CORN FLOUR INNOVATION PRODUCES CRAFT PRODUCTS WITH BIG POTENTIAL

KUALA LUMPUR, While a majority of us use corn flour to thicken our gravies and sauces, an innovative and creative couple from Sungai Petani, Kedah, came up with something different by using corn flour dough as the basic ingredient to produce handmade craft products. Aida Yuhaini Yusoff, 43, and her husband, Hasnizar Abdul Halim, 44, took a year trying various techniques and measurements before being able to produce the perfect dough to create beautiful crafts. 'The basic ingredients used to make the dough are a mixture of corn flour, baby oil, baby lotion, glue and vinegar that is cooked on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes before being kneaded while still hot to get a chewy, smooth and fluffy texture,' she told Bernama when met at the National Craft Day 2024, recently. According to the Diploma in Interior Design graduate from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), through her brand, handmade by aidayusoff, various beautiful handmade crafts such as fruits, flowers and popular dishes such as nasi lemak, satay, frie d kuey teow, fried chicken, air batu campur, or even macaroons and burgers, are produced. Most of them are decorative pieces on plates, cups, food containers, menu boards, spoon or fork holders and serving boards. These intricate pieces are sold for as low as RM5 to RM800 depending on the size and shape. Born in Kangar, Perlis, Aida Yuhaini said that all the crafts that she produced are not only suitable for home decoration but are also compatible to be used as hijab pins, key chains, fridge magnets, party and wedding souvenirs and many others. Although the process is complicated and requires a high degree of precision, this mother of three children, aged eight to 12, said that practice made perfect as she learned the skills only through online tutorials since 2019. 'I didn't study the skills formally but instead made references from local and foreign craft experts such as those from Russia and South Korea through a visual search site with Pinterest images,' she said. Having a workshop in Pekan Baru, Sun gai Petani, Kedah, Aida Yuhaini said that as the number of her customers increased, she struggled to meet the demand with every product she produced based on her own creativity, according to the style and wishes of the customer. 'In a day, I can produce 10 to 20 key chains and fridge magnets depending on the size and shape, and all these products are made by myself without using any moulds. If there is an event, I will double up production to add to the existing stocks,' said Aida Yuhaini who once received an order to make a 0.6-metre-tall pineapple-shaped sculpture that took three weeks to complete in 2021. To ensure that the skills can be passed down to the younger generation, she actively receives invitations to teach the art of making handicrafts based on corn flour dough from various parties including schools. 'I also offer creative art classes through workshops that are open to children and adults, at RM45 and RM100 for a three-hour session,' she said, hoping that the art of handcraft will continue t o grow. Source: BERNAMA News Agency