Daily Mini Interview: Ella-Rose Miniatures

Ella-Rose Miniatures

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Where does your interest in miniatures stem from?

I have always had an interest in dollhouses and miniatures. In 2004, a new shop opened up on our local High Street that sold dollhouses. il_570xN.747890578_565gI saved up funds and was soon able to purchase my first “grown-up” dollhouse.

How has your work in miniature evolved?

I began making my own miniatures in 2004, immediately after purchasing my first dollhouse. I found that I enjoyed creating these minis immensely: it was very rewarding and also something that I discovered I had a talent for. Soon after, I opened up an eBay shop and began selling my handcrafted miniatures. Then I opened up my Etsy shop, launched a blog, Facebook fan page and Twitter account. The rest, as they say, is history.

What materials do you use to make your miniatures?

I mainly use Fimo, liquid Fimo, acrylic paints and genesis heat paints.il_570xN.736047038_71oy

Advice for beginner artists?

Find your niche. Have patience and persevere. Your work will improve over time as you begin to use new and interesting techniques. Buy a few good books on making miniatures (I recommend any miniature food books by Angie Scarr) and simply add your own unique touches.

Material you can’t live without?

I cannot live without Fimo, white in particular. I use a lot. Liquid fimo is also a must for me.

il_570xN.693124706_1a65Favorite mini you own by another artisan?

I have a small pumpkin with a rat on it from the wonderful Mags-nificent Miniatures that I simply adore.

Artists, designers, books you look to for inspiration?

I take most of my inspiration from real-life bakers and cake makers, in particular Miss Lola’s Bakehouse and her amazing creations. I also created a Marie Antoinette collection after watching the film of the same name. Inspiration can come to you in many forms, maybe a color combination that you have seen or a certain design of furniture. Inspiration is all around us if you keep your eyes open and have a creative imagination.

What is the most miniature you have ever seen?

I think it would have to be anything by Ron’s Dollhouse’s. He creates the most beautiful, unique and interesting abodes for dolls.

Why miniatures?11147009_811997145522102_1128196356130336959_n

I am fascinated with creating real-life items and food in miniature form.

What’s to come from Ella-Rose Miniatures?

I am exhibiting at the Dolls House & Miniatures Fair in York next month. I exhibit twice a year at York. I am always creating new minis and strive for perfection.

Other activities you enjoy?

I enjoy watching films, horror films in particular. I also enjoy reading, training my two dogs, cooking, baking, oil and watercolor painting, as well as spending quality time with my loved ones.

il_570xN.768787740_t84mWords you live by?

“Being creative is not a hobby, it’s a way of life.” I love that saying.

What do you want miniature fans to know about you?

When I bought my first dollhouse as an adult many of my friends and family didn’t understand the interest and would ask, “what on earth do you want that for?” However, now that they have seen the end results of my work with miniatures, many of my family members have more dollhouses than I do and are just as enthusiastic about the hobby as I am! My biggest fan (and critic) has always been, and will always be my son.

Kerry of Ella-Rose Miniatures hails from Great Britain. If you’d like to view more of her marvelous miniature creations, head on over to her shop, blog, Facebook, or Twitter.


Daily Mini Interview: Miniatures by Genziana Bellè

Miniatures by Genziana Bellè

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How did you first get started in miniatures?

swan and flowersI discovered miniatures in the late eighties when I was traveling in the States. Miniatures were fairly unknown in Italy at that time. When I came back home, I tried to make something on my own.

How has your work evolved over the years?

I have been making miniatures for over 25 years. I began making petit point works on silk gauze, as well as wicker baskets and miniature flowers. Now, I have almost completely given up embroidery, but I keep on creating baskets and flowers in 1:12 and 1:48 scale.

What materials do you use to make your miniatures?

I use silk gauze, silk or cotton thread for the petit point; linen thread and paper-covered wire to make my miniature baskets; different kinds of paper and paper-covered wire to make flowers.Lavender

Advice for beginner miniaturists?

My advice is to take inspiration from the real world, not from miniatures already made by other artists. You will need patience, the desire to learn techniques used in 1:1 scale in order to adapt these skills for miniature making. You’ll also need the courage to throw away and remake your miniatures until you have achieved your desired level of proficiency.

wicker basket quarter scaleTool you can’t live without?

I can’t live without very good lighting, a magnifying glass, my fine tweezers for watchmakers, and only the best quality materials.

Favorite miniature you own by another artist?

My favorite  works are 1:12 furniture miniatures that my father made for me.

What inspires you?

I love books about embroidery, baskets, antiquing, and furnishing. I also take inspiration from the real world in order to achieve miniatures that reflect my personality.

wicker basket with hydrangeaWhat is the most memorable miniature you have seen by another artist?

The most memorable to me is not a single miniature but the exhibition of Mrs. Ingeborg Riesser‘s miniature collection that I saw in Paris in 1994.

