They say “it’s the little things in life that count”, and that couldn’t be more accurate for Singaporean miniature food artist Jocelyn Teo, otherwise known as Aiclay. Here we dive into her world of tiny burgers, tacos, cakes and everything in between that’s taking Instagram by storm and leaving people drooling for more.
How it all started
“It started on a normal day while I was at university. Me and my now-husband were looking for something to do so we picked up a box of clay and decided to get creative. I posted my creations on my personal blog which got positive feedback from a lot of my friends. Eventually strangers were approaching me asking if they were for sale.”
For the love of food
“I’ve always been interested in the way food looks: all the different colours and textures on each dish are always fascinating to me. Their aesthetics are becoming more interesting nowadays when people pay a lot more attention to how food looks rather than just the taste itself. Creating them in miniature form is my way of preserving the food and its beauty, in a way.”
The creation process
“I usually try to get a portion of the real food when I’m sculpting so I can observe the colours and textures closely. The very first step is mixing the clay to get the right shade. It’s quite tedious but very important. Only when the colour is right do I actually start creating the shape with my fingers or a few tools. All the decorative details, like sesame seeds or syrup, are also made with clay. I use paint and chalk only for effects like the shading of toasted bread. Once everything’s ready, it goes in the oven for baking.”
Tacos and ovens
“I recently made fish tacos which was very fun. They are a nice challenge because it takes a certain technique to prevent the clay from breaking while baking. There aren’t many dishes I don’t like making but cutlery and kitchenware, like ovens, are very difficult because it’s hard to make clay look rigid like metal.”
Tiny food for Chrissy
“The biggest project of my career was when John Legend commissioned me to make miniature pieces of his wife Chrissy Teigen’s recipe book! His manager emailed me about the project and I also got to FaceTime with him directly to discuss it. He sent over the recipe book as a guide and we kept in touch during my work process which took overall about 3-4 months. I learned a lot because there were many news dishes that I’d never created before.”
Do it yourself
“I had a lot of people asking me how to get started on miniature sculpting so I created the Pocket Kitchen kit, which is an all-inclusive kit for anybody who would like to take on the sculpting journey by themselves. It has everything you need ranging from specific tools to a thumb drive filled with tutorial videos on how to create mini burgers, gingerbread houses, breads and more. They can be found on my website”
“I do get hungry while working especially when I’m going through a lot of reference pictures! Luckily I work from home so I get to nibble on snacks while I work. I like to say my favourites are granola and fruits, with the occasional cookies and biscuits snuck in there sometimes!”
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