Polina Novikova is talking about miniature as her hobby. Polina is 29 years old, she is married, she has a Law degree and she lives in Troitsk, Moscow region (New Moscow), Russia.
The lawyer and the tiny flowers! How have you been attracted into such “toys”? You no longer have to wear a formal suit, sit in the office and offer some solemn advice. How long have you been fascinated with miniatures? Do you miss not wearing formal suits?
Yes, ha-ha! :) I am amazed by such a combination. Right after I graduated from the Institute I worked in my degree field… and then, as you note that I got seriously fascinated with dollhouse miniatures :)
It was a way of escaping the excessive seriousness and severity of my legal work.
And thus last year I got the opportunity to create freely and I seized it! :) In my room so far, but I am going to have my own workshop soon!
As for the formal suits I do not like them… I prefer the easy style)
What happened last year that gave you the opportunity to create freely? Did you leave your job? Are you now just doing miniatures?
Unfortunately, I became unemployed last year :( Staff were reduced… But whatever happens happens for the best! Deep down inside I dreamt to be able to stay at home and create… and I would not have left the job myself, but as it was determined by the circumstances, I took the chance!
We congratulate you! Would you say that a miniaturist requires a whole workshop. Why? :) An average (not-in-the-know) person would think that for miniatures it is enough to be made on the back of an envelope or the corner of the table sized 50 x 50 cm?
Dollhouse miniatures is not my only hobby :)
It all started with the embroidery and sewing, then I was fascinated with making figgery from baked polymer clay, then modelling of full size flowers from “cold porcelain” (this is a Japanese self fusing polymer clay), and then miniatures appeared within my hobby list!
During this time I have collected a lot of materials and tools that require a separate room to put them and where I can improve my skills in peace and silence!
What are you going to fill your workshop with? (Special furniture? Racks? Something special)
Oh, it is going to be a light room! Natural materials, such as wood, will be the finishing. It will be painted white, inclusive of the furniture with the aging effect, styled shabby chic, painted white as well.
Certainly, I need more cabinets, racks for storage and quick access to the contents, to my precious stores.
I am going to put a sewing machine near one window so I can quickly settle down to it and sew, sew, sew! :) without wasting time on unpacking and connecting it to the power supply. My inspiration doesn’t want to wait!
There will be a workspace for modeling near the other main window. There will be a high concentration of accessible drawers and small cabinets. All the tools and materials must be within reach of my hand!
Needless to say, there is a laptop nearby, where I keep all my spreadsheets, records and photos, including being able to communicate with friends and customers (or friends-customers:)) in real-time mode:) Finally there will be a place for the light cube, where I carry out photo shoot sessions for my workpieces (the device for the shadowless photography and macro photography) which includes all the installed and connected lamps. This will allow me take a photo and use the computer to edit the photo and send it quickly to customers.
There will be no waste of precious time on the installation of the light cube and lamps. To sum it all up, I am looking forward to being in my new workshop.)))
As the site is about miniatures it would be nice to know how long ago you started to create the miniatures. It is clear that you started with the flowers made of polymer clay and porcelain . How much time did it take you to master the art of the miniatures? Yes, there is no limit to perfection, but your flowers are so wonderful. How long did it take you to achieve such beauty in them or was it smooth and natural right away?
I became keen on the dollhouse miniatures in spring, 2012.
I was inspired by the works of other artisans, and by the doll world in general. I decided to make my first roombox with the kitchen.
Yes, by that time I had the basic set of materials and tools… very basic, but insufficient for the work at a scale of 1/12 :)
To make the first miniature stool I needed to have the knowledge on how to make it in full scale.
I had never worked with wood before and could not imagine how to do it at home, however, later I got to know that other artisans handle it easily. Finally I made a stool as well as other furniture from cardboard paper, following the master class of foreign artisans.
Then I faced the problem with the box for the roombox. Thank goodness my father helped me to knock it together using the plywood.
After that the wallpaper was glued, the plank floor was painted and the cabinetry was filled in with all sorts of pots of jams and pickled products, plates made of baked polymer clay, printed bags of flour, salt, yeast and the such like, sewn potholders and towels.