Why miniatures? 

I like miniatures because making smaller items is a challenge, and also because the smaller size allows me to collect items that I couldn’t keep at home… they don’t take up much space!

Upcoming  miniatures in the works?

At the moment, I’m working on new baskets inspired from real ones, as always, and some new flowers. I’ll also be attending the Simp Miniature Show in Paris to check out work by other artisans.wicker bottles

Other activities you enjoy?

I love to travel and observe the world around me. I also enjoy 1:1 scale embroidery very much.

Genziana Bellè lives in Italy. To see more of her lovely work in miniature, head on over to Facebook.


wicker store quarter scale



Daily Mini Interview: Salavat Fidai Art

Miniatures by Salavat Fidai Art

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How and why did you first get started in pencil lead sculptures?

IMG_2318-HDSix months ago, I began to carve pencils after I was inspired by the work of Dalton Ghetti from the States. I had no experience before early 2015. Now, I really enjoy creating tiny sculptures on pencils. Mostly I’ve been sculpting heroes and cartoon characters.

Describe your process and inspiration.

The concept for my paintings or sculptures starts to take form while I’m asleep. The next day, I look for photos and video material, and then I make sketches or layouts. When I work with oil on canvas, it’s more emotional and expressive. If I paint acrylic on seeds, it’s hard work and more detail oriented. When I carve sculptures from pencils, it’s much more meditative.IMG_2972-2

I do a lot of reading, and go to other artists’ exhibitions. Sometimes it’s my dreams, sometimes it is the artwork of other artists, such as Vincent Van Gogh. I am inspired by music. I get most of my paintings done late at night when my family is asleep. I’m a total night owl. I find myself more productive and it’s much easier to focus at night.

Did you ever make miniatures in another medium?

Previously, I made sculptures out of wood and stone, but these were of normal size. I also create miniatures on seeds and matchbooks.

IMG_2787-HDWhat has been the most difficult miniature sculpture to carve?

I tried Darth Vader seven times. Some Vader heads broke during the carving. It took so many tries to achieve a final product I liked, and now I love it!IMG_2327-HD

Favorite artists?

Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

What inspires you?

Good movies, books by contemporary authors, Marvel and DC comics, Pixar Animation Studios, and more great artwork.

Most treasured pencil tip sculpture you’ve created?

IMG_2528-hdWALL-E and the PPSH-41 gun.

What tools do you use to make your sculptures?

Small, sharp craft knifes and a magnifying glass.

Tool you can’t live without?

Maybe my craft knife or my favorite brush, Kolinsky Sable number 0. I experiment with different tools, but I think I would be happy creating art out of anything.

Upcoming exhibitions planned?IMG_2462-HD

Yes, of course. Big exhibitions in China and Italy.

New sculptures you’d like to mention?

It’s a secret. All I will say is “large sculptures and installations.”

What other activities do you enjoy?

IMG_2963-2Spending time with my family: going to the cinema, walking, and hiking.

Advice for beginner artists?

Do not be afraid to experiment with new materials. View more work by other artists and learn from them.

Salavat hails from Ufa in Russia. For more of his incredible micro-mini sculptures, visit his website, shop on Etsy, check out Instagram, Facebook or Behance.



Daily Mini Interview: Boutique Miniatures

Boutique Miniatures

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10306639_1617810578431040_82144154618900352_nHow did you first get started in miniatures?

I started making miniatures 5 years ago. For more than 18 years, I had worked on miniature wooden ship models. Though I enjoyed these simple wooden ship models, I wanted to transition to something with more energy, and I’ve found this energy in miniatures. It’s been very fun and exciting for me to create miniatures.

What materials do you use to make your miniatures?

There is no limit in materials when making miniatures. Any type of material (anything at all!) can be used during the creative process. It all comes down to achieving that “real” appearance with the miniature work. 1523453_1582235665321865_4409708103317702330_oI like battling with different materials. Most typically, I work with pear tree wood, brass, copper, and iron. A variety of my work can be viewed on Facebook.

Advice for beginner artists?

I would advise beginners to place high importance on scaling and achieving the correct scaled down dimensions. A caliper should be used at all times, and with great consideration.

Tool, material or technique you can’t live without?

10420345_1590995117779253_6619052733746069815_nI couldn’t do what I do without the pear tree. It feels like velvet. I also use two lathes, a micro planer, scroll saw, cut saw, thickness planer, table saw, circular saw, bench drill press, and disc sander in my workshop. I don’t use any chemicals in any of my works; all of my miniatures are completely natural.

Other activities you enjoy?

I enjoy photography and have spent time working in graphic design.

Fatih lives in Izmir, Turkey. For more of his fantastic miniatures, visit Etsy, InstagramFacebook or check out his previous work in wooden ship models.


