Central to the core of BRIKA’s values is our dynamic creative community of Makers, a talented group of North America’s finest artisans and designers. The Maker profiles offer a peak into each Maker’s method, but our Behind the Goods series offers a deeper dive into the process behind their products, which is always a true labor of love. We asked DK Designs to give us the lowdown on what goes into making her beautiful and lifelike clay flowers.
Walk us through your design process. What are the steps you take into creating your beautiful life-like blooms?
The process starts with packages of air dry polymer clay, which I then mix by hand. They come in white and primary colors. Most of the flowers and colors you see are just the mixing of clay. There is some accent painting that happens at the end of the process, but very minimal. Once I mix the clay colors I want, I start forming petals one by one utilizing a small set of tools and texture molds. They are all assembled wet, which I then place in front of a fan to accelerate the drying process. Once dry, I add the remaining lifelike details whether it be a stem, calyx or detail painting.
What’s your favorite part of the process?
I think the part I love the most is trying to get better and make the flowers look more realistic. Just because I learned the basic techniques of how to make clay flowers, the key to success is always striving to be better than you were the day before. There are times when I make a flower, crush it up and start over because it didn’t look the way I wanted it to. I love this craft because there are endless possibilities, only limited by your imagination.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from fresh flowers and florists, for the most part. I love looking on Instragram for inspiration in terms of colors, floral combinations and design. I wish I had more time to design and create, but usually I am always so busy working on getting retail and wholesale orders completed for my clients.
How do you stay creative?
I actually wish I had more time to be creative. In between being a mother, wife and entrepreneur, it’s hard to manage all aspects of each. I try to use the slower times, like non-wedding season, to focus on developing flowers I haven’t made or trying to create new items to sell. My clients keep me creative. I have some who ask me to try making something I have never done before and to push my limits. I love that they have so much faith and trust in my abilities to design something they envision.