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Miniature Food That Looks Good Enough to Eat

by Janine Boylan on December 19, 2013

Gingerbread house: miniature food with attention to detail. (© Shay Aaron)

Miniature gingerbread house necklace
© Shay Aaron

Shay Aaron’s Attention to Detail

Miniature food craftsman, Shay Aaron. (© Shay Aaron)

Miniatures craftsman, Shay Aaron
© Shay Aaron

Israeli craftsman Shay Aaron creates tiny clay food replicas with amazing attention to detail. Below he answers questions about his creative process.

How did you start making miniature food? 

It’s been over 10 years since I started to “play” with polymer clay, the main material of my miniature pieces.

When I first started using this magical material, I made miniature sculptures, not food-related at all. I also created a few home decor pieces and floral beads that I would give away or sell to friends, family, and other people I knew.

A customer of mine asked me once to create a miniature Passover Seder platter to use as a magnet. After making the tiny detailed plate, I fell in love with the idea of realistic food in “finger size.” Not long after, in in 2006, I opened my Etsy shop and started selling miniatures in 1 inch scale and food jewelry pieces.

Seder plate, miniature food with amazing attention to detail. (© Shay Aaron)

A miniature Seder plate changed Aaron’s life.
© Shay Aaron

Is it your full time work?

Well, it was my full time job, but theater has been my true love ever since I can remember. So, for the last two years, I have been a full time student of Stage, Set, and Costume Design.

Today I’m making miniatures only at the weekends. I miss the freedom of sculpting food minis all day!

Sushi: miniature food with amazing attention to detail. (© Shay Aaron)

Miniature sushi, wasabi included.
© Shay Aaron

Have you ever been trained as an artist?

I don’t consider myself as an artist when it comes to my miniatures. I know people might not agree with me and will say it’s art, but I see this type of creation more as craft.

So, yes, I’m a craftsman, but I was not trained. I just have learned to make miniatures by practicing and being creative and paying attention to details.

Falafel: miniature food with amazing attention to detail. (© Shay Aaron)

Falafel on a chain.
© Shay Aaron

What materials and tools do you use to make your pieces look so real?

As I mentioned before, the main material is polymer clay, a modeling material which comes in variations of colors. I can mix colors and paint the clay, and then I bake it in a small toaster oven I have just for my clay creations. I also combine resin, paper, wood, glass, and some other materials in my work.

For tools, I use almost everything—from simple toothpicks and sandpaper to special molds I create. Each dish needs a different tool to create a specific texture. For instance, I’ll use sandpaper to create the texture of a sugar cookie, but for crumbly cake I’ll use a needle.

Platter of cookies: miniature food with amazing attention to detail. (© Shay Aaron)

This platter of cookies won’t fill you up, but eating it could spoil your dinner.
© Shay Aaron

When I’m creating a specific food item, I  look for photos online of the real thing. The images help me to see how the food was originally made, how I can replicate it in miniature, and which tool would be the perfect one to use to get the same texture.

But it’s not that easy—lots of clay makes its way to the trash bin! It takes time and practice to find the ultimate technique.

Miniature meat, potatoes, onions, and carrots: miniature food with amazing attention to detail. (© Shay Aaron)

A miniature meal fit for a miniature king (and queen).
© Shay Aaron

How long does it take you to make a piece?

It depends. Some miniatures can be made within an hour, others take a few days.

Most of my pieces require several steps, and each step in the process requires baking. For example, for a macaron, I create the shells first, and, after they are baked, I create the filling. Then I attach the two shells into one piece.

Macaron bracelet: miniature food with amazing attention to detail. (© Shay Aaron)

Macarons on a string.
© Shay Aaron

What is your favorite piece and why?

My favorite piece would be the Black Forest cake. First of all, I think I made it look so close to the real thing! Also it is my favorite cake. The combination of colors with the decorations on the cake make it look so dramatic, and drama is what I’m doing and want to be doing (in theatre, not being dramatic person!).

Black Forest cake: miniature food with amazing attention to detail. (© Shay Aaron)

Miniature Black Forest cake, oozing with drama.
© Shay Aaron

Have you made any connections with people who buy your work? 

I have some returning costumers, who ask for specific items from time to time.

A few years ago I made an engagement ring for a customer in Canada. It was a ring with two fortune cookies, and a little note that said, “Will you marry me?” Every year since then, he asks me for an anniversary ring for his wife. I also made a replica of their wedding cake, and another design a year after to celebrate their newborn child.

It makes me so happy to create custom pieces for special occasions!

Oh, I see!

In addition to his Etsy store, you can see Shay Aaron’s realistic replicas on Facebook and Flickr.

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One thought on “Miniature Food That Looks Good Enough to Eat

  1. I can’t believe how realistic Aaron’s work looks! I was literally salivating when I saw the Black Forest cake. What amazing work!

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