15 July 2013
Fill your miniature home with animal magic as Jane Kubiesa looks at the best pets... ...
1. …for a Hogwarts reconstruction
Harry Potter and his fellow wizards at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have become a source of inspiration for miniaturists around the globe. J.K Rowling’s magical scenes, mysterious characters and kookie settings are now a fond favourite for 1/12th scale reconstructions. This Little Owl from the workshop of biologist and miniaturist Fanni Sandor could complete any themed Hogwarts, The Burrow or Grimmauld Place mini. Her OOAK creations, which include feathered friends of all varieties, are sculpted from polymer clay and feathered. She also takes commissions.
Prices from: £19.50
2. …for feline personality
Sassy, sullen, playful or regal, cats and their larger than life personalities have been a familiar addition to homes from the time of the Egyptians, when they were worshipped as gods. Now feline friends of all breeds find homes in miniature settings, whether curled up on a fluffy dressed bed, stretching in front of an open fire or stalking mice in the attic. Renowned miniature artisan Kerri Pajutee’s clowder of cats have personalities to fit any occasion from her grouchy cat refusing food to her lounging “Angel!?” kitty. Animal lover Kerri carefully sculpts each 1/12th scale OOAK model using a wire frame and clay, before furring them with fibre.
Kerri Pajutee Miniature Animals
Price: See website
3. …to populate a farmyard
The central components of any farmyard or countryside scene are the creatures that inhabit its barns, paddocks and pastures. From the sheep and goats of the field and the ducks and geese of the pond, to the donkeys and horses of the meadow, the countryside is brimming with animal life of all kinds. These miniatures offer the chance for animal lovers to over-indulge in furry and feathered creatures of all varieties. With this in mind, the delightful seated donkey from Paizley Pawz could be the perfect farmyard addition. It is made using a resin Falcon Miniatures model, which is hand-furred. While furred models are on sale, the main focus of the website is in offering tutorials for miniaturists looking to learn the furring process for their own menagerie.
Price: See website
4. …to encourage wildlife
The beauty of wildlife is that it can be found in any type of setting, from countryside gardens and seaside retreats to inner-city bird tables and the cellars and kitchens of stately homes and mansions of centuries past. The humblest of corners can easily house a mouse nibbling cheese or a spider spinning its web, whilst any outdoor space can accommodate a blue tit landing on flowers in a window box or a nesting sparrow on a chimney stack. Wildlife miniaturist Beth Freeman-Kane prides herself on such small details. She makes tiny sculpts and then sets them in appealing natural scenes. These miniatures come in standalone, cameo or framed wildlife scenes against watercolour backgrounds. Items can be made to order and commissions are also undertaken.
Prices from: £230
5. ...for canine companionship
Man’s best friend is never far from his master’s (or mistress’) side and this is also true when it comes to 1/12th scale model people and their dogs. Dogs were domesticated tens of thousands of years ago and while it is thought they were initially used as guard dogs and a source of food, they have since held many jobs including that of hunter, herder, assistance dog and lap pooch. So a scale recreation from any period could benefit from a canine companion. Dog lover Lucy Maloney specialises in custom orders to turn people’s beloved pets into OOAK miniature creations. She uses German glass eyes and alpaca, cashmere, silk and wool to make three dimensional pet portraits with real personality. Pictured is Casey, a miniature version of a real-life dog living in New York and commissioned by his owner. Unlike some of Lucy’s other creations, the mini Casey isn’t made from actual dog fur.
Designer Dog miniatures
Prices from: £130
6. …to inhabit Buckingham Palace
Queen Elizabeth II is probably the most famous proponent of the Corgi breed and has owned more than thirty of the dogs since she came to the throne. She particularly favours Pembroke Welsh Corgis and has bred them for more than fifty years. These short legged, tenacious little critters can often be found cavorting around Buckingham Palace and the Queen usually has four or five at one time. It was the love of Corgis which first led artist Miranda Rommel to immortalise her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Pocket, in miniature. Miranda employs needle-felting techniques and natural wool to create her cute miniatures, which are around four inches long but can be made in other sizes. She takes custom orders to immortalise pets in miniature and also offers gift certificates.
Prices from: Stock £13, Custom £53
7. …for a mouse house
For decades miniaturists, some inspired by Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice from 1904, some by Jill Barklem’s 1980 Brambly Hedge, have been creating houses, hideaways and mini retreats for mouse inhabitants. Whether these mice are housed in abodes made from hollowed out logs, commercial dolls houses or found timber and driftwood, these rodents have been regular residents of small scale properties. Continue the rich miniature tradition of the mouse house with this cute little creature from the studio of Shelley Zimmer. This handmade OOAK mouse is sculpted from polymer clay and finished with viscose fur. Shelley specialises in tiny character mice but also makes elves and fantasy pets.
Prices from: £5 on eBay
8. …to join the ‘it’ crowd
Small pedigree dogs of all breeds are the latest thing amongst the ‘it’ crowd and with famous faces like Paris Hilton, model Cindy Crawford and singer Elton John all toting little dogs around, these pampered pooches are finding their way into the most exclusive of stars’ homes. Breeds like the Chihuahua, Pug and Maltese Terrier are the most popular and they could easily find their way into miniature mansions, luxury hotels and even high-class doggie beauty parlours, not to mention music video sets and fashion shoots. This obedient little Pug comes from the 1/12th scale kennels of artist Sarah Hendry. Sarah has worked in many artistic fields including film special effects and on Sindy. She now offers miniature casts of life-like pets. Hundreds of photographs of a real-life Pug were used as inspiration for this piece, which comes in fawn or black and has a hand-painted finish.
Sarah Hendry @ Karon Cunningham Miniatures
9. …for a vampire
With the recent upsurge in vampire-related television series, books and films like the Twilight Saga, this creature of myth and folklore is the ideal muse for a room box or dolls house. And when it’s time to add a scary companion to this Halloween scene, look no further than the cat and dead rat miniature collectable from Canada’s Odette Johnson. This Tim Burton-esque moggie, called Trump, is a OOAK polymer clay mini finished with swirls of acrylic paint. He measures two and a half inches by two inches. His cheeky demeanour and pointy fangs are sure to liven up any spooky scene and you’ll never have a problem with rats.
Price: see website
10. …to celebrate Easter
The rabbit has long been associated with Easter. Some believe this link originated because rabbits are a symbol of fertility for a new season, others think the Easter Bunny is a version of the Easter Hare from German folklore, who decided if children had been naughty or nice and delivered coloured eggs during the night. Whichever is true, the association with rabbits and Easter is here to stay. This fun little bunny and butterfly mini from animal artist Aleah Klay could be the perfect centrepiece for a Spring-inspired nature scene or an Easter egg hunt. The rabbit is sculpted from polymer clay and furred with viscose. Aleah takes care to add individual facial expressions to her OOAK character creatures to make them as lovable as possible. Other furry friends include chicks, teddy bears and baby animals.
Price: see website
© Jane Kubiesa 2013 Images by suppliers
This feature was originally published in Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. If you like making miniatures, why not buy yourself a copy of the magazine. Or better still take out a subscription so you never miss an issue. For fans of Facebook and Twitter, or to email, print or comment on the feature, please use the buttons above to share with your friends.
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