Daily Mini Interview: Miniatures by William Robertson

Miniatures by Acclaimed Craftsman William Robertson

What were your first memories with miniatures? 

WmRob47I grew up at a time when hobbies were very, very popular. There were practically a dozen hobby shops within 20 minutes from my childhood home. Like most young boys at that time, I played with model trains and planes. We built and blew up everything. So, for me, the whole interest in miniatures goes back to my earliest memories as a 7- and 8-year-old in the toy modeling world. I started playing with these items when I was very young. And I never stopped.

I was always building things from scratch from a very, very early age. I used to take wrapping paper tubes and turn them into rockets. You name it, I did it.

Even in elementary school, given the choice between completing a book report and making a diorama, I would make a diorama. I’d recreate a scene from a book (how Roman roads were built, for example) and present this to my teacher. WmRob37In 7th grade, I remember building a model of Anne Frank’s house.

When I started out in high school, there was a small corner of the basement in my house dedicated to some of the tools I had been collecting from my job at a hardware store. By the end of high school, the entire basement was my workshop, filled to the gills with machines and tools.

How did your interest transform into a successful business?

When I was 21, my mom wanted a dollhouse for her grandchildren. So I made it! Begrudgingly I built it. In fact, I kept adding more and more details to slow the process down. I even glued on individual floors and added intricate details to every feature of the house. When it was finally completed, my mother wanted to keep it for herself!

WmRob11Not too long after that, I attended a miniature show in Florida. I just happened upon the show by chance and walked in because I was bored. When I was inside, my first thought was “wow, I can do that.” So a few weeks later, in 1977, I made my first miniature and never looked back.

What was the first miniature you created? Where does your interest in miniature furniture stem from?

I had a magazine with a ladies writing desk on the cover and thought that it would be neat to recreate it. So I scaled it down and made that desk. Shortly after that, I made a better version of the desk – it was magnitudes better the second time around. A gallery in New York saw my work and began selling my miniatures. I sold three miniature desks in one week, and within 6 months, I was selling to the most important American collectors.RobTbl8

It’s been 38 years now that I’ve been creating miniatures, and I have spent a great deal of time studying furniture: its history and the craftsmanship behind renowned pieces. At first, I knew nothing about furniture and the history of pieces I was replicating in 1:12 scale. I was just a 20-something-year-old kid. One time, I went into Weschler’s Auction House in Washington D.C. to look at some of the pieces on display. There was a table there by John Goddard, and I grabbed it and flipped it over to examine the bottom. You should have seen the horror on people’s faces. I had no idea! That table was going for $95,000 back in 1977 and a similar table later sold at Christie’s for about $5 million.

WmRob55After that, I learned about furniture very quickly. I copied pieces of furniture and soon discovered that collectors wanted replicas of works by master cabinet makers, not your average table or chair that you’d find at a department store. If you’re going to copy something, you copy it from the very best. So, if you want to copy furniture, you head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, not to Sears.

Fast-forwarding a bunch of years and through extensive studies into furniture making, I learned a tremendous amount about American furniture and French furniture design. I consulted with the best in the field and have been fortunate enough to visit major museums where a work can be taken off display so I’m able to examine it.

When did you transition from making miniature furniture into making miniature tools?

I’ve always been a tool head, and a tool collector. When I was working in the hardware store as a teenager, I’d make about $62 a week, and would bring home half my check in tools. By the time I was done working there, I had pretty much bought one of everything.WmRob50

I once visited an antique flea market and came across little watchmaker’s tools accompanied by a tool catalog. The book had hundreds of pages of really neat looking miniature tools, and I had no idea what they were, but I wanted them. Over the years, I continued collecting tools, big and small, and finally began making tools in miniature. Whenever a friend of mind had a rare tool that they weren’t willing to sell, I would recreate their tool in miniature and show them the replica. They’d say they have to have it, but I’d say, “It’s not for sale, but I’ll trade you for it.” Sure enough, I made quite a few trades to add to my ever-growing tool collection. And in due time, when miniature collectors saw the miniature tools I had made, they wanted to add these to their collection. One of my best recognized works is a Hewitt tool chest reproduction based on an original in Colonial Williamsburg. The chest and tools took me roughly 1,000 hours to complete.William-Robertson-Miniature-1

What materials do you use to make your miniatures?

I use a range of wood depending on the particular work. I frequently use mopane wood to recreate the appearance of mahogany. Mopane looks like mahogany, oxidizes like it and even ages like it. If it looks like the right material to recreate a piece of furniture, I’ll use it. And I have some of everything.

Every time I’ve come across materials that are especially unique or interesting, I’ve bought them. I have red brass, yellow brass, green brass, brass rods, brass squares, brass rectangles… you name it. I have nickel silver, German silver, silver with a hint of lead in it… and more! I’ve collected exotic woods, ivory, tortoise shell, shark skin, baleen, whale bone, petrified mammoth tusk… and the list goes on.

