Daily Mini Interview: Miniatures by miniThaiss

Miniatures by miniThaiss

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012.JPGWhat’s your earliest memory with miniatures?

My earliest “mini” memory goes back to my childhood when my grandmother gave me a miniature 1:6 scale ceramic tea set. I enjoyed playing with it and I still keep it.

How did you first get started making miniatures?

Well, the first miniatures I ever made were the ones I made for my Barbie dolls when I was a child, such as accessories and clothes. The interest for the ones in 1:12 scale came few years ago, when I discovered the wonderful world of miniatures for real. Ever since that moment, I haven’t been able to stop making them.canvas

What is the most challenging miniature that you make?

The most challenging to make are definitely cherries in 1:12 scale because of their size. But maybe that’s the reason why I enjoy making them the most.

What inspires you?

015.JPGSince I mostly make miniature food, I get the inspiration from real food. Everything around me inspires me, I’m always looking for everyday items that could be transformed into a miniature or a tool for making one.

What is the most memorable miniature you have ever seen by another artist?

Any miniature by Tomo Tanaka.

What is your hope for the field of miniatures?obelix

I hope it develops even more, because there are many people in the world who appreciate miniature art.

Favorite miniaturists you’d like to mention?

I admire Tomo Tanaka (Nunu’s house), Angie Scarr, David Iriarte, Tereza Martinez, Susi Martinez, Sharon Cariola, Maritza Moran and many others.

043.JPGWhy miniatures?

I find miniatures very challenging; they require great attention to details, and therefore they are a great form to express my love for details.

What’s to come from Tajda Tufek?

I would love to take part of a miniature fair in the future, so that I could meet other miniaturists and exchange ideas. In Barcelona, maybe.

Other activities you enjoy?

I enjoy painting, drawing, skiing and playing table tennis.

The miniature brand of miniThaiss was created by Tajda Tufek who is based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Have a look at more minis on Etsy, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Flickr!


Daily Mini Interview: The Museum of Working Miniatures

The Museum of Working Miniatures

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Describe your earliest memory with miniatures.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 17.29.11Great question! I remember having a couple of working miniatures when I was a child. I still have a couple of them (a miniature board game and a Rubik’s cube-style puzzle.) But I didn’t follow up with a collection until much later in life.

Where did you come up with the idea for the Museum of Working Miniatures? 

The Museum of Working Miniatures YouTube Channel was established to showcase a unique collection of fully working miniature toys, games, electronics and gadgets.

By coincidence, I was gifted a couple of working miniatures in my 20s, (a miniature briefcase and a tiny working Etch A Sketch). They sat in my cupboards for many years—and when in my 30s I found them again, and wondered if you could get anything else that was a functional miniature. I found a few in High Street shops, but they’re not easy to find! But it was also the early days of sites like eBay, and it opened up a whole new avenue for finding them. Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 16.57.10Pretty soon, I had hundreds in the collection! It’s been slowly growing ever since. About a year ago, I finally got the whole collection together into cabinets—and then thought “what am I going to do with this now?” If I ever lost them all, I don’t think I could ever find some of them again (and it would be a huge undertaking)—so I wanted to do something to record the collection. It was going to be a blog with photos, but then I realized it was best to show the items working, you really needed to see them move—so why not video? That began the creation of the channel—it was really just for me initially, to have some permanent record of the pieces.

Do you have a favorite working miniature you’ve featured?

Tough one! I’ve always got a soft spot for the working Victrola (Gramophone record player) that I featured in the very first video. Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 14.51.21I just love how it not only looks like a perfect miniature scale model, but also works with real miniature records. I also love the Basic Fun Mouse Trap game key chain—perfect miniature replica of the board game down to every last piece—and it all works!

Do you have a favorite “non-working” miniature object? 

I often order miniatures thinking that they’re working and then find out they’re not. I may do a video of these ‘Working Miniature Fails’ soon. I was recently given a miniature ship in a bottle, which I like.Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 14.41.53

Favorite mini maker?

It has to be Basic Fun. In the 80s, they started making replica mini key chain versions of classic games and toys, and buy the end of the 90s, they had a massive range. Their range of working arcade games are my favorite (Miniature Pinball, Crane Grabber, Rod Hockey, etc.) — and they’re also the rarest to find.

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 19.11.09Have you ever made miniatures yourself? 

I nearly did with the working miniature TV set. I struggled to find anything that fitted what I wanted (able to play a video through its own speaker and look like a TV set.) I was going to make my own from a little MP3 video player. But the collection is about curating existing items, not creating new ones.

Advice for those that love to collect working miniatures?

As far as I know, I’m the only one who seems to have this kind of collection—can’t find any trace of anyone else. But I’d advise learning to love Internet searching—you’ll be doing a lot of it. And make use of all the tools that sites like eBay have for helping you monitor keyword searches.

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 14.47.06What inspires you?

The YouTube Channels that really influenced me are the work of Ashens, who was a pioneer of reviewing something without showing his face (only his hands). Also, Grand Illusions, for showing that there may be an audience for unusual curios.

What is the most memorable miniature you’ve come across?

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 15.05.41On Etsy, there is someone selling an extremely small working coffee maker. You can fit it on your finger. It comes with a tiny spoon and cup and a stand for a candle—it boils and a single drop of coffee drips out of the pot into the tiny cup. Absolutely insanity—but I have to get one one day! I also once saw a guy who made perfect working miniature lavatories—with perfect flushing mechanism! But he didn’t sell them as a business, so I’m not sure if that should be in the collection. I was really going for items that anyone (at the time) could have bought, not just one-offs.Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 14.38.14

What appeals to you most about what you do?

I really don’t know. Something about the very tiny world appeals to me. I’m quite tall, so maybe it stems from not wanting to stand out physically? But I also really love the design, craftsmanship, and engineering that goes into making such tiny things really work. It’s amazing!

