Bengaluru's miniature artist creates wearable food art with polymer clay

From miniature gardenscapes as home decor to immortalising your memories as tiny fridge magnets, Indulge speaks to miniature artists in the city diversifying their art with its growing popularity
In frame: One of the art works by Ruchika Nambiar
In frame: One of the art works by Ruchika Nambiar

Imagine a delectable tray of your favourite comfort food, so intricately curated that you can taste the flavours. Now, imagine it as your earrings. While that sounds a little inexplicable, miniature artist Kirti Basal, who is known for her venture Hello Miniverse, which started in 2019, creates accessories with polymer and liquid clay depicting a range of food items, from biscuits to cupcakes. She says that the art form is blowing up because ‘it’s just darn unique’, saying “Folks throw in tons of requests to miniaturise their favourite foods, making the whole miniature art scene a wild and tasty ride.”

Not just miniature food items many miniature artists in the city are experimenting with the art form. Ruchika Nambiar uses mixed media and has created a storyverse through The Dollhouse Project, an interactive miniature universe on Instagram which follows the life of Nambiar’s 5-inch-tall alter ego, Little R.“I found myself drawn to miniatures because of their immense potential for three-dimensional storytelling,” says Nambiar. Her passion for creating a parallel world inspires her to explore fluidity and identity through Little R, “This 2023, I also built a second studio apartment for Little R inside a handmade suitcase – The Travelling Home – so that she could travel with me.” The universe which is in its fifth season will see Little R seeing more of the world.

Nambiar believes that miniature art has seen a recent upsurge in India and across the world with the launch of reality shows like Best in Miniature. She says, “The appeal of miniature art lies in its physicality – the ability to behold a miniature object in the real world. And at a time when most experiences are increasingly virtual, miniatures tend to carry some degree of enchantment.”

As far as creating enchanting experiences is considered, engineer-turned-miniature artist Vani Dixit also known as chiguruminigardens,creates beautiful mini gardenscapes. “I love gardening and I stumbled upon miniature gardens which are small little garden scenes that you can keep in your balconies or some outdoor spaces as well. I thought why not create my own miniatures with clay,” says Dixit who also gets many custom orders.

Curating and creating memories through miniature art is also on the rise. Aimee Rajan, who is also known as @_allthingsclay_ has gained a lot of appreciation for her customised clay portraits, “I cannot count the number of times customers have messaged me after gifting their friends and family – the recreations in particular – expressing their gratitude. Whether it was a daughter wanting to immortalise her late father, or a wife giving her husband their special milestone moments or a giant family piece for their grandparents, it makes me want to continue doing this.”

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