BENGALURU: It took less than two months for Saranya V Kumar to learn the art she was fascinated with. She travelled to Singapore in April to learn deco clay, a form of Japanese art she came to know about through YouTube.
The monotony of a 9 to 5 job sparked artistic interest in Saranya. She left her first job as a software engineer, when she was 22, to become a full time artist. Now 26, and equipped with the skill, she wants to bring clay art to India. Two months ago, she opened her own brand and since then has been doing customised clay flowers and bouquets on request for weddings and functions.
“When people want to cherish something from their wedding day, which is realistic and will stay with them for a lifetime, they opt for this decor,” said Saranya.
She first got into art through painting, but after five months, she decided to try out different kinds of art such as jewelry making and quilling. Her rigorous enthusiasm to try new forms of art lead her to Thai clay art and she later moved to deco clay art. The simplicity of deco clay made Saranya pursue this art over others.
She found out about a deco clay school that served the curriculum. In the school, a student after mastering the art would automatically go on to become an instructor. Saranya was the only Indian in the art school.
“There were students from all over the world and locals as well. They had been practicing the art for years. There are five levels of curriculum, from basic to advance. I was able to complete the course in less than two months. My interest in the art lead me to practice day in and day out and second of all, I was aware I didn’t have much time,” said Saranya, who now holds an instructor qualification.
She came to India and practised the art at home. She has lived in Bengaluru for the past ten years and after her marriage, she moved to Chennai. Now that she plans to move back to the city, she wants Bengaluru to get hands on with the Deco Clay art.
Deco Clay is a paper based clay that comes in white and six different colours. It’s concentration can bring out various hues. The base of this paper clay is wood pulp so it is different from the earthy ones and its texture is soft. If pressure is applied, then it can tear off. “We tell our customers to keep the clay flower away from water because it has the capacity to soften,” said Saranya.
This clay is not available in India, so she imports it from Tokyo.
The outcome of the art is so realistic that Saranya says people mistake it for real all the time. Talking about one such friend, who denied to believe that it was something she had made of clay, even after touching it, she laughed and said “I had to demonstrate to him that this was something I made. Only then he believed me.”
She not only makes flowers and bouquets but also crafts cartoons for fun. She recently made a wreath and has scaled to be one of her favourites.
It takes a week to make one bouquet. It is the handcraft detailing that takes so much time. It takes a day or two to dry. It is all worth it according to Saranya. Unlike other forms of art such as jewelry making and crafts, the paper clay has no restrictions. “With Deco Clay I don’t have to confine. I choose the size, colour, shape of things I want to create,” she added.
“The thing about the clay flowers is that it looks realistic unlike fabric flowers and plastic one,” she added
The price-range of bridal bouquet starts from Rs5,000 and can go up to Rs 15,000.
She will be conducting classes in Bengaluru soon. You can reach Saranya at email@example.com.