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We recently discovered the beautiful miniatures of Lynn Allingham. Lynn creates stunningly realistic looking miniatures from polymer clay. When we discovered that she is about to have her very first book published, we jumped at the chance to catch up with her for a chat. Read the full interview below.
Hi Lynn. Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed and for giving us your time. Would you mind please telling us a little bit about yourself and what it is that you do?
Firstly “Hello” my name is Lynn Allingham and I’m not quite sure what I am, I guess I’m a mixture of miniaturist, model maker and craft writer. I have made things ever since I can remember. I did my degree in ‘Illustration for children’s publishing’, of which I pursued for many years with little success, until I decided to go back to what made me happiest, making things with my hands. For the last 9 years I have been working with polymer clay developing my skills in miniature model making and craft writing.
How did you get started with miniatures?
My big sister Steff first got me interested in making miniatures, we used to play with polymer clay as children and she re-introduced me to it 9 years ago. She handed me a big bag full of packets of Fimo and said, “There you go, see what you can do with that” so I did and I have been hooked ever since.
I began by making simple miniatures that I turned into jewellery, and then sold in my own online Etsy shop by the name of Tuckshop, go check it out. My sister sadly passed away shortly after I began selling my jewellery, this gave me the determination to constantly improve my work to make her more proud.
I contacted Making Jewellery magazine and started working with them producing step-by-step projects for readers to learn and make. I later became a monthly project writer for Dolls House magazine of which I worked on for the past three years. Dolls House magazine has recently closed and I am now working with another fantastic magazine called, Dolls House and Miniature Scene, so keep your eyes peeled for some of my projects coming out soon.
The opportunities I had with Dolls House magazine meant that I was able to spend more time learning and developing my miniature making skills to achieve a more professional finish.
Without my sister Steff I wouldn’t be doing any of this, she was and continues to remain my biggest source of inspiration and drive. I wish she was here to see what incredible opportunities that big bag of clay she handed me 9 years ago has led on to!
We think that your miniature food creations are absolutely beautiful. What is it, do you think, that makes miniature food so appealing?
Aw thank you, that is very kind. The answer is I’m not entirely sure! I guess everyone has a deeply ingrained affinity with food, we literally can’t live without it and when you ask people, they always have a favorite, mine is Chocolate and Thai (not together though!). When you miniaturize something I think it just takes on that cute factor that people can identify with, plus it’s just fun.
What’s been your most challenging miniature to date?
I think my most challenging miniatures to date were all the GBBO Showstoppers I made. The last 2 series of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ I decided to set myself the challenge of making the winning showstopper from each episode, I named it ‘The Great British Miniature Make Off’. I watched the show every week and then would make the miniature showstopper over the course of 4 days and release it via social media. To my utter surprise every baker fully embraced what I was doing and they wanted to buy their miniatures from me at the end of the series as a memento of their time in the tent. It was a strange thing to have done but it led onto so many fun things and forced me to develop my miniature making as the weeks went by.
We’re very excited to see that you have a book coming out soon (congratulations!), how did this come about?
Thanks I’m stupidly excited for its release. Writing a book is something I have always wanted to do but thought it would never happen. After I had been writing for Dolls House magazine for 3 years I decided to ask them if it would be a fun idea to make a book of all the step-by-step projects I had produced for them. They got back to me and told me that their book publisher was looking to make a craft book on how to create miniature model food and so I was asked if I would like to create it with them. Of course I bit their hand off at the chance to have my own book and that’s how it all came about. My publishers have been an absolute joy to work with and I can’t wait to hold the book in my hands.
When is the book available?
Oh, thank you for asking, the official release date is November 7th but it is also available to pre-order right NOW!
It’s called ‘Making mini food’ By Lynn Allingham and its available to buy on Amazon, or ideally from my publisher here: www.gmcbooks.com
What’s next for you?
Ooooohhhhh maybe a second book, I have also worked a little in props for children’s TV, so maybe more of that, its all good fun, so watch this space!
Thank you very much for your time, Lynn, and best of luck with the book!
A massive thank you once again to Lynn for her time and for agreeing to talk to us. We think that you’ll agree that her miniatures are absolutely gorgeous.
You can see more of Lynn’s work on her wonderful Instagram page Tuck_Shop and on her website.
All images © Lynn Allingham 2017, used with permission
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