By Natalie Saar
It’s true: the best things come in small packages. Just ask RAW artist and Good Enough 2 Eat jewelry maker Willow Scoma. Since she was in high school, Willow has been delighting people with her tiny treats. She’s known for making mini versions of food, and there’s no item too detailed or delicious for her to work with. Some fan favorites include her Happy Meal combo, which is so detailed that the tiny nugget even appears to have a bite taken out of it.
All of this often leaves people wondering how she does it. Willow explains, “I start each piece by taking a small amount of tan polymer clay (or depending on what color the food of that piece is) and I’ll shape it out. Once I have the shape of the food sculpted, I go in and add some texture by using a toothbrush or a needle tool. Now that the shape and texture is just right, I’ll use soft pastels to add some shading to the piece. The soft pastels are what give it a nice toasted look! After the charm has been shaped, textured, and shaded, I bake them in the oven. After the charms are baked, I put a protective gloss coat on each charm, and then voila! They’re ready to wear.”
It sounds very labor intensive and delicate, but you may be surprised to find out that each piece takes Willow, on average, one hour each to finish. And then she adds them to her Etsy store or ships out a new order. All of this is very much a labor of love that was borne out of a curiosity for small things.
“I started making my charms in late 2014. I was a senior in high school, I had just turned 18, and I got a ring for my birthday that looked like a little slice of pie. I was completely in awe of this little piece of food I was wearing! The more I looked at the ring, I thought to myself ‘I bet I could make this.’ I had to! Tiny things had been my obsession for as long as I can remember."
“A few days later I went to the craft store and bought some polymer clay and very basic texturing tools, and sat down every day for a few hours and practiced making different tiny foods. I would then sell my food jewelry to teachers, classmates, and friends and that’s how I was able to fill my car with gas in high school. I was hooked as soon as I started!”
Since she’s been making them for a long time, you may be wondering which of these is Willow’s favorite (we were). She says, “If I did have to pick a favorite, I would have to go with the Happy Meal set. It was the first multi-charm set I made and it includes a cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, fries, apple slices, and a drink! It was very time consuming, and I think that’s why it’s my favorite; because of the amount of detail and work that went into it. It challenged me, and I love a good challenge.”
And for those who want to give making tiny objects a try, Willow has one big piece of advice for you: Patience and practice are key.
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