Miniatures and More by Claymenu
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It was at school when a teacher asked us to make a dollhouse at home. I used a shoe box, affixed everything inside with scotch tape, and thought it was okay. The next day, I saw the house of my classmate. Her mother was an architect and made everything herself, in a simple way, but the details were still so accurate that I became envious and stole a plastic rabbit from it.
What is your favorite type of miniature to make?
It was 2013 when I changed my life another time and moved to Italy. The first thing I noticed was that this country has great interest in food. Though the original cuisine left me disappointed for a while, the fact that Italians talk about food was surely a thing to notice. The origin and taste qualities of ingredients used for preparing a dish (even if there is only pasta, tomato and a leaf of basil); the places where to buy the ingredients, some interesting stories about it; asking for recipes… it’s a normal conversation people make. Whereas, we as Russians talk about weather or politics or how the world is going to hell. Italians go to restaurants to eat the same food that they cook at home. Restaurants don’t pay any attention to the presentation of a dish, the cleaning of the tables, educating the waiters to smile, or any other usual stuff which is not just give-an-Italian-his-pasta. I like it. I like the food as well now. I like how it looks, how the different colors lie one upon another to create an art composition which is destined to die. Or not? How about we save the color, the presentation, the idea of food, just how sculptors save great people in statues, painters in portraits, and composers in symphonies? I mean, we need galleries, music, and kings on horses in parks. But more so, we need food. As for me, people should not only fry, chop and chew while watching a TV show. There is a piece of nature in their plates, or at least a theme to talk about.
Not sure, but I believe it was a black sheep. I know that she was sad, deep inside.
As well as the cheapest clay I’ve found for cooking my ‘dishes,’ I use a kitchen knife, toothpicks, old oil for painting, Chinese brushes, and colors of an eyeshadow palette. I don’t believe that the pot makes a soup tasty, but hands do. People on the Internet write bad requests about art materials which you can buy in a school shop nearby, but as far as I think, they don’t really understand what art is. True artist is a poor artist. True art is a world created from dust and will to do it.
What is the longest amount of time you have spent working on one particular miniature?
It’s hard to follow the time when you are under the drug of inspiration. I can tell you just that it’s always too little time from switching the lamp of idea to sunrise.
Make art for art, not for money.
Do you collect miniatures yourself?
I don’t collect even mine. I give them to people who like my miniatures.
What inspires you?
People whose art is a bit better than mine. They make me grow. Or I hate them. Anyway, they don’t leave me the same way I was before.
What is your hope for the field of miniatures?
I know that miniatures will always exist. It’s in our human nature to adore simple, small things. We like kids more than adults, kittens more than cats, the small black dress more than wedding dress of Princess Diana. I just hope that creative people will not give up with their nature and do their best to make our world a bit more beautiful.
As in my origin country of Russia, as in my new one of Italy, there are car enthusiasts who build unique cars with their hands. Apart from making a car fast, they make it look aggressive, low, funny, futuristic, and so on. I wish there were some artists who could make the exact miniature of a customized car.
My friends always ask me to create something: a logo, a pic in Photoshop, aerography, body art, graffiti, etc. Why me, I ask. Because you are an artist, they say. Well, I am not. Artists create a world, I just copy it. I copy the food in miniatures, people in portraits, play music written 300 year ago. I’ve copied even some people’s habits to be honest. I am good at this, but please don’t ask me to invent something.
F*ck this, let’s do it.
Favorite miniature quote?
Do they exist? Well, I’ve invented one while working in miniature recently:
“Never be ashamed to create. Even God made some miniatures… And here we are”
Other hobbies you enjoy?
Yesterday, I loved jogging, today I love to sleep. It’s a hard question to respond to in one sentence
Miniature fans? Can I have some, pleeeease!
Nadia from Attimis, Italy was born in small town situated on the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly, before moving to Moscow and then on to Italy. To see more of her work, head on over to Instagram and follow @claymenu. And stay tuned for the debut of claymenu.com!