Interview with =ChocoAng3l

15 min read

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ArtisanCraft's avatar
An interview with :iconchocoang3l: ChocoAng3l
She makes lots of cuties out of clay :D

How did you get started doing your polymer clay making?

By an accident! One day I saw beautiful charms made by :iconchat-noir: and the next day I was searching about this magical working media. This all happened quickly between late 2007 and the beginning of 2008. My very first start was in March 2008. I bought couple of good books written by wonderful polymer clay artists: Donna Kato, Sue Heaser, Sandra McCall, Carol Blackburn,  Ellen Marshall and a lot others! I don't consider myself professional but I can say I am good at what I am making and I am getting better day by day. I am a Bachelor graduate with a first honor degree from a medical university. I studied to be a medical laboratory specialist but currently, I am jobless so I am trying to use my hobby as a job until things get better since jobs are hard to be found these days. When I am not working with polymer clay, I would read, enjoy the family time, listen to music, and hang out with friends.

What other crafts do you do?

Other than polymer clay, I create wire work and bead jewelries. Also, I enjoy sewing and paper crafts.

What tools and equipment do you need to do your craft?

I work on a table that measures 1.5 meter x 1 meter and I have a glass 8 shelves closet that I use for my supply/tools storage only. The tools I use include: sculpture tools, dentist tools, rollers, graders, knives of all shapes, a pasta machine, few stamps and cutters. I use a big glass board as a working place so I can place my “today designs” plan under it and keep myself on my schedule. I also use a lot of colors of different types and I am lately known to add fragments in to my clay. A huge box full of polymer clay colors and mixes I made would be my most needed tool =].

Where does your inspiration come from?

Everything is my inspiration and I truly mean everything! It can be the design of this house I saw during my walk or as simple as something someone said while chatting! I am easily inspired and anything in life can be a source of inspiration.

Can you give us a short tutorial on how you come up with your designs?

I usually draw sketches of designs when I don't want to forget the idea. I have a sketch book with more than 150 designs but I haven’t made most of them. Most of my designs are simply created at the moment while modeling my clay.

On working days, I make around 12 detailed charms and that takes 10-12 hrs of working.  Approximately, around an hour per each charm less or more depending on the details, more time would be taken if I count the baking and glazing but I don't since I bake/glaze my charms in patches. If it is a pure polymer clay charm it can be made during a 1-2 baking steps with 1-2 modeling and 2 glazing. If it contains metal pieces other than the hook I will add an extra baking step to secure the metal connections with the polymer clay using liquid clay.

Finished charms are not done after glazing because I also make my own necklaces, bracelets, or key chains. If the piece contain beads, or wire work, extra hour(s) would be spent to finish it.   

Can you tell us a little about one of your most fascinating pieces “Under Construction”?

Under Construction by ChocoAng3l

The heart was shaped manually by hands and it measures 2.5 x 2.4 cm. It is originally made of hot pink Fimo block that was mixed with metallic white, metallic powder, and glitter sand. The idea was simply the *under construction sign* on one website. I didn't have a sketch or plan on how to make it but once I modeled the heart between my hands I knew how I wanted it to look and it all came by itself an idea after another until it was a complete piece ready to be baked. It took me around 2.5 hours to create the color combination I want and to get the piece ready to be baked. I usually bake my charms for 1 hr and then there are 2 steps of glazing, each taking 30 minutes for each layer. So, this piece will take approximately a total of 4.5 hrs to be a finished piece and ready to wear.

What is involved in making a  piece like “Love Cloud Pendant”?

Love Cloud Pendant by ChocoAng3l

I wanted to try wire work but also I wanted to be different than usual wire workers and I was working with polymer clay for a while, so I thought I would combine my wire works with polymer clay. I didn't have a clue about creating it and it was all a moment inspiration but I am pleased with it. Tools were very simple like my polymer clay roller, pliers and my hands and the design was my own design which was simply created at the moment.

How complicated was a piece like Chocolate Mint Cake?

