Leslie Frick, Custom Creations by Rika
My earliest memory of my involvement with miniatures is from when I was about 10 years old. I used to collect miniature dime store plastic animals with my girl friend, and we would paint them to look realistic. We would coat them with clear nail polish and they would glisten like glass.
What are some of your earliest memories with domestic pets or animals?
I grew up with a strong love of animals and nature. I spent hours in the woods with my best friend. We were expert frog catchers. I have always loved animals! I went on to become a Veterinary Technician and worked as one for about eight years until I had my first of three children.
What was it about animals as a medium that spoke to you?
I was always interested in animals. As a young girl, I would sketch them from pictures in books. I started paying close attention to their form and muscular definition.
Do you remember some of the creations you made in your first ceramics course?
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I began making a dollhouse for her. I took a ceramics class at a local community college and began sculpting animals for her dollhouse. I still have those very first animals. My how they have improved from those early days!
Do you have a favorite breed of animal that you enjoy creating in miniature?
I don’t really have a favorite breed. I’m always excited about sculpting something new. Now, I’m much more interested in capturing a certain pose or expression. I like to try to make my pieces tell a story.
Any new breeds you will be making in miniature?
Some of the newer types of breeds that I would like to sculpt are some of the more popular small breeds. I’m also starting to do birds and I’m finding them very challenging. It’s so hard to get detail into something that small!
I don’t really have a favorite miniature that I’ve made so far. I like doing scenes and I have done several that I am happy with, but in my mind, I’m always striving to do better. I will probably always feel that way. I think that is what excites me about what is next. I always want to improve!
What materials do you use in your work?
The medium I use is Super Sculpey. I also can’t live without the tools I use. When we moved into our current house almost 30 years ago, I found a set of dental instruments that the previous owners had left behind. I still use the exact same tools today.
Most memorable miniatures you’ve come across?
My memories of miniatures by another artist that have impressed me are the fairies and mermaids done by Todd Krueger and the work of Aaron Cullars, who did an amazing diorama of the seven deadly sins of humanity. It was kind of a dark subject but it was brilliantly executed.
What is your hope for the miniatures industry?
I hope that this amazing industry continues to grow… I think it has a fairly good following but I think much of the population doesn’t realize what a true art form it is. I think the best hope for the industry is getting children involved. After all, they are the collectors of the future.
My advice to beginning artists and miniaturists is to be sure to train your eye to look for the most realistic scale. A single thing out of scale can ruin the miniature effect. I know what I once thought looked acceptable in a scene now does not. Things don’t always have to be perfect though. If you are building something to be played with, then one doesn’t have to be as scrutinizing.
Why miniatures? What appeals to you most about what you do?
One of the most appealing things about miniatures is the friends I have made and the sharing of a common interest with others.
What’s to come from Leslie Frick?
I’ll be exhibiting miniature work at the following shows this year:
- Chicago International on April 15, 16, 17
- Three Blind Mice Miniature Show from May 6-7
- Greater Cleveland Miniature Show on May 22
- Sturbridge Dollhouse Miniature Festival from June 4-5