28 November 2022
Celebrate the season of magic with the miniature wonderful pixies and fairies created by award winning sculptor, Tatjana Raum this Christmas
Image above: Tatjana’s Father Christmas imbues the magic of Christmas.
With his beautiful, vibrant blue coat, covered in gold detailing, Tatjana Raum’s Father Christmas delivers the atmosphere of that perfect country Christmas filled with the rustic charm we all dream of in spades. You can easily imagine him trudging cheerily through the snow on a still Christmas Eve, that special, all-important night when, just for a few short hours, it’s as if someone has pressed pause on the world around us. The stars in the sky reflect those carefully hand sewn onto his coat and you can picture him making his way towards an old house, just beyond a raft of trees, old fashioned fairy lights twinkling in the distance. The only noise the subtle crunch of crisp snow, hard beneath his brown boots, alongside the occasional jingle of the bell in his right hand and the rattle of eager presents in the sack slung over his shoulder.
Ready to deliver those presents!
“He was actually a commission,” Tatjana explains. “Usually I can’t accept orders as my time is very limited and they take much more time and energy than sculptures, which come from my imagination. But in this case, I considered it an advantage as my customer had the same idea of a Father Christmas as I had, so I really enjoyed making him. Even the fact that I needed to sew for the project, which is not my strength.” Immediately bitten by the Christmas bug, more Father Christmas figures swiftly followed, including one wearing his iconic red costume.
A natural world
Living in beautiful Rosenheim, Germany, in the shadow of the Alps, Tatjana finds herself immersed in the inspirational magic of nature all year round, describing her work as focusing on human figures but combining them with rich elements of the natural world. “Having worked with small figures for almost 15 years, it wasn’t a big challenge for me to start working in 1/12th scale,” she says, a fascination with the land of fairytales sowing the seeds for her vocation as a miniature sculptor. “It began when I saw pixies, fairies and whimsical figures on the internet, but what I saw wasn’t what I imagined.
Having fun in the snow!
Some were too sexy, some too kitschy. The challenge was to create them the way I’d imagine them. The inspiration I get from my walks amongst nature, I can easily imagine little creatures, hiding in the bark or trees of a forest. I never come back from my walks without collecting gifts from nature such as wood, twigs, leaves, moss and cones, which I use to accessorise my sculptures.”
“Transferring my own world of imagination into three dimensions is the most exciting journey I have ever taken.” Tatjana.
Tatjana's own world of imagination
These sculptures include pieces where pine cones have been transformed into such perfect hats that you’d never know they ever had any other purpose in life, and an utterly gorgeous Christmas pixie, who, exhausted from the festivities, has taken refuge from the chilly night air, settling down for a cosy nap in a tiny 1/12th scale bird’s nest, his seasonal red hat, with furry brim adding a little extra warmth! For those looking ahead a few months, Tatjana also creates a similar piece where a tiny pixie is found sleeping within the warmth of a turquoise Easter egg shell! Working with this wide variety of contrasting mixed media materials allows Tatjana to continue developing her skills, learning new techniques and discovering a multitude of exciting ideas along the way. “I think artists are like magicians, you must catch the energy you feel around you and transfer it into your work. In that moment, you are like a mediator,” she muses. “If the energy is leaving you, the work will be blank and lifeless.”
A variety of facial expressions indicate differing opinions on posing for the camera!
Laughter in miniature
Blank and lifeless are not words which could ever be used to describe Tatjana’s work, her art is widely regarded as exceptional. There is a sense of fun and joy in the world of fairies, pixies and Christmas art dolls she creates which cannot fail to captivate even the most hardened non-believer into raising a smile. Drawing on her natural ability to capture a wide variety of impish and ‘split second’ expressions, including pixies found permanently roaring with laughter, it’s unsurprising that Tatjana’s many fans feature at least one dedicated collector who owns, quite literally, dozens of her creations. She is also the lucky recipient of Max-Oscar-Arnold Awards for her work. Considered to be the ‘Oscars for doll makers’, this must be an achievement which gives her great pride.
Father Christmas in his traditional red coat.
Tatjana’s art dolls are only one aspect of a multi-faceted career which, away from the world of the 1/12th scale forest, includes larger sculptures, relief wall hangings and paintings, all celebrating the many sides of humanity’s facial expressions. However, her small-scale work is incredibly popular beyond the miniaturist community and, each year, she is also able to bring her pieces to an even wider audience through a selection of beautiful decorations to hang on the Christmas tree.
A pixie in his nest
Ranging from her popular Santa’s to delightful original characters such as Nilo and Leonie, these are charming additions to any tree and are ideal for anyone hunting for that extra special handmade decoration, either for themselves or as the perfect gift. These also make fantastic decorations throughout the year, and one can even be found as a permanent fixture greeting arrivals to a hairdressing salon!
Nilo and Leonie bring Tatjana’s miniatures to your Christmas tree.
Lümmel and Nelbi having a laugh!
The Trulla family
“Transferring my own world of imagination into three dimensions is the most exciting journey I have ever taken.” says Tatjana, a sentiment with which many miniaturists will no doubt agree, but perhaps the most exciting thing of all is that the human imagination is limitless, meaning Tatjana’s fairytale has only just begun!
Feature by Sadie Brown
To see more of Tatjana’s work visit:
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Inspired to create and decorate your own festive scene? Why not start by creating a Christmas classic - miniature mince pies! Feeling a little more adventurous? Why not create and decorate your very own miniature gingerbread houses!