Non-miniature artists that inspire you?

RobSpin02I have closely followed the period of art history dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, particularly the royal courts in Europe where ivory turning was popular. Even princesses and queens turned ivory on a lathe at that time. The work itself didn’t serve a purpose, much like my craft. I’ve studied this obscure art form for about 30 years and like to think that if I lived during that time period, I would be a court ivory turner.

Fellow miniaturists that inspire you?

I visited Paul Runyon back in 1978 and learned the basis of my craft in that one day with him. He was the finest American furniture miniaturist. He did a lot with machines, and taught me something extremely valuable: “Don’t waste time looking for something you need. Just make it.” Whether a hinge, router bit, or part – if you don’t have it, just make it. In that one day I visited his workshop, he showed me all the basics to  those things. RobSpin05I was so lucky, because the experience was truly inspirational.

When I went to visit Paul, he was working on a little chest at that time, and created three miniature chests. Coincidentally and many years later, I came to own one of these chests that I had seen on his workbench that day I came to visit him.

Do you collect miniatures yourself?

I have a few, but very few. I learned that one of the funny things about hobbies and business is that once you go into business with your hobby, you’ve ultimately ruined your hobby. I make an effort not to collect miniatures, but I still collect tools. The tools I collect are getting harder and harder to find. Some of these include fine tools for doing fine work, rare tools from the 17th and 18th centuries, and tools that are signed by the craftsman. I love very old tools, made of silver or ivory. One of my favorite pieces is a square tool by Nicolas Bion, mathematical instrument engineer to King Louis XIV of France.RobDay15

Upcoming shows and projects in the works?

I’ll be teaching at the International Guild of Miniature Artisans’ Guild School in Castine, Maine next month (June 2015). It’s my 30th year teaching there, and the 12 students in my class have been coming back for a total of 192 years. The IGMA Guild School is unique because for an entire week, attendees don’t have to explain “why miniatures?” to anyone.

After that, I’m heading to Copenhagen, Denmark and to Paris, France to teach. I’ll also be showing work at the Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University from August 28 through October 3 as part of The Miniature exhibition. And, I have a few works on display at The Online Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum (also known as the Internet Craftsmanship Museum). I was recently recognized as the 2015 Metalworking Craftsman of the Year.

RobDay12Advice to beginner artists?

My advice to any young artist: be the best you can be at what you do, and there will hopefully be someone that will like your work enough to support you. Have high standards about your work, and you’ll always have to do better the next time around. That’s worked very well for me. And I’m just starting to get the hang of it all after 38 years.

Anything else you would like to add? What do you want miniature enthusiasts to know about you?

One of the coolest things about miniatures is that you can spend $5 on a miniature table or you can spend upwards of $50,000 on a miniature table. There are not a lot of hobbies where that applies, so I find it fascinating. Everyone can play and enjoy them, no matter your personal aesthetic or style.

My current slogan is, “Details matter.” Because, that’s what it’s all about. A guiding principle in business is that you make each thing better than what you did before. Never go backwards, always go forwards.

William “Bill” Robertson hails from Kansas City, Missouri. He was recognized with Artisan status in metalwork by the International Guild of Miniature Artisans and in 2011, received the Don Buttfield Award for his exceptional contributions to the field of miniatures.

Daily Mini Interview: Kiva’s Miniatures

Kiva’s Miniatures

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How did you first get started in miniatures?

When I lived in San Francisco, I started collecting unusual dolls on a whim. From there, I discovered the magical world of miniatures… all the accessories, and miniature food! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy mother built me two dollhouses and I packed them to the brim. One day, I picked up a couple bars of clay and thought I’d give food making a go. It soon became a total obsession. I’ve since been making miniatures for about twelve years.

What materials do you use to make your miniatures?

Polymer clay: the firmer, the better. Kato is my favorite, then Fimo Classic.

Advice for beginner miniaturists?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Books and tutorials are great for learning some basics and useful techniques, but take that knowledge and run with it. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Also, there is nothing better than studying the real thing, so look at pictures of real food!

Tool or material you can’t live without?

I love my needle tools and ball styli. Also, liquid clay and chalks.

Favorite mini you own by another artist?

I have received wonderful gifts from super talented artists. It’s difficult to narrow it down!


Cooking shows, cookbooks, food magazines… even walking through the market gives me inspiration. My wacky creations really come from my rather twisted sense of humor.

Fellow miniaturists that inspire you?

When I first started out, and was discovering artists’ work, what really fascinated me was the work of a Chinese artist (whose name escapes me right now). At the time, she was just about the only person making things other than the “usual” fare. She was making actual Chinese cuisine! At the time, it was a real novelty. I enjoy seeing people make food that you just don’t find every day.

What is the most memorable miniature you have ever come across?

