Designer Dog Miniatures by Lucy T. Francis
I actually used to make plastic model dogs for my Barbie dolls when I was still a child. My first miniature work that I still make today started in the late 1990s.
How did you first get started making miniatures?
I first started making the little furred dogs to create one for my parents that lost their little Yorkie. I have always been more interested in dogs than anything else.
Do you remember the very first miniature you made?
The first piece was just yarn. Later, I used my dog Ted’s fur. The piece turned out to be amazingly like Ted. I still have it.
What is your favorite type of miniature to make?
Dogs. I do make other animals but dogs are what I know intimately in real life that aids me in my creations.
Breeds with many markings are the most difficult because I don’t use paint or pastels and doing detailed markings with fiber is tedious. People’s pets can be quite varied.
What do you wish someone had told you when you first got started?
Don’t judge yourself too harshly and realize you are one of a large talented group of people most are there willing to help you learn. Keep at it and keep trying new methods to make the pieces better and better.
Favorite miniature you own by another artist or have made yourself?
I have a roombox made by Erik Goddard that I cherish. I keep the dogs I have owned in the past in that room. It’s filled with special furniture made by Kari Bloom and Maritza Moran. Other small pieces that have been given to me by other artists help me remember many special times.
What inspires you?
Dogs and their owners love for them.
What is the most memorable miniature you have ever seen by another artist?
My Iraqi friend Ali Alamedy has made a 1900 photography studio that is incredibly unique in the detail and his tory it portrays. At Tom Bishop’s International Show in Chicago, I saw Burgess and Whitledge display a giant structure with a movie playing. I was in complete awe of everything in that house.
I hope that more people can be exposed to what the artists in miniature create. The more exposure artists get in media so people can see this is not about toys but about pieces of collectable artwork.
I know the UK has as many wonderful shows and artists as anywhere. However, as I mentioned my Iraqi friend that now lives in Turkey is known all over the world. Ali Alamedy is always the first to come to my mind because he is possibly the only Iraqi miniaturist he started his craft in the midst of that turmoil with no ability to purchase tools or supplies to produce his vision. However, he did make them and he made them so well that he is now famous and his incredible journey is an amazing story.
What is your favorite period of art history?
I enjoy the mid-19th century. This was the turning point with how humans viewed canines, as many moved inside homes and became pets, rather than work helpers.
What would you like to see replicated in miniature?
I would actually like a large outdoor area created in miniature. Not just a yard in front of a structure but a large outdoor scene with possibly a façade of a garden in the background. I would use it for photo shoots but I think it would be really nice. Realistic grass and trees and bushes. We know realism is always key.
What appeals to you most about what you do?
It started with realistic dogs that worked for Barbie. When I learned about 1:12 scale and the huge world of miniatures I knew that dollhouses and room boxes needed pets. The appealing thing for me is I get to communicate with animal owners that are as passionate as I am and I can help with loss easing some suffering. I see people happy when they see their dog again in miniature. For me I continue to try and make them as real as possible. I like the challenge of the tiny scale.
I am making my two current dogs for filming in an upcoming documentary. I want to have the miniatures and the real dogs together. My new animals are more and more made with real dog and cat fur. People love their real animals fur included. I have horses planned for my own displays.
Motto you live by?
Trust your instinct and always act with kindness and love.
Favorite miniature quote?
The miniature world is huge.
Other activities you enjoy?
I enjoy hiking with my dogs. Road trips, antiquing, reading, and gardening.
I am passionate about dogs and animals. Each piece I make is done with great love and passion to make sure I capture every animal’s essence. It can’t leave my studio if I don’t see that essence in each face.
Would you like to share a dailymini exclusive with readers? If so, what’s something people don’t know about you?
I started making dogs for dog owners and accidentally found the miniature world. I had no idea this huge world of miniature artists existed.
Designer Dog Miniatures were created by Dogartist Lucy T. Francis. She hails from Hastings, Minnesota. To see more of her miniature dog creations, visit her website or shop miniature dogs on the Dogartist Etsy account. You can also follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. See what Lucy’s been up to on her all about dogs blog or say hello on Facebook.