Can We Become Other Than What We Are?

This is a special edition diorama, inspired by and dedicated to the world of Frédéric Fontenoy,  a photographer living and working in Paris, France.


On one of my visits to Paris, we talked about my miniatures over dinner. And all of a sudden, I got this idea… I knew I had to create a diorama with a classic Fontenoy-scene. Our worlds were the perfect match!


Photo: Julie Loen

The room

This was the first time I tried to create a room that already excisted, and It was important  it would look as much like the original as possible.

I started with the fishtail parquet floor, made  from popsicle sticks that I stained in a variation of nuances.


The camera

Having already been through the process of creating a camera for the Ectoplasm-scene,  the process was a bit easier this time. The only difference was, I wanted it to look exactly like the one in Frederic’s studio.

The characters

I spent quite a bit of time deciding the positions and the actions of the mice. It had to be unmistakingly Fontenoyian, at the same time I wanted it to be a new scene, and not an exact replica of his photos.


The sofa

For the sofa, I wanted to use leather I had after my great grandfather.

He was a shoemaker, among other things, and he had prepared pieces of leather that he never got to use.

I wet the leather, then stretched it over a piece of padded wood, and sealed it with small nails. The backs were not easy to make in the leather. To get the right fluffy look, like a real Chesterfield, I ended up sculpting them in polymer clay that I painted and tinted to give them a leathery look, as close to the rest.



The folding screen


Photo by Frederic Fontenoy

Wetplates by Julie Loen


Every piece of furniture, each detail, I studied them carefully and tried to be as true to the original as I could. Like here, with the rugbeater. A classic Fontenoy prop that needed to be included. I sculpted in polymer clay.

A few of the other items I created. Made from pieces of wood and broken stuff, plus polymer clay.

The chessboard

Sculpted in polymer clay, and using little pearls.

Photo by Frédéric Fontenoy

Images by Fredric Fontenoy



Frederic Fontenoy by Aaron Hawks