Chocolate Mint Cake by ChocoAng3l

The whole cake is a circle that measures 5 cm in diameter. It contains 3 layers; the brown is a result of a mixture I made to match the normal chocolate cake we make at home. The Green layer was made of my own mixture of blue, yellow, different shades of green, metallic white, metallic pearl powder, and silver foil fragments that I cut myself (Getting the mixture took approximately 1.5 hr to be made).  The sugar frosting is made using white polymer clay and liquid polymer clay and it usually takes 15 – 20 minutes unless you made fewer amounts than the one you actually need, then more time will be needed to mix another amount. After making the 3 layers which I do manually with my hands using a cup as a circle measurement reference, 2 glass boards and a knife, I leave it about 15 minutes to cool down. Then, I will start cutting the slices and texturing the cake. The decoration details were added after baking and I hunted a lot of dessert stores to get ideas for cake decorations. I am not a usual person so,, making 8 slices with the same decoration will be hard for me unless it was requested by the customer. I can't say I recalled certain things during the decoration but I believe if I had no idea about cake decoration I wouldn't be able to create 8 amazing icing details without looking lame or boring.

What was involved in creating “Starbucks Frappicinos?”  

Starbucks Frappuccinos by ChocoAng3l

They are made out of polymer clay and polymer clay alone except for the logo part. During processing I never used molds or cutters and all was made by my hands. I model the cup, and after baking I use my own created image transfer technique that I developed to get the logo on my cups.

I tried different ways of image transferring but all of them were either time consuming, hard to process without training, products involved were not available  or pricey, or the results didn't reach the quality I wanted. I needed to find a way so, I studied the characteristics that is needed to allow the transfer, tried different things until I found my own *paper*media to use and I had a few failure moments before I came up with an idea to fool my printer which felt it wasn't a paper but at the end it worked!

After transferring the logo, which I usually do on a white polymer clay sheet on setting 4 of my pasta machine, I will go through a air drying step followed by freezing then I will add a sealer different than the glaze but water based sealer and allow it to dry for 30 minutes before baking.  During that I will create my cream part mixture that I wish for. After baking, I'll add the cream and it usually takes awhile or more than one try until I reach the desired look. Caramel or chocolate sauces are added for the final touch! Usually this takes around 5 hrs to make a single charm.  

Are there any other deviations you want to share? And why?

I will mention the favorite designs by my customers:

The Artistic Designs Pendants by ChocoAng3l I want to fly .. by ChocoAng3l Sugar Bunnies by ChocoAng3l Duckie-Eggie Charm by ChocoAng3l

A lot of others like: my monster jellies, cupcakes, marshmallows, frogs …etc.

Do you take your own photos?

Yes I take my own photos and I try to keep them simple. White background and natural morning sun light would be my keys of wonderful photography! If I created a white piece then I will pick another color. I sit my camera on portrait, micro, with no flash. If extra light were needed I will add it by Photoshop. I used to soften my photos but not anymore since I am trying to enhance the professional look of my photos.

Do you participate in any shows or exhibitions?

Locally I've been invited to couple of them, only joined 1 so far. Since my polymer clay working is still in the beginning, I am trying to spend more time developing my work and I will join shows/exhibition when I sense it is the right time. I am trying to be careful about any steps I am taking and to take advises from the people around me and I don't have any plans regarding not attending any shows/exhibitions.

Do you market your creations?

Currently I am working on marketing my creations. Most of the work is done locally but I am also creating a website but I will worry about its advertising later on. As I said I am still in the beginning stages but that doesn't prevent the fact I did few sales along with bulk sales for different organizations/customers and I am actually happy with that.

Also, I sell online and through my DA account. People are free to view my gallery and if they wanted a piece they can always note me or email me on: I take commissions and I do them by the order of receiving. Details can be discussed with the customers. At the end, I will try my best to please my customers and I wish they all enjoy the pieces they buy or I created especially for them.

Do you belong to any organizations?

I've been invited to join the administration of the Arts and Crafts Organization of my city. It is just been established on March 2008 but I am still thinking about it.

Status: I am a Deviant of Many Talents
Traditional Artist
23/Female/Saudi Arabia
Deviant since Jun 1, 2007

Make sure to stop by and check out :iconchocoang3l: 's gallery :D

Blossom Heart by ChocoAng3l Heart... by ChocoAng3l Over the Rainbow by ChocoAng3l
Love - recreated by ChocoAng3l Damaged by ChocoAng3l Live inside me by ChocoAng3l
Happy Toasties by ChocoAng3l Muffins Pendants by ChocoAng3l Flower Girl by ChocoAng3l

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prok-art's avatar
a really great artist!!
congrats friend! :D