Rachel Growden miniatures
My earliest memory with miniatures is when I was just a kid. I would make tiny pies and sandwiches for my American Girl dolls, using instructions from one of the American Girl craft books. The pies were made with seed beads, felt, and bottle caps. The sandwiches were made with cork board and rubber bands. I loved how the materials mimicked real food.
How did you first get started making miniatures?
My interest in miniatures really stems from my love of fake food, and the realization that minis could be a relatively easy way to reproduce all kinds of food. I first got started a few years ago when my coworkers and I were browsing YouTube during some downtime at work and came across videos of a girl making miniature pastries, fast food, candy, and more. I was working at an art supply store, so I just bought the supplies I needed there and went home to try making some mini food myself.
Do you remember the very first miniature you ever made?
I feel like the first miniature I ever made from polymer clay was probably a hamburger. It was definitely one of the first, if not the first. I have a box somewhere of all of my early miniatures. They are kind of embarrassing to look back on now.
Although I do occasionally make furniture and decor for my dollhouses, food is my favorite type of mini to make. I usually enjoy it most when I’m making a food I’m actually craving in the moment, because then I get really into it. Sometimes I have to make or get the real thing afterwards.
What about the most challenging miniature?
I don’t usually have the patience required to make the detailed canes required for a lot of realistic looking fruits.
What advice would you give to new miniaturists?
I’d tell beginning miniaturists not to stress too much over their first few pieces. You can definitely improve with practice.
Favorite miniature you own by another artist or have made yourself?
One of my favorite mini scenes I have ever made was a bunch of Halloween treats in the kitchen: ghost and pumpkin cookies, orange and black cupcakes, candied apples, even a tiny bag of candy corn. I think scenes look best when you add as much detail and variety as possible.
I generally draw inspiration for miniatures from whatever I wish I had in real life but, for whatever reason, don’t. That may be a particular food, a vintage stove, or some antique painting I can’t afford. At least I can have a miniature version.
What is the most memorable miniature you have ever seen by another artist?
I went to a miniature show in Atlanta one year where someone was selling mini “meat scraps” and urine samples.
What’s to come from Rachel Growden?
I’m hoping to get more into commercial miniature commissions soon. I’d love to make scaled down versions of food from particular restaurants for an ad campaign or something. I also plan on building a new little kitchen to photograph my mini food in.
Other hobbies you enjoy?
In addition to making mini food, I bake and decorate a lot of cakes. I like to make quilts too, but it takes me forever because I can never find the time to work on them.