Miniatures by Carissa Rho
In April 2015, I stumbled upon a YouTube video of someone making edible miniature food and after a few more clicks through other videos, I ended up watching a polymer clay miniature food tutorial. It was like discovering a whole new world, really. I had some polymer clay left over from a sculpting project I did prior and I made a loaf of bread that same night. And I’ve fallen in love with it since then.
What miniature making technique is most challenging for you?
For me, and I still struggle with this, it’s mixing the correct color. I have a ton of scrap clay because the colors weren’t correct for what I was working on. All it takes is for a little too much of one color and it can throw everything of. I usually find use of the scrap clay later, so it’s not a loss, but color mixing is definitely something I’m still learning. I look at a lot of my earlier pieces and I can see that the color is a little off for some of them.
What advice would you give to new miniaturists?
I’m still very new to the world of miniatures. I just started making them eight months ago. But I will say things I’ve learned that will help.
1. Research, research, research — Before starting any new hobby, you’d want to learn about it. Learn about techniques, products, and tips. The more research I did, the better my investments became and the less mistakes I made. And speaking of mistakes…
2. Don’t be afraid to mess up. — When I was just starting, I’d be afraid to try new things because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. However, that’s the only way you will figure out new things; by trying them. Once you keep practicing, it gets better and you get more confident in your abilities. (Even though you probably would still have to scrap a few pieces every now and then.)
3. Study. — You’d be amazed at how you look at food differently and how increasingly realistic your miniatures look once you start studying the textures and colors. Paying attention to the details really makes a difference. I notice so much more about food these days, besides the best part; the taste.
What inspires you?
Life, really. Everything around me. Almost anything inspires me to create. It may sound cliche, but it’s true. Art, music, food, animals, etc. I find inspiration from all of those. I could see two people laughing and be inclined to draw or write. I could see a plate of food and be inclined to create a miniature. It’s a lovely feeling. Although inspiration doesn’t always come as instantly, I appreciate it when it does come.
I’d actually like to see more miniature work on a local scale. I’m the only person I know that does it in The Bahamas. Not saying that no one else does it, but to know and meet them would be amazing. Having an open network to meet new artists both locally and abroad is important. That’s why I love what the dailymini is doing and I’ve found tons of new miniature artists through this account. So, I hope that The Daily Miniature continues to grow and bridge artists from all over the world together.
Honestly, the main thing would be to support. Whether it be financially, sharing someone’s work that can lead to opportunities and growth, or collaborations. Support is vital. I’m new to this industry so I’m still learning the ins and outs. However, without the help (tips, tutorials, sharing) or inspiration from other miniaturists, I probably wouldn’t have seriously started or continued because I wouldn’t know where to start. So being willing to share your talents and skills helps artists like me who are just starting out. And the support of other artists helps a lot.
Favorite miniaturists you’d like to mention?
There is so much I love about making miniatures. I’ve always been interested in sculpting and creating so it really satisfies that desire to create. So, just having the ability to create is something I appreciate the most. The process; taking blocks of clay and making it into small plates of realistic-looking food and putting these things together is a wild ride. It is also very calming for me (even though it does get frustrating at times). I feel so at ease just spending hours sculpting various things.
Nothing major or concrete right now, but I’m still planning for this year. I have started challenging myself by choosing a specific cuisine and making miniature food of that particular cuisine for the entire week. It has helped me learn about other cultures and it pushes me to go out of the box. Also, I want to create more local (Bahamian) cuisine. I’ve already started and people seem to like them a lot. Because it’s easier to relate to, I think. I also want to open my shop up really soon. So my focus besides the actual crafting would be to start selling my creations. Be on the look out for that!
I love to draw and write. I also dabble in a bit of acting.
Anything else you would like to add?
I just want to thank the people who have shared and liked my work. It means a lot and it encourages me.