The ultimate Hong Kong crafts guide

The ultimate Hong Kong crafts guide

Watch out! These Hong Kong crafters will have you hooked
crafts
Believe it or not: Handmade crafts in Hong Kong.

The arts and crafts scene in Hong Kong is small but rowdy, budding with passionate crafters led by successful homegrown brands such as Chocolate Rain, which advocates the DIY ethos. Here are our picks of the best that the Hong Kong crafts scene has to offer.

Yellowgoat

crafts

Petula Wong’s whimsical silver jewelry may be no bigger than a coin, but she attaches a wealth of meaning to all her designs.

Best-selling design “A Perfect Match” is a necklace with an intricate matchbox pendant. It was inspired by her relationship with her husband. Dangly earrings “Rainy Days, Sunny Days" outlines her carefree philosophy for life.

“I once received a letter from a customer telling me how a boat-shaped necklace made someone cry. The receiver of the necklace had just lost her father. I loved hearing anecdotes like that,” she said.

The former animator sells an average of 10–20 silver and copper accessories in her online shop a month, and makes each beautifully detailed piece at home by hand.

“As a kid I didn’t play with other kids much as I was always studying. Now that I am older I’m inclined to make child-like things. I’m trying to recover the things I lost,” Wong said.

She mainly receives orders from customers overseas, as “Hong Kong people haggle too much. They don’t recognize the value of the five hours of hard work that I put in each piece.”

yellowgoatdesign.blogspot.com, sold at etsy

PinkPandaMary

crafts

Dogs, dogs, dogs. Mary Cheung is obsessed with them. Luckily for us, though, she's taken her fixation with the furry critters and put it to good use, making adorable dog dolls, dog buttons, dog brooches and just about anything else you can think of in the theme of pooches.

Most of Cheung's crafts objects are made with layers of felt. They're oddly shaped and carnivalesque in spirit. Her mobile phone charms are particularly charming, including Wren the Siberian Husky, Mr. Smilax the Pug and Mr. Zippy the Daschund.

pinkpanda.mysinablog.com, sold at etsy, La Belle Epoque, Design Gallery and Kubrick

Candlelight

crafts

Joanna Kee is a lawyer and mother of two, yet she somehow manages to find time to make some of the city's most precious handmade jewellery.

Kee uses particularly fine materials -- 14 karat goldfilled, 24 karat vermeil, semi-precious gemstones and fresh water pearls -- to make elegant, ethereal necklaces, earrings and rings. But Kee is proudest of the objects she makes for her friends and family.

"What I make really depends on my stages of life," she says. "It takes quite a lot of time. I've thrown many failures into the trash. But there's no pressure -- it's for fun."

www.candlelight.hk

vicPLAYground

crafts

When your tote bag is as nice as those made by Vickie Wong, should you use them as they're intended or put them on the wall, like the art objects they are?

Wong's bags are made from cotton and her embroidered designs are simple but thoughtful. They often evoke scenes of daily life: a fan blowing dust, a leaky tap or a cat playing with a ball of yarn.

Also worth checking out are Wong's polka dot, suitcase-themed iPhone carrying cases, which counteracts the smartphone's sleek impersonality with a healthy dose of cute.

vicplayground.mysinablog.com

Bejeweled Bespoke

crafts

Trish Yap’s hit luxe statement necklaces make fashionistas out of everyone.

“I’ve been making accessories for myself all my life, since my mum was a fashion designer and I was exposed to DIY early on. People kept on coming up to me in clubs and in the streets asking where I got my jewelry. That’s when I decided to sell my designs,” said Yap.

Yap’s chunky necklaces are laden with Swarovski crystals, silk roses, freshwater pearls and velvet swabs, all sewn by hand. The work is laborious -- the full time I.T. project manager stays up till 2 am every night to meet her orders -- but the enthusiastic feedback from customers around the world (Israel’s the furthest) makes it worth it, the style maven said.

Recently she’s had her hands full developing her bridal couture line and her fall/winter accessories collection. The fledgling designer said she hopes her brand can fill the gap between high-end fashion retailers and generic street labels in the local fashion market. But it’s not easy.

“Hong Kong doesn’t have enough community support for handcrafters, unlike my hometown in Sydney. It’s hard for you to start a brand from, say, the back of your garage like (Australian designers) Sass & Bide did,” Yap said.

Sold at etsy

La Belle Époque

Before she opened her tiny boutique in Tai Hang last year, Billie Ng was the creative director of a major ad firm, handling clients like Rejoice and Cathay Pacific. It's a good thing she quit.

Ng's shop -- which sells handmade objects from 14 different artists -- has quickly become the hub of Hong Kong's crafts community. It hosts workshops in the evenings and a seasonal crafts fair on the street outside.

La Belle Epoque, G/F 62C, Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Hong Kong. belle-epoque-hk.blogspot.com