The lead of a pencil is the medium of choice for Salavat Fidai, a Russian artist who has been working in the genre of micro art since 2014. Surely one of the most technically skilled pencil sculptors working today, the artist started by creating paintings on matchboxes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and grains of rice. Using a craft knife and stereo microscope, Fidai now works with lead that measures between 0.5 and 2mm. The time spent on creating the work varies: an average of 6 to 12 hours for a statuette, whilst more intricate works can take up to three days. The subject matter ranges from popular culture icons, such as the Pixar character Wall-E or monuments like the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower to more everyday subjects such as musical instruments or household items. The artist has an international following with a history of exhibitions in St Petersburg, London, Singapore and Los Angeles.
Working with ceramics on a miniature scale, Jon Almeda is an adventurous self-taught artist with a diverse background in music, photography and video. Living in Oahu, Hawaii, Almeda describes how he draws inspiration for his pottery pieces from the patterns of nature to be found on the island: the changing cloud formations; the movement of the tides and the local tropical flora. Previously working with ceramics on a much larger scale, the artist has been working with miniature pottery for seventeen years. He describes how an encounter with the 1979 book Creating Ceramic Miniatures dramatically changed his perspective. “He discovered that working small was much harder then he imagined, he tested different clay bodies, made his own tools and tried new techniques to improve the detail of each new piece.” Almeda prefers to work in the outdoors, working directly with his portable pottery wheel to capture the atmosphere of the natural environment.
Based in Moscow, Razakova has worked as an illustrator and graphic designer since 2009. She graduated from the Moscow Architectural Institute in 2014. The artist’s passion for miniatures was ignited in 2008 with an encounter of a dollhouse in an Art Nouveau museum in Spain. After subsequent research she realised that she did not have the time nor equipment to make mini-furniture of high-quality. Instead, in 2016 she decided to combine her drawing and painting skills, working in watercolor format. Razakova does not use a magnifying glass when painting micros: she describes how “it’s only naked eye that helps me to feel the scale and form of the future miniature.” The Tiny House series was inspired by an Instagram challenge but then developed into a larger project which combines the artist’s passion for miniatures and her love for architecture. Razakova’s work has been collected widely; her works have found homes in USA, Scotland, Spain, Russia and Australia.