This is a tough one. Off the top of my head, the work of a Japanese artist named Takanori Aiba is simply mind blowing. I mean, downright scary!FruitBasket

Why miniatures?

I’ve always been fascinated by tiny things, ever since I was a little girl. I used to do intricate, tiny drawings… even my handwriting is small! I love seeing my work come to life in my customer’s creations.

Other activities you enjoy?

I watch a lot of cooking competition shows! When I’m not tied down to my pile of clay, I love going out to eat because Hawaii really is a melting pot of different ethnic foods. Other than that, I don’t have much time for anything else!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Anything else you would like to add?

Yes, I am a little bit nuts, it’s true!

Kiva Atkinson makes her miniatures come to life from her home in Honolulu, Hawaii. If you want to see more of her wacky and whimsical creations, head on over to her blog or Flickr.

Daily Mini Interview: Miniature Animals by Kerri Pajutee

Miniatures by Kerri Pajutee

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How did you first get started in miniatures?

Some of my earliest recollections are of drawing horses and dogs. Looking back, they always had big smiles on their faces. Pencil, crayons, watercolor, oil pastels – you name it, I have tried it at one time or another. RedPom2012At age 15, on a whim, I purchased a 5 pound bag of stoneware clay to take a stab at sculpting. At that time, I had no idea that a bag of mud would result in a lifelong love affair. I am what you would call self-taught: I learned through trial and error.

Most of my early sculptures ranged in size, and consisted of one-of-a-kind, hand-built, kiln-fired stoneware and porcelain originals which I sold at small galleries, art fairs, and by special commission. It wasn’t until 1987 that I was invited by a friend to attend a weekend Dollhouse Miniature show in Portland, Oregon. I had never been to a miniatures show before, so had no idea what to expect. This show was my first introduction to 1:12 scale, and I was immediately impressed by the delicate work on display by a number of the artists showcasing their tiny furniture, paintings, lighting, and dolls. One particular artist was Frank Balestrieri, who hand-carved and painted the most amazing birds and exquisite waterfowl decoys in miniature. There was just something about his work that sparked my own desire to try sculpting in this challenging, new-to-me scale. After the show, I set out to find some polymer clay and give it a try. The transition from mud clay to polymer clay did not come easily to me, and many of those first pieces ended up in the trash. Determined to make this medium work, I kept at it and over time became comfortable with its characteristics. Then a few years later, in an effort to make my little polymer clay animals look more realistic, I began experimenting with applying a furry coat to the sculpt using alpaca yarn and craft glue.

How long have you been creating minis?Squirrellogic

I have been sculpting miniature scale animals in polymer clay since 1987, but do not consider myself a master sculptor. With every new project, I challenge myself to improve. Occasionally, I will step out of my comfort zone and experiment with making miniature props (i.e. flowers or furnishings) for use when setting up vignettes for photographs.

I have been a member of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans (IGMA) for over 15 years, and was awarded Artisan status in animal figures in 2001, and Fellow status in 2004.

What materials do you use to make your miniatures? Describe your process.

The majority of my miniature animals (dogs, cats, birds and small wildlife) are freehand sculptures of firm polymer clay with an embedded core of fine gauge wire support in the neck, legs and tail. Larger pieces may require a sturdier armature build out of aluminum foil and masking tape. Each sculpture is built in stages, depending on its overall size and complexity, and is baked several times during the building process before a final cure. MakingHarlidaneThe eyes of my sculpts vary and can be glass, polished rounds, paint-enhanced polyclay or UV resin, which are inset into the raw clay prior to oven curing. Once the basic form has cured and cooled, I delicately carve additional details into the hardened clay, smooth the surface using sandpaper, and finish off with a bath of mild soap and water. 

The sculpture is painted with acrylics or Genesis heat set oil colors, and a permanent fiber coat is methodically applied (slightly overlapping layer by layer) using tweezers and glue. I do not use real fur, but prefer working with natural fibers of alpaca, wool, mohair, cashmere, cotton or silk depending on breed type. Sometimes it is necessary to blend several fiber colors by hand to achieve a desired shade or dye it using Jacquard Acid Dyes or professional fabric inks. In addition, I prefer to make my own ‘flock’ (fiber that has been cut to a powder-fine consistency) using very sharp serrated scissors (the finer the flock the better it looks on the miniature).

If I am making birds, I will cut or trim down natural or dyed parrot, turkey or chicken feathers. As a finishing touch, I will scissor-sculpt the coat and remove any loose hairs using masking tape. This can be a time consuming process when the piece has multiple or bi-color coats, as picking and cleaning all the teeny darker hairs out of the white or vice-versa is maddening at best. Lastly, I will seal the surface with a light mist of hairspray to set the fiber.

Advice for beginner miniaturists?

