Sometimes, great things comes in small sizes. Love it as an art display or flaunt it as an accessory, these artists have mastered the knack of making every inch counts.

According to the founder, ‘TinyPinc’ is a play of words: Tiny for small, Pinc is supposedly the colour of pink which reflects something cute. Ling Hooi Yin, preferably known as Ling, used to spend hours on Youtube learning how to make things with polymer clay. Fast forward to 9 years later, TinyPinc is noted for making miniatures into accessories like stud earrings, brooches, bracelets and necklaces.

Malaysians take their food seriously and Ling takes the extra step of turning Malaysian food into miniatures to wear. Ling cheerfully adds, “people buy for their friends and family who couldn’t eat Malaysian food for years. That makes me happy because they get to own a little piece of Malaysia.”

A miniature durian. Art and photo by TinyPinc

Ling shares that her famous durian art took her 10 hours to complete the husk as she meticulously shaped each thorn. Sincerely handmade, one may find their favourite smaller-than-bite-sized nasi lemak, char kway teow, traditional kuih (desserts), sweets and even plastic bag drinks to accessorize with.

Nasi lemak. Art and photo by TinyPinc

Can you tell us more about yourself?

When I first started making food miniatures, I used to make cakes and pastries. That was what’s available on tutorials I can find on the internet, which are mostly on blogs, and youtube. Couple of years later, I decided, hey, since I’m Malaysian, I want to make my miniatures feel close to home. I started to focus more on Malaysian and other Asian countries food. So I started making miniature food we used to eat when we were kids, during festive seasons, and our iconic dishes. I always believe our food and culture’s what made Malaysia so unique.

When did you start turning your passion into a business and what inspired you to do so?
At first it wasn’t supposed to be a business. It was just my hobby, to distress from college and to pass time. Other than clay, I really enjoy doing handwork like sewing, beadings and other stuff, so it wasn’t really a fully committed hobby. When I first started playing with polymer clay, I had a friend who started this new hobby with me, so we would upload pictures of what we’ve made on our social media just to update each other with our new creations.
Friends started to ask if they can place their orders and that’s basically how it started. I managed to earn a little here and there for my pocket money. Later on I started joining bazaars and art markets, and TinyPinc grew from there.

A kuih brooch. Art and photo by TinyPinc

Normally, how long did it take you to finish a piece?

Hmm, recently I was working on a durian husk for 10 hours, as I had to shape the thorns one by one, and I had to arrange them like how the real durian looked like. First tries are usually much longer as I had to figure out solutions if the sculpting process doesn’t work out as how I planned. Repeated pieces are usually quicker, usually 10 to 30 minutes, with the help of molds I make myself. Molds help to keep all my miniatures consistent in size and details won’t be too long to replicate. But not every miniature can be replicated by molds though, I’ll still have to make them from scratch, those will usually take me about an hour to two, or longer.

You may also try your hand in making miniatures with Ling. TinyPinc organises workshops from time to time. TinyPinc miniatures are available on sale in some stores in Malaysia and Singapore and is also open for customised orders.

Interview by Jessy Wong

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