Tuckshop Miniatures by Lynn Allingham
Well I guess my very first memory of miniatures would have been collecting Sylvanian Families. I loved them. I was even in the fan club and Belinda Rabbit would send me letters, ha! She follows me on Twitter now (can you believe it?!)
How did you first get started making miniatures?
Back in 2009, my sister Steff handed me a big bag full of polymer clay and said, “there you go, see what you can do with that,” and so my love affair with making tiny things began.
Do you remember the very first miniature you made? Do you still have it?
I think I made a tiny plate with a fry up on it. Looking back, it was terrible, but the more you do it, the better you get. I have no idea where it went… knowing me I probably threw it away!
I started off just making miniatures to be worn as jewelry but now I do a lot more standalone pieces for dolls houses as well as just for fun.
And I write step-by-step tutorials every month for Dolls House magazine so all the pieces I do for that get sold through my shop. It’s the best job ever. The editor gives me a loose brief and I create a food based scene to fit the brief. It’s brilliant fun, I love the challenge as the magazine has a different theme every month. I do the same for Making Jewellery magazine but create a set of jewelry based around a theme instead.
Where does the name Tuck Shop come from?
I’m based in the UK. When I first opened my online shop, I wanted a short but fun name for my work and so Tuck Shop it was. I wish it was more of an exciting story!
I love a challenge. I recently made a tiny fully functional string puppet in miniature. I love the process of figuring out how I’m going to make a piece. I guess I like problem solving… that’s the fun part for me.
What is the most challenging miniature to make?
I would say making clay canes is the most tricky thing to make in miniature. It takes a lot of forward thinking to create a piece that has a cross section and you are never quite sure how it’s going to turn out. It’s super fun but super tricky too!
What’s your favorite type of food (to eat)?
Sweet: chocolate (I’m a massive chocoholic!)
Savory: I love shepherd’s pie but also Chinese and Japanese food, yum!
I think the best advice would just be to keep playing. The more you make, the better you get. Also, develop techniques that best suit you.
Favorite miniature you own by another artist?
I like to collect little cute ceramic ornaments from the 1960s, preferably ones with big eyes and cute faces.
What inspires you?
I absolutely love the work of Ron Mueck. He makes hyper-realistic sculptures of humans that are either huge or tiny. Check out his work; it is breathtaking.
What is the most memorable miniature you have ever seen?
A sculpture by Ron Mueck of a couple spooning in bed in their underwear. It was tiny but so realistic that it looked as though they were going to get up and walk away.
I love making miniatures and I think we just need to support independent designers by buying pieces from fellow makers and not supporting mass produced items that lack charm and individuality.
Favorite jewelry designers or companies you’d like to cite?
I collect necklaces and especially like the work of Tatty Devine. They started off small and have grown their brand into such a successful company. I love their unique designs.
What would you like to see replicated in miniature that you have not yet seen?
A real life baby elephant about 1 inch big. It’s completely impossible but imagine how sweet that would be: a tiny living elephant that you can take everywhere and love??! Oh, and a mini cat too!
I just love the challenge and complexity of making something impossibly small.
What’s to come from Tuckshop?
If you watch The Great British Bake Off, keep an eye out in August as I will be doing my ‘Great British Miniature Make Off’ again this year alongside the series.
Tuckshop is helmed by miniaturist, model maker, jewelry designer and writer Lynn Allingham. She’s based in Manchester, UK. Enjoyed what you saw here? Never miss a moment by following along on Lynn’s Instagram and Twitter accounts. Shop her miniature food (and more!) on the Tuck Shop Etsy, and have a look at what’s new on the Tuck Shop blog.