Back when I started to make miniature ‘furred’ animal sculpts, there was no Internet, no social media, no classes and no “How To” books available to use as reference. This forced me to experiment on my own, by trial and error, and come up with my own methods. BeaglepupsToday, there are hundreds of online resources, tutorials, and classes that share information on how to ‘craft’ miniatures. It has been said that ‘craftmanship’ is the mastery of tools and knowledge of materials, and that ‘art’ is the interpretation of that mastery into a creative and expressive piece of work. I don’t know of any shortcuts or hocus pocus to pass along that could transform a newbie into a ‘master miniaturist’ overnight. I would, however, caution against copying a successful artist’s signature style, description language, photography setups, and more. In doing so, you will never achieve the same level of success of the artist you are copying. Develop your own style. What comes from the heart, reaches the heart.

Tool you can’t live without?

A magnification lamp (a necessity to see detail clearly). After that, it would have to be my trusty Xacto knife #11 blade; Rio Rondo Carbide scrapers; micro spatula tools created by Alexander Mergold of AMCreatures; Wargamer ‘Psycho’ paintbrush; Dr. Slick serrated hair scissors; and tweezers.

What is your most treasured miniature?Parrottalk

A peace rosebush by IGMA Fellow Carol Wagner.

IGMA artists you look to for inspiration?

I am inspired by the pursuit of excellence fueled by a devotion to create diminutive objects. That pretty much describes most of the miniaturists who have submitted their work to the International Guild of Miniature Artisans to be judged by their peers and awarded the title of ‘artisan’ or ‘fellow’ within the guild.

What other artists inspire you?

A few of my personal ‘non-miniaturist’ favorites include sculptors Theodore Karner, Charles Valton, and Edwin Bogucki. As for painters: feline artist Lesley Anne Ivory and Leanin’ Tree greeting card artist Hildren Goodwine.

What is the most memorable miniature you have ever seen?

I find I am continually amazed by miniature works of art. To only name a few here seems unfair but, I would have to say, for me personally: hand-painted porcelain by Miyuki Nagashima, and, just about anything made by William “Bill” Robertson. Both are mind-boggling miniature master artists.

SleepykittyWhy miniatures?

I’ve discovered one of the many charms of making and collecting dollhouse miniatures is the ability to encapsulate (within a small space) a collection of delightful objects. I am a storyteller at heart, and many of my animal sculpts are expressly designed to reflect a personal encounter or endearing memory. I also enjoy setting up scenes and photographing them. It’s my time to ‘play’ with my miniatures before they go off to new homes. If my work happens to bring a smile to your face when you look at it, in person or in photos – I am twice blessed.

Other activities you enjoy?

I enjoy thrifting, collecting books, digging for old bottles, and playing golf with my husband and son.

PapaGorillaWhat do you want miniature  fans to know about you?

For me, ‘balance’ means I only sculpt part-time. This arrangement does not always set well with some individuals who want special request commissions, as it limits the number of pieces I am able to make per year. In order to keep my work fresh and rewarding, I do not spend my time producing assembly-line or duplicate sculpts. I prefer to have the freedom to create what I am ‘inspired to compose’ vs. ‘have to produce.’

IGMA Fellow Kerri Pajutee currently lives in Oregon. For more of her breathtaking miniature works of art, please visit her website, or follow along on Pinterest, Facebook, and DeviantArt.

Daily Mini Interview: Little Day Miniatures

Little Day Miniatures

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Tiny Hot Dog LDMWhere does your interest in miniatures stem from?

I particularly love making food miniatures. Just like a familiar old song, food can also connect us with past memories, emotions or feelings. Each time we associate a particular food with an event or experience, we create a memory link that continues to exist even years later. Food often gets embedded into our memories because of the feelings we had surrounding the particular moment. For example: hot dogs! Many of us are not too fond of hot dogs, but when we smell them roasting on an open fire or hot off the grill, it captures our attention and sends us into a Toucan Sam “Follow Your Nose” trance! Is it really the smell? Or does the smell perhaps remind us of childhood memories like a best friend’s birthday party, camping trips with grandpa, or a sunny afternoon at a baseball game. Now all of a sudden this smell strikes our memory button, our itty bitty eyebrows raise in delight, and we just have to have one. Many of my memories are associated with food, and I believe that I subconsciously try to recreate and recapture those happy feelings and emotions through my food miniatures.Teeny Fried Chicken LDM

How many years have you been creating minis and food miniatures?

I’m self-trained and I’ve been making miniatures for 3 years. I create miniatures on a full-time basis and have my work displayed and sold in two local shops: Edmonton Arts Council’s TIX on the Square and The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse.

What materials do you use to make Little Day Miniatures?

Polymer clay, resins and more.

Green Eggs and Ham LDMAdvice for beginner artists and miniaturists?

In the spirit of Finding Nemo‘s Dori, “Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!” Never give up and always keep on learning. Never think you’ve reached your peak. Keep on pursuing your dreams.