I came to flowers scaled 1/12 later, I used paper to make my first bunch of flowers, then there were several attempts to fashion them from “cold porcelain”.
At the start the flowers did not conform to the required scale, it was difficult to switch from the big flowers to such tiny ones. It took me a year to become satisfied with my results.
If one compares the works done in 2014 and 2015 it is easy to notice the difference and progress I have made :)
It took me quite a while to achieve the desired result and now I improve my technical skills with every new flower. I take notice of the differences each time since every flower has so many differences!😀
While you are the artisan of the natural size and miniatures, tell us whether your ability to make them is a stark difference? Or it is easier to make miniature flowers rather than the natural ones?
I follow the techniques applied in the lifelike floristry to create flowers scaled 1/12. Certainly, it is impossible for me to thoroughly copy every single flake, however, the general principle of formation helped me a lot! Analyzing the complexity of the execution I now know it is easier for me to model a flower scaled 1/12 than the full-sized I have already switched to the miniatures, as the process is aligned, and I always liked small things in particular. Away back in my childhood I tried to model tiny utensils for my dolls. 😉
How does the time compare of the process of modeling the miniature to a full size?
As for me it is quicker to model a miniature flower than the full-sized one. For example, it takes me about 40 minutes to model a narcissus with a leaf. Last spring I made a full size bunch of narcissi and it took me the same amount of time to make the central part of only one flower!
As far as I understand, there are only miniatures in your online shop. Has miniatures extinguished all other hobbies? Or you still make something big, but it is not on sale for now?
I have paid most of my attention to the flowers scaled 1/12 recently. I am extremely interested in this direction and so much more is planned! There are not only miniatures in the shop My long-term and my new customers still order figgery and accessories and even master models for making soap frames. I try to be a universal artisan :)))
The testimonials in relation to your works on the American website of the handmade shop are incredible! For example, this one: "This is GORGEOUS Polina!! I absolutely ADORE IT! 😉 Perfectly made, very delicate and extremely detailed. Polina's creations are MAGICAL! 😉 And the packaging was beautiful too! 😉 I have no idea how she can make such tiny delicate flowers, but she does them so well and beautifully! And thank you for the sweet free gift! BEAUTIFUL! Thank you so much Polina!!". Such testimonials must make feel elated.
Oh, yes, that is exactly true! They give me joy, inspire me, give me confidence and power for new achievements! They charge me with an incredible positive feeling!!! 😀 When I hear that the parcel has been delivered, and I receive appreciative reviews, I calm down and know that my creations are giving happiness to people.)
Do customers become friends? Does the customer return and buy anything again or place an order? Do customers give you new clients?
Yes, certainly, they do, I have got permanent customers and I hold them very dearly! There are other artisans among them and entire creative teams with whom I cooperate and take part in their projects. And that is stunning! Thanks to my creative activities I have got a lot of acquaintances and new friends as well 😉
What cities and countries have your creations already spread around?
Oh, the geographical spread is vast, my creations got scattered all over Russia! To Yakutsk, Krasnodar, Kaliningrad, and last but not least Moscow adjacent areas and Moscow. I came to the international recognition last year in America, France, Thailand, England and Australia… I envy my works as I wish I could travel to where they go.)))
Is there anything that helps you in your hour of need ...the not very easy moments in life? Looking at your work and your photos it is impossible to think that you have hard times as it looks as if your life is full of only happiness and sunshine!)
I can have hard times. It sometimes happens that there is no inspiration nor orders. Or there is none of them both at the same time. Things are even worse when my back starts bothering me. My general well-being is getting worse and that makes me sink into frantic depression. In such moments in God I trust and help myself by changing my activity. It is not easy for me to have rest from my work of love.))
A few words to your future and present customers and just to the readers!
I wish that everyone has the pleasure of creating! Go for it, try to create! Find your source of inspiration! For me it is the meaning of life… perhaps it is going to be the one for you too. I am looking forward to seeing anyone who wishes to pay a visit to my shop! Please, support my creations, not necessarily by purchasing, but with a “like” or comments on my works 😉 It gives me great pleasure to read them!