to the hands and mind behind clay.voyant, who produces striking clay accessories. If you’ve ever been curious about the people behind your favourite craft businesses, do check out what she has to say!

1. Could you introduce yourself to all our readers?

Hiya! I’m gaya, the hands behind clay.voyant. clay.voyant is a handcrafted jewellery label that works with polymer clay and sometimes resin :D

2. How and where did clay.voyant begin?

clay.voyant started when I was looking for a pair of earrings to wear to a friend’s wedding. Up till then, I had no idea polymer clay earrings even existed! I came across some exquisite pairs on Etsy and was blown away. Around that period, I had also recently spoken to Singaporean artist Lim Qixuan (@Qimmyshimmy) who also uses polymer clay for her gorgeous work, so that got me really interested in the whole affair. I went out and bought some polymer clay to play with, and I just fell in love with the process from day one.

 

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A pair of earrings from clay.voyant’s CNY collection

3. Do you manage clay.voyant alone?

Yes, I manage clay.voyant by myself! Once in a while, my cousin comes over to help me model the earrings and sand them—a time-consuming step that is crucial to the final look of the earrings, but also something that I detest doing (laughs).

4. Your designs are really refreshing/gorgeous! How do you come up with all these new ideas without pause?

Ahh, THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND WORDS! My mind is honestly like a runaway freight train— sometimes I’d just be doing something and I’d see a rush of images in my mind and I won’t be able to sit still till I’ve tried the idea out. I draw inspiration from really random things, so the longstanding list of ideas I have on my phone is always growing. Sometimes my cousin comes over to help me with the earrings, and ideas birth from the nonsense we talk about too.

 

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A full clay slab before its transformation into earrings

5. How long does it take for you to produce a new collection/accessory series?

This depends largely on the complexity of the designs. I tend to make very detailed designs, so just one collection alone can take between 20-30 hours in total. This doesn’t even include packing and processing times!

6. Balancing your day job and clay-making/entrepreneurship surely isn’t easy. What keeps you going?

To be honest, I struggled a lot in the beginning trying to find a balance between my day job and clay.voyant because both of them are mentally and physically demanding. A lot of sacrifices were/are definitely involved in juggling my two jobs, but almost a year in, I think I’m lucky to have finally found that sweet spot. What keeps me going is the idea of creating with my hands – not only does it help me to wind down after a long day, it’s also another creative outlet for me to express myself. It also makes me happy that in a world of mass-produced stuff, there are lovely people out there who appreciate and want to wear what I craft.

7. What are your must-have tools of the trade?

Definitely a pasta machine to work the clay. For the first 8 months after I started clay.voyant, I manually rolled out clay with a rolling pin—and my hands would get so tired and sore from all the leveling and kneading! So the pasta machine has been a total game changer.

 

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It’s all in the details

8. Will this ever be a full-time job?

 Hahaha, I get asked this question a lot! I love my day job wayyy too much for me to be able to give it up any time soon. Besides, I honestly don’t think I have the discipline to be a fulltime maker—I’d probably just fritter all my time away reading or binge-watching Netflix!

9. Last but not least, any advice for aspiring crafters/those looking to journey down a similar path? What do you think they should/must know?

 I realised only when I was in the thick of it all that it’s not just about the making of pretty things for sale: there are a lot of other things like post production, photography, strategy, research, marketing, and logistics that go into it too. It’s a lot of hard work that involves heaps of trial and error, too many a personal sacrifice, and endless days when nothing goes your way—BUT—when someone takes time out of their day to thank you for your craftsmanship and tell you that they bought your jewelry for a special moment/someone or just because they loved the design so much, it really makes all the backaches and stiff necks worth it :P

We thank Gaya for agreeing to speak to us and wish her all the best in her clay pursuits! If you’re keen on checking out her works, you can find her at clay.voyant on Instagram!

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