Tiny Creations: The Making of Filipino Miniature Craft Artists
Miniature crafting goes back to ancient civilizations. However, its modern popularity took off in 1985 after Japanese gaming company Epoch introduced Sylvanian Families, which miniaturized the concept of dollhouses.
By the 1990s, hobbyists were exposed to more materials. Varieties such as polymer clay, light wood, and a wide range of acrylic paints made miniature crafting look realistic.
In the Philippines, miniature craft gained popularity in the 1980s, driven by car modeling and RC enthusiasts.
During the pandemic lockdown and economic slowdown in the 2020s, hobbyists took their work on Facebook and showcased their art, and some have turned their hobby into a day job.
Erika Galicia Dulay @MaARTtita
Erika Galicia Dulay, aka MaARTtita (Artistic Aunt), is based in the United States. She creates pint-sized Pinoy food, mostly street snack delicacies made from polymer clay.
She found a unique niche in creating Filipino street foods like Beta-Max (Pig’s blood), Isaw (Chicken or beef intestines), Kwek-Kwek (Breaded eggs), and Manggang Hilaw with Binagoongan (Green Mango with shrimp paste).
Recently, Erika created an all-Pinoy breakfast that included the iconic food staples of Eden Cheese, Hotdog, Pancit Canton, and the ubiquitous Pandesal.
Candy Mae @KCCute
Candy Mae, aka KC Kawaii (KC Cute), is also a miniature Pinoy food creator from Parañaque City who has turned the art of tiny things into a lucrative business.
Candy is known for creating traditional desserts like Puto (rice cake), Banana-Q (fried banana), and Lumpiang Sariwa (fresh spring roll), that’s uniquely Filipino.
Jamie Domingo @InedibleChef
Jamie Domingo aka Inedible Chef, is from Malinta, Valenzuela City. Like most Pinoy miniature craft artists, she delved into it during the pandemic and started sculpting in April 2020.
“I was about to attend a workshop for that (miniature art), but then the lockdown happened, so I just did self-study and asked other artists for tips,” he told GMA News.
She even shared a video showing her technique for creating her famous fried eggs.
Jamie is currently working in a global business-sharing company in BGC.
Nhoda Munoz is from Mabalacat, Pampanga, and gained fame after his work “Barong-Barong” and ” Galaw sa Tubig” went viral on social media.
Initially a tattoo artist, Munoz shifted his focus to miniature creation, mainly traditional Filipino decrepit homes.
His work captures the evolution of habits and culture from the past to the present, showcasing the transition while preserving the essence of bygone eras.
Rey Fernando Bacani
Rey Fernando Bacani hails from San Juan, La Union. Like other “maestros,” Rey found fascination in creating Pinoy Barong-barong miniature art.
Rey aims to craft a diorama showcasing Filipino scenes with impoverished houses (informal settlers), evoking the nation’s historical roots during its shift toward development.
He hopes to preserve the vanishing facet of Pinoy history and culture that he believes is about to change with the leadership tandem of Marcos and Duterte.