Double N Minis by Nadia and Nora
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How did you first get started in miniatures?
I am a graphic designer and I have also always been very crafty. I love working with my hands and with various media. Also, because I’m a graphic designer, I think that my attention to detail has helped me a lot with making miniatures. I like to refinish furniture, sew, paint, and more. Making miniatures is the perfect means to combine all my interests. Plus my creations don’t take that much space!
I always thought that “someday” I would build a dollhouse but never really got into it although it was always in the back of my mind. Three and a half years ago, our family life was terribly changed when my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer, and then again when he died two years ago. This, among many other things, changed my outlook in life, and I learned that the best time to do the things you want to do is “now” because we never know when our lives are going to be turned upside down.
At that time, my daughter and I had been working a little bit making mini food charms out of polymer clay and some other clay crafts like pens just for fun. After doing some research to make more charms, the world of realistic miniature food opened up to me. I couldn’t believe the things that people were doing! The Internet is an endless source of information and I started looking at all sorts of miniatures, collecting images on Pinterest, and more. It was at that time that I decided to start our first dollhouse in November 2014. We started with a small kit because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be “into it,” so It was better to start small. (Ha! And now I’m hooked for life!) We decided it was going to be a bakery with an apartment upstairs. My goal was to make as many things as I could instead of just buying items. If I bought something, I was going to transform it. Everything would have to have our own special touch.
Honestly, I had no idea that I was going to get so immersed in this world! My daughter and I made all the desserts and pastries, and then I started working on furniture, accessories, and other pieces. I love to challenge myself, experiment, and try new techniques. I didn’t know I was going to be able to make so many things! My daughter has a lot of talent in manipulating tiny things, and it’s been great to see how her abilities are changing and the things she can make at her age! I love that she loves miniatures and enjoy spending time working.
I am very inspired by the work of so many artists and many different styles. When I first discovered the work of Tomo Tanaka of NuNu’s House, it blew my mind. There are also a lot of other Japanese artists that I admire, including Rosy, N Original, and Studio Soo among others. Martiza Moran and Christine-Léa Frisoni make beautiful furniture and spaces. Hyper-realistic artists like Alan Wolfson, Ronan-Jim Sevellec, Charles Matton, Dan Ohlmann and Marc Giai-Miniet inspire me.
What materials do you use to make your miniatures?
Right now, as a beginner, I’m experimenting with everything! I want to really try out many media options, so I can eventually find my niche. So far, polymer clay, wood and paper are my favorite materials.
Keep working and practicing! Don’t get disappointed if your work doesn’t look like the photos you see on the Internet—it takes time and patience to get there. Find your inspiration from the real world, and observe, observe, observe! I think what makes a miniature stand out is the details: all the perfect imperfections! Find your own style.
Favorite mini you own by another artist?
Well, since we just started and we’ve been trying to make as much as we can, we don’t own many pieces by other artists. A few months ago Angelina (elArtedeAngelina) contacted me because she wanted to trade minis, and I felt so honored. We got a beautiful book from her. At the Seattle Miniature Show, we met Julia Stewart. She makes the most beautiful clothes, and my daughter fell in love with a tutu (she’s a ballerina herself). She loved it so much, she volunteered her allowances for a whole year so she could buy that tutu!
What quote do you live by?
Don’t wait to do the things you want to do. Now is the time.
Making miniatures has been a blessing for me. After the huge loss I had, being able to just lose myself in my work has been tremendous.
Even though it took me such a long time to finally start working on this, I don’t know if I would’ve been able to learn as much (I am self-taught) if I had started earlier. The Internet is a source of unlimited information and I am so grateful for all the artists that are generous in sharing their knowledge, tutorials, photos, resources, and much more.
Nora Mazonson of Mexico City now lives in Mount Vernon, Washington. Nora and her daughter Nadia are the team behind Double N Minis. To see more of their work, head on over to Instagram!