When I first started out with polymer clay, my attempts to make miniature food looked more like lumps of dirt than anything else. But with a lot of time, practice, perseverance, and continuous learning, my work continues to evolve and become more detailed, more realistic, and more of a representation of me.

Tool, material or technique you can’t live without?Pineapple with Watermark LDM

Creativity and dreaming.

Artists or books you look to for inspiration?

Angie Scarr. I recommend two of her books: Miniature Food Masterclass: Materials and Techniques for Model-Makers and Making Miniature Food and Market Stalls.

What is the most memorable miniature you’ve seen by another artist?

Amigurumi artist Katsutoshi Tsunoda. His micro crocheting is amazing! Still has me scratching my head.

Teeny Fried Chicken Earrings LDMWhy do people love miniatures?

Have you ever watched a child observing a colony of ants carrying a chicken nugget crumb back to their home? The joy and amazement in the child’s little face is priceless. Being big in a tiny-sized world gives us an opportunity to appreciate the details and see a world from a whole new perspective. Perhaps a child’s perspective. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see the “live” world from above? How awesome would it be to watch all the tiny cars drive by and the little ant sized people walking their teeny dogs while the teeny clouds water our itty bitty plants? Picture it… it’s cute right? There is a level of comfort in it. Nothing is out of reach and nothing is hidden. It’s safe.Itty Bitty Banana LDM

Another thought… why is it that when we see things in wee size, we say “Awww… so cute!”? There is something about these miniatures that is so endearing to me. They’re almost like babies. Every time you’re around them, they make you smile and giggle and say “Oh! So cute!” and “Oh… so lovely and sweet!” or “Oh my, so fragile!” I’ve also noticed that when people handle some of my teeny creations, their voices change to a higher pitch. Similar to when our voices change when we talk to a baby! Funny, eh? I think that’s why I have great joy creating miniatures and am in awe of the detail and beauty in each tiny creation. It’s in the human reaction, the sound of joy in people’s voices and their eyes lighting up that makes my heart jump with joy and has me loving making teeny things today. Teeny Fresh Hot Dog Buns LDMI am continuously dreaming up unique ways to make the “out of the ordinary” and “weird” seem appealing and sweet at the same time. A million miles per hour, creativity jumbles in my head. It’s a world where technicolor and a whimsical Imaginarium exists, and it’s only purpose is to be shared with everyone! It’s a world of joy and peace co-inhabiting with creative chaos, and it’s where weird is sooo gooooood! Little Day Miniatures will continue to try to recreate those happy memories by making mini, bitesized memories to stir emotions that will generate joy and bring many smiles to many faces. I make itty bitty keepsakes

Other activities or hobbies you enjoy?

Dancing, macramé, gardening, sewing, painting, and spending time with my husband and children.

Canada-based Jennifer resides with her husband and children in Edmonton, Alberta. To enjoy many more of her food miniatures, check out Little Day Miniatures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or shop her store.

Daily Mini Interview: Miniatures by CMYKlays

Miniatures by CMYKlays

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How did you first get started in miniatures? Where does the interest stem from?

3As a stay-at-home mom, I wanted to begin working from home now that my daughter had grown a bit older. I knew that a perfect fit for me would be something related to the arts. I’ve always loved the field, ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil. After deliberating for a bit, clay come to mind! I had previously taken a clay-making class at my local craft center and had a blast with it. So, I headed to Michael’s, bought a few basic items, and just went at it! It all came back pretty quickly for me! After about a month, I opened up my Etsy shop.

How many years have you been making minis? How has your work evolved?

I began creating in July 2014, so I’m only at the 10 month mark right now. It’s quite interesting to see how far I’ve pushed myself to evolve in such a short amount of time. When I look at my initial first works, I sort of laugh at how different they already seem compared to my newer miniatures. I’ve definitely become a better artist, and I keep pushing myself to try new techniques so I can always be my best.

4What materials do you use to make your miniatures?

Almost 100% polymer clay. Sometimes I will use acrylic paint for a few details. Occasionally I will use chalk pastel to give cookies that “just baked” look.

Advice for beginner artists and miniaturists?

Give everything a shot, and practice, practice, practice! If someone else can do it, so can you! if there is a technique you see and want to achieve this in your own work, you can do it! Just keep trying, and you will get there.

Tool, material or technique you can’t live without?

Besides clay (obviously), I would have to say my needle tool. Texturing clay to look like cake is one of my absolute favorite things to do, and I love my needle tool for that! I know some people dread texturing cake, but it’s honestly relaxing for me. 5I tune in to Netflix or listen to some good music, grab the needle tool and clay, and texture, texture, texture!

Favorite mini you own by another artist?

This would have to be my Tokidoki Sakura Unicorno! It’s absolutely adorable. I’m working on making it into a custom purse attachment with some of my yummy goodies attached to it.

Favorite mini you’ve made?