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 16.20.47What’s to come from the Museum of Working Miniatures?

Well, I still have hundreds of exhibits to film. I want to continue to plough through and record them all eventually. The ‘miniature fails’ video would be funny to do. And maybe another cooking video—the Cooking Bacon in Miniature video is still by far my most watched. I’m trying to find a tiny metal oven replica that you could theoretically cook with—I’ve got close recently. Fingers crossed. Oh, and I’d like to do some more competition giveaways. I have a few duplicates—a couple are the extremely rare Basic Fun arcade games so they would make great prizes.

What other activities do you enjoy?Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 18.13.39

The Curator only knows Curating. There IS nothing else. That and tormenting Colin, my robot assistant.

What do you want miniature fans to know about you?

I get asked a lot why I don’t speak in the videos and what I look like. I actually did speak for the first few. The environment I film in just doesn’t allow me to do voice-overs. Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 15.26.15Plus, I really like my videos in ‘pantomime’ style. There are many other channels that do the same, and some are extremely successful. So… no plans to start speaking again. And as to what I look like? A little like Colin, only with a beard.

The Museum of Working Miniatures YouTube Channel was established by The Curator to showcase a unique collection of fully working miniature toys, games, electronics and gadgets. Based in London, you can subscribe to working miniature videos on YouTube, follow the fun on Twitter, and check out the Museum of Working Miniatures blog!


Daily Mini Interview: Miracle Chicken Miniatures

Miracle Chicken Miniatures

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How did you first get started in miniatures?

2Loving all things miniature is my oldest memory. As a child I loved to draw and create things. So as I grew up, I discovered I could make my own dollhouse miniatures. I began carving animals from wood for a sculpture art project at the end of 12th grade. I hated that orange clay on my hands so I rummaged through a drawer in the art room and found an X-ACTO knife and some wood. I carved animals for my project and never looked back! My mother also loved miniatures and bought me every piece of 1964 Petite Princess furniture.

Where does the name “Miracle Chicken” come from?1

Miracle Chicken is the name of a beautiful, sweet, little hen that I hatched. I was her mother, I brought her into the world. I named my business after her. You can read her short story here and see pictures of her.

How long does it take you to make a miniature? 

I make so many different kinds of miniatures… carving animals, carving fine furniture, even toothpick and match stick carving. One example would be it takes weeks to carve an animal in 1:12 scale and then painstakingly applying the fur.

1-1What materials do you use to make your miniatures? 

Mostly wood. The wood I use is Jelutong for the animals. Cherry and pear for the furniture.

What inspires you?

Seeing a picture of a particular animal or pose that I want to do.

What’s to come from Miracle Chicken?

I plan to keep making and furring animals. I do custom commissions: your pet from your photographs.tray

Advice for beginner artists and miniaturists?

1) Trust your gut.
2) Necessity is the mother of invention.
3) Junk is your friend!

Miracle Chicken Miniatures is made possible by Linda Master of Dexter City, Ohio. Check out many more of her wonderful miniatures on the Miracle Chicken website, Miracle Chicken blog, or head on over to Etsy, eBay and Facebook to see what’s new.


Daily Mini Interview: Miniatures by Hernán Buljevich

Miniatures by Hernán Buljevich

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How did you first get into miniatures?

Angel sierraI started working on miniatures at university as I became interested in scale models as a way of representation. It was then when I realized what my future would be. I began to work with constructive details, and created replicas of existing places that I liked. Over time, I acquired experience and thought that my greatest accomplishment was the way I could pass down the essence of a place and its charmwhether a house, a restaurant, a bar, a historic building, or any kind of space, front door or interior roominto a miniature.

What inspires you?

The inspiration for my work stems from a lifelong love of classic Spanish culture, cuisine and bars. I started with Restaurante Botín in Madrid. Founded in 1725, Botín is one of the world’s oldest restaurants.

Every detail of my replicas is carefully carried out, not only to bring photographic accuracy but to represent the attractiveness of each place.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am inspired by everyday life. I like to always be open to learning new things and new techniques, and I often apply other methods or techniques from another profession into what I do.

What materials do you use for your miniatures?

In order to perform said replicas I seek each material resembles the original: wood, cardboard, recycled materials. All materials I use are legitimate to carry out each of the works. It’s a matter of creativity. That’s how the miniatures get the different places owners’ attention. The owners are eventually attracted to the replicas and would like to have one of their own place.

Bodega de la Ardosa (3)Describe your process for making miniatures.

Having photographs of anywhere allows me to make a miniature. I get photos to paper, converting them into blueprints. I calculate the scale observing the photos. I think of each line, relief and measure of each part of the site. And then, I select the materials and all parts prepared to be later assembled, resulting in the final work.

Alma de España by Hernán is on view now at D. Thomas Fine Miniatures in New York!

Through photos or videos that can be sent by mail or email, one can start preparing miniatures. Many different materials can be used, enriching in detail the work to be accomplished. You desire one, you have it! Everyone wants his or her place in the world to be represented in a miniature.

Advice you would give to beginner artists?

What matters is the essence of the place or object we want to do, not accuracy. The important thing is to give the work life.

Tool you can’t live without?

I use many improvised and homemade tools. I can not live without my tweezers and nail files. These are what I use most.

What appeals to you most about what you do?

The creativity to find the materials to make things from real life in miniature, is a very fun challenge. The best we can recycle and transform any object.

Other activities and hobbies you enjoy?

I began with this as my hobby, really I am an architect. What I enjoy the most is traveling.

Argentinian artist Hernán Buljevich recreates well-known bars and restaurants in miniature. To see more of his work, visit his website or follow along on two Facebook accounts: here and here.