Milkfly is the fourteenth in my Sunday series featuring American Artisans. There are so many exceptionally talented craftspeople, designers, and small companies across the country who share my love of handcrafted quality, and this is my chance to introduce them to you. These artisans are creating beautiful, useful and delicious products that elevate the experience of everyday cooking, dining, and entertaining. They’re using skills, techniques, and materials that might otherwise be lost in our era of mass production. Their work makes me happy, and I hope it does the same for you. Each feature will be paired with a giveaway to give you the chance to experience their work for yourselves. I’ll be doing these features every other Sunday for the foreseeable future, so be sure to check back, and enjoy!
I have a feeling you’re going to flip over Huong Huynh and her playful felt food. I went crazy the minute I saw her exquisite reproductions of everything from a whole turkey (with removable parts!) to a perfect apple tart. Part toy, part art, these imaginative creations are going to make you smile, guaranteed. Born in Malaysia, Huong lives and works in Houston Texas, where her family immigrated as refugees during the Vietnam War. She has a degree in fine arts (in painting), but turned her talents to felt food after seeing a book on the subject ten years ago. She trained herself through experimentation and has clearly mastered the art — from crisp bacon to whipped cream, Huong can recreate your favorite food in exquisite detail. I’m so glad to have her here today, she’s one of a kind!
One look at Huong’s work and you realize it’s difficult to categorize. On the one hand her beautiful pieces can be heirloom quality toys for very lucky children, and on the other, they could be objet d’arts, or even pin cushions! Her creativity is really astounding — just look at the flour dusted surface on the artisan bread below! I was immediately smitten with these pieces because when my girls were young, play food was one of their favorite toys and it was the pretend picnics and tea parties more than anything else that got my husband and me down on the floor playing along with them. Only problem was that our play food was plastic…I can still taste that horrible rubber! Huong’s pieces fit into the Waldorf tradition of tactile, handmade toys made from natural materials, that teach children through play as they imitate daily activities around them. Our family would have had such fun with these.
You can’t help but grin when you see Huong’s work. I mean, come on, handmade felt macarons? And her creativity is only matched by her skill…just look at the edges of those cookies. The variety of textures and finishes she gets out of the felt is really astounding.
I can’t think a better birthday gift for a young child than this Confetti Cake, just imagine the hours of creative play a kid would get out of it. Special toys like this are remembered for a lifetime and I’m sure Milkfly’s felt food will inspire lots of passionate future cooks.
Huong makes every piece by hand, to order. She will do custom orders, too, and my mind spins with the possibilities. She will even replicate your favorite family recipe — what a fabulous gift idea.
As for her whimsical career choice, Huong tries not to ‘over think’ it… “Realizing that this life truly is short, I make stuff “just ’cause'” I want to see what it would be like. Simply for myself. Creating is one of the greatest joys of my life.” Don’t you just want to move into that studio and play with her?
Whether you’ve got a child, a grandchild, or just a corner of your kitchen where one of these delights would be right at home, you’ve got to check out Milkfly — it’s amazing .
Milkfly is generously giving away a handmade Summer Fruit Tart to one lucky reader!
You have two ways to enter, please visit Milkfly, HERE, and poke around, then come back and comment. For a second entry, join me on my email list HERE, and let me know in a second comment (if you are already on the email list, leave a second comment letting me know)…you have until Friday October 2nd to enter — good luck!
(Giveaway ends on Friday October 2nd )
*I use Random.org to pick the winner, and will announce it here on Saturday.