That’s tough. It’s hard to choose between your babies! I really love how my miniature ramen noodle bowls turn out. 1And again, my cakes because I love texturing the clay and slathering on frosting.

What inspires you?

Almost everything is my inspiration. Since I work with mostly food-related items, even the grocery store is inspiration! I find myself taking my time walking up and down the aisles looking for something new to make in mini form. I also find Art Nouveau to be fabulous. Alphonse Mucha’s paintings of hair are incredible and one of my favorite things. It’s perfect and mesmerizing! Audrey Kawasaki is also absolutely amazing, and I would love to own a piece by her one day!

Fellow miniaturists that inspire you?

There are so many other talented miniaturists out there! Sucre Sucre Miniatures has a remarkable attention to detail. And I’m truly baffled by the realism that Scrumptious Doodle is able to achieve. I aim to one day be as talented as these artists because their work in miniature is simply amazing.

6Why miniatures? What appeals to you most about what you do?

I have been obsessed with mini things my whole life. I wanted all the Calico Critters as a child because I loved how tiny and adorable they were with all their little accessories and furniture. As I grew older, Hasbro’s Littlest Pet Shop line was created and I collected so many of those. Also, the old style was so much cuter than the new style of Little Pet Shop! Things were smaller and more adorable. I know other people will know what I’m talking about when they read this! The old style was so much cuter!

What’s to come from CMYKlays?

Right now I’m still wrapping up my first year of sales, and I’m honestly shocked that I’ve successfully made 1,117 sales in 10 short months. I’m still learning how to do this thing! I never dreamed my shop would take off so well, and I’m so grateful for everyone’s support because I get to stay at home with my lovely daughter, still work, and do something I love! I’m very, very lucky, so thank you to everyone!!! I do plan on releasing new minis over this next year, and now that I know just how crazy things get around the holidays, I definitely plan on prepping things a lot earlier! You learn very quickly about things like that while selling on Etsy. Right now I’m still taking it all in and learning as I go, but as ideas come to me, I just go for them. Because, why not? I figure everything is worth a shot and fun to try!

2Other activities you enjoy?

Anything having to do with design and color. I just designed some gift boxes that now come with each order because I love making things attractive and memorable. There’s something so special about getting something fun in the mail, and even just opening it is a nice visual surprise. If opening something is fun and memorable, I’d like to make that impact on someone. My degree is in Visual Communication Design, so I definitely incorporate that wherever I can!

What do you want miniature fans to know about you?

I love to make people smile. With my items, I like to say that sometimes you just need some cute in your life to make a rainy day sunny again. While I don’t get to see any of my customers open their items in person, I like to think my little pieces always make them smile when they first open that package and see them in person. Making people happy is what I strive for in life!

You can shop Ohio-based Jacqui’s miniatures on Etsy today! Follow her creations on Instagram and Facebook for many more mini photos!

D. Thomas Fine Miniatures Now Open in New York

dthomasfineminisThe winter of 2014 welcomed big changes to the miniatures community within historic Lower Hudson Valley, NY: D. Thomas Fine Miniatures opened its doors as a premier destination for miniature collectors, artisans, and enthusiasts from around the world.

D. Thomas Fine Miniatures is a new retail destination complete with artisan dollhouses and the highest quality of collections including 1:12 scale furniture, designs and accessories. The newly launched space now offers DIY workshops and classes taught by master craftsmen and artists in the miniature industry. In addition, the shop also features a gallery space that showcases extraordinary miniatures by internationally acclaimed artists and designers. Now on display in the gallery through the end of June 2015 is Alma de España: The Artistry and Vision of Hernán Buljevich.


D. Thomas Fine Miniatures was created by Darren Thomas Scala for two unique purposes: to raise awareness about miniatures as a decorative art form and to introduce the discipline to new generations of enthusiasts everywhere. A Brooklyn-born artist and corporate beauty and cosmetics brand marketer, Scala has always had a passion for miniatures.f6da19c59f0b9001bca7d3d2fcc7b970

“It’s been my dream to create a space where I could introduce miniatures to the public and generate the same level of excitement I have for these pieces. Miniatures have thrilled for centuries. There is seduction in scale that transcends time. Miniatures truly capture the imagination and provide opportunity to dream, discover and explore,” Scala explains.

A decades-old dream realized, D. Thomas Fine Miniatures has been welcomed with open arms by the Hastings-On-Hudson business community. Visit the space and experience the wonder of the miniature for yourself!

579 Warburton Avenue #6
Hastings-On-Hudson, New York 10706

Tuesday through Saturday 10 AM-5 PM
Sundays 12-5 PM
Evenings by appointment

Stay updated on the latest miniature news by following #obeytheminiature and D. Thomas Fine Miniatures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Shop the store online and make sure to check out the new website and recent blog posts today!

Photo credit to PeterLauPhotography.com.