Dream Builder

Winnie (first right) still connects with her alma mater. She launches a workshop in her friend’s café where she teaches her junior fellows, also SHHO students, in wire art.

“To pursue a dream, you need to be more passionate about it than your full-time job. I once thought I could only walk on a comfortable road and manage my side job just in spare time. However, I was not satisfied with this,” said Miss Winnie Tam Wing Yee, a College alumna who graduated from Architectural Studies at CUHK.

Winnie resigned from an architectural firm in late-May. She decided to devote all her time to wire art. Her interest in it was sparked by SHHO Night a few years ago when her friend, one of the event co-organisers, invited Winnie to set up a booth selling handmade products. Winnie thought: “It does not cost much to rent a booth. Why not giving it a go?” At that time, she did not know that she has taken a significant step.

Winnie has been excelling in art related fields since childhood. She went to the UK for further studies from Secondary Three to Six. During that time, she already took textile courses. In 2011, she was admitted to CUHK through the Advance Placement Scheme for Secondary Six Students, and came back to Hong Kong to study architecture, a programme also closely related to design. After graduation in 2015, she worked at an architecture firm and completed the full-time Master of Architecture programme at CUHK in preparation of registration exams to be an architect.

Winnie described: “In my study and work, I felt extremely stressful. Wire art gave me an outlet to release my pressure.” When she started wire art as a side job in 2014, her teacher from primary school got in touch and asked if she could provide a tutorial class to her students. Since then, she received invitations from different organisations for team building through craft classes. One of her clients is a prestigious international brand who wanted to promote its brand through handmade products. These experiences inspired Winnie: “Could I turn wire art into a career?”

“I snowed under with work in the architectural firm. I could not spend too much time on my art business. Handling purchase orders already had my plate full. There were a lot of creative ideas I could not work out,” said Winnie. Her clients were fond of her craft products. Some of them even became her friends and kept supporting her in pursuit of dream. “Wire art bought me a great sense of satisfaction. I could discuss with my clients and directly receive their feedback.” Working in a team, you may be responsible for only a part of a project. It may take a long while to round off the result. On the contrary, the scale of craftwork is small but you can interact with clients and make decisions by yourself. Clients’ affirmation and the joy of craftwork drive Winnie to engage herself in art business.

Freelance leads to a new path with both challenges and opportunities everywhere. Winnie is ready to commit herself whole-heartedly in it in the coming year and go as far as she could. On her road to dream, Winnie strongly believe that passion is the starting point but time management is more important to push herself in action. She has moved into Trial and Error Lab, a co-working space launched by Breakthrough, since early August. She is looking forward to meeting kindred spirits to exchange design ideas, looking for more opportunities and building her dream world.


Winnie says those three-dimensional and elaborate works require huge efforts. For example, to make a Ferris wheel, you need to study how it can stand firmly, how the parts can move smoothly, and balance aesthetics. She is delighted that her architectural knowledge can be applied in wire art.

This brooch is inspired by the Chinese characters of “Architecture, CUHK”. One day, an architecture student asks Winnie if she can make an accessory related to the emblem of the faculty so that she can attach it to her graduation gown and take photographs with friends. Winnie accepts this challenge. It is not easy to handmake a bunch of Chinese characters. For the best effect, she needs to think hard and wind the words in one go.

“Do metal wires rust?” Winnie explains that aluminium is often used in wire decorations. This material is durable and would not turn dark. It may oxidize and become pale only if the product is used for many years and is touched many times. In general, the colour of the brooches and key rings will fade gradually only after a year. Recently, Winnie starts to apply luxurious materials, e.g. silver wire and gold-plated copper wire, on jewellery design. These materials are more sturdy.

SHHO Night kicks off Winnie’s career in wire art. In the event, Professor Samuel Sun, former Master of S.H. Ho College, pays out of his pocket for Winnie’s wire decoration with the shape of the home sculpture. Winnie also goes to different colleges, shopping malls, market stalls, etc. to sell her works.

An international brand approaches Winnie to design products for Mother’s Day last year.