In Penang, Malaysia Cheryl Loh owns an Origami store, known in her town as the best handcrafted Origami.
Each piece has its own character, in terms of color and paper patterns. Quality washi paper is used and carefully hand-folded into dainty and delicate wearable Origami jewelries.
Cherry Art Studio received the highest number of nominations in our Jewelry Artist of the Year contest. We had a little chat with Cheryl Loh and here’s what she has to share about her passion and craft.
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How you grew up, family and favorite things you’d like to do when you’re growing up.
Cherly: I grew up in a working class family with 1 brother. While my parents were busy working, I used to engross in drawing and making toys out of wooden blocks, papers, rubber bands, empty bottles. As I was growing up, my interest grew stronger in scrap book making, paper cutting/sculpting art and origami. It was just a hobby and I was never serious about origami until my years in college where I started to fold more complicated models from Origami books.
2. Origami is a traditional art among Asians, how did you start learning the art of Origami?
Cherly: When I first moved to Japan in 2004, I was lucky enough to be under the tutelage of some of Japan finest origami masters. It was then when I took origami more seriously and started to experiment with possibility of making “wearable origami”.
3. What was your first Origami creation and what lead you to create Origami jewelries?
Cherly: My first origami creation was the miniature paper rose. It was the very idea of miniaturization of origami model that led me to think about making wearable origami.
4. Was there any special technique or tips that you can impart to those who want to learn Origami?
Cherly: Start with something simple that you like. Never start with something difficult to fold as it will kill the fun and interest in the art of paper folding. Learn the basic bases – rectangle base, square base and triangle base and from there, creative folding kicks in. Have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment with different ways of folding.
5. Who and where your customers customers come from?
Cherly: My customers come from all walks of life and from all over the world. Through e-commerce and online retail, origami art lovers and jewelry lovers bored with the main stream jewelry came to seek out my products.
6. To those who’d like to explore handmade jewelry making, be whatever technique they’d like to focus on and then maybe later on sell them, what advise can you give them that you, yourself has tried and was successful with it?
Cherly: Select the material that one really loves to work on, for my case, paper. You can’t work on something you don’t like. Next, seek out role models/teachers that are willing to share skills with you and inspire you. Be really passionate in what you do and practice it whenever you have a chance. Master the skills and don’t be afraid to experiment new ways of doing things. Make use of e-commerce and local handicraft market/bazaar to market your products . They are good platforms to let people notice your work.
7. Is there any special person, maybe an inspiration that you feel you should be thankful for your success?
Cherly: The one person that is key to my work is my husband. He has supported me financially and psychologically and provided business coaching all the way from demand creation, branding, supply chain management to marketing.
8. Do you conduct workshop? Where do you run your workshop?
Cherly: I conduct Origami workshop in my studio located in Penang. I also conduct origami workshops at the customer’s premises on events like family day, team building and private party.
9. What is your vision for your business? What are the big plans for 2013?
Cherly: The key challenge for 2013 is to promote the awareness of wearable origami jewelry in Malaysia and south east asia.
10. Where can we find you?
Cherly: I can be reached at: Company Website: htt://www.cherryartstudios.com/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cherry.artstudio Address: Suria Tanjung, 97-G-07 Jalan Fettes, 10470 Penang, Malaysia
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