FannimiNiATURE: Miniatures by Fanni Sándor
How did you first get started in miniatures?
I have always loved miniature things since my childhood. I made my first dollhouse out of a shoe box when I was 7 years old. I first saw professional 1:12 scale miniatures 10 years ago on the Internet, and it was love at the first sight. In my country, this art form is totally unknown. So after that, I started to try to make my own miniatures, and after a few years I became a professional miniaturist. I have been making miniature things since my childhood, but professional 1:12 scale miniatures now for around 5 years.
Were you trained in the arts?
I learned drawing and painting through 7 years of art school. But I learned how to make miniature animals by myself, no one taught me. I have two miniaturist idols: Beth Freeman-Kane and Kerri Pajutee. I think they are the best wildlife and animal miniaturists ever, in all the world. Their art gave me lots of inspiration to become a professional miniaturist. Thank you to them both.
I have a three years old sun and a one year old daughter. So now I’m a full time mother at home, and making miniatures part time for hobby, and for sell. Any free time what I have (it’s not too much because of my children), I try to do my craft, because it’s relaxing me totally. But I plan in the future I become a full time miniaturist.
How has your miniature work evolved over the years?
Nowadays, I mostly make birds, insects, and small mammals, but I used to make accessories and dolls. Thrice my dolls won the second price in an international doll exhibition and doll making competition in Hungary. My first exhibited 1:12 scale miniature work was a shadowbox, called Queen Elisabeth’s Kitchen. It was the beginning of my professional miniaturist life. In the kitchen there were foods, vegetables, fruits, pheasants and mounted deer trophies. Making the pheasants and the trophies were most enjoyable, so after this creation, I wanted to make more and more animals. It’s not a surprise, because I’m a biologist, so nature inspires me principally.
What materials do you use to make miniatures?
I don’t need too many supplies. I just need polymer clay, acrylic paint, feather and cotton thread in a various color, paper wire, and glue. All of my sculptures are made out of polymer clay. I love this material very much, because I can make really fine, detailed and lifelike figures with it. All of my works are hand sculpted, without the use of any mold.
Advice for new artists?
You have to do it with your heart and soul, and then any piece of your work will be unique.
What can’t you live without?
My hand, eyes, brain and polymer clay.
Favorite miniature you own by another artist?
I have a framed diorama by Beth Freeman-Kane, called The Racketeer, which includes a hummingbird and orchids. I love it and cherish it so much.
Most treasured miniature you’ve made?
I have a lot. All of my miniature sculptures contain a little part of my heart. I love all of my creations, I can’t choose a favorite.
Upcoming projects you’d like to share?
In Hungary, dollhouse miniature making is an unknown art form. Almost no one knew about it. In this country, there are just 12 of us making miniatures. This year, we established the Hungarian Miniature Guild. We started to organize the first miniature exhibition of Hungary, which will be held in September 2015. We would like to promote and popularize the professional miniatures as an art form in Hungary.
I love to take trips in nature. I love cooking, reading a book, painting, drawing, and sculpting.
Anything else you would like to add?
In 2014, I received the IGMA Artisan title in Animal Figures category. It was the greatest honor for me. I’m 34 years old. I married the most fantastic man in the world four years ago. We have a 3-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. I’m a microbiologist, but now I stay at home with my children. Beside making miniatures, I love to paint, draw, and sculpt.