Creative hobbies have helped millions of people get through the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a time when some people have found their niche and use it as an outlet.
For Carmen Chou of Vaughan, creating unique polymer clay props has been her way of spreading joy and enjoying her time âin a different areaâ in these unprecedented times.
The 31-year-old York Region District School Board substitute teacher said she had never tried this “art medium” before the pandemic, but had always been a shrewd person.
Last year, she got the idea to try making props out of polymer clay after watching a few videos on social media showing others doing it.
âI like to get into new things,â Chou said.
Polymer clay is an art medium known for its versatile, flexible and simple to use condition that can be used in a variety of craft activities, including jewelry making.
Chou compared polymer clay to the likeness of plasticine and said that it can be manipulated using different techniques, and then it is properly baked in an oven.
This Christmas season, Chou has designed plenty of holiday earrings, such as candy canes, a gingerbread man, and gnomes. She also made winter season themed earrings like snowflakes.
She also creates classic designs, more for everyday wear, which she believes make perfect gifts all year round.
One challenge Chou said she’s overcome is finding a style she’s most comfortable with, given the countless number of ways to do polymer clay activities.
She also strives to find the best quality material for her accessories, such as stainless steel and nickel free earrings, to ensure that they are hypoallergenic for her customers.
The process put in the polymer clay accessories is considerably long and very convenient.
âIt’s not just a day,â Chou said. “It’s kind of a two or three day thing,” she said, adding that it was about creating shapes, creating colors, tones and patterns using screen prints. , bake, cut, sand for smooth edges and coat with resin to achieve a thick, shiny and protect finish.
One of Chou’s most popular accessories before his holiday fall were the black marble dagger-shaped earrings. âThis color stands out and is really cool. It’s classic and can go with anything,â she said.
On her CraftsByCarmC Etsy page, she currently has the black marble earrings advertised as a “perfect gift for her”, wedding earrings, Christmas present, or stocking stuffer.
She also does marketing on Instagram and TikTok, where one of her video tutorials on how she makes screen prints garnered over 20,000 views.
Chou said supporting small businesses is more important than ever and that she and her daughter are always trying to help them.
âRight now people are trying to start a small business because people have been made redundant or have more time due to COVID, so it’s important to just support them,â Chou said.
âWord of mouth is so useful in and of itself because you never know what a mention or a share can lead to,â she said, adding that her family and friends were very supportive of her small business.
The best part about creating polymer clay props for Chou, was just being able to create something out of nothing.
Also, it has been a good conversation starter among other social media users who share the same passion.
âIt’s really cool,â Chou said.
Instagram: @ crafts.by.carmc.