HELLO! BONJOUR! HALLO!
You’re just in time to meet Stéphanie Kilgast, the supremely talented artisan who creates all the amazing miniature food sculptures at PetitPlat. :)
A couple of years ago, while browsing for food art on Etsy, I chanced upon PetitPlat and instantly fell for Stéphanie’s meticulously crafted, truly splendid banquet of French pastries, breads, cookies, fruits, cakes and candies. The realism and level of detail were so incredible I couldn’t believe my eyes. How did she do it? I immediately ordered Oreo cookie and submarine sandwich earrings which arrived on my doorstep lickety split, and have had so much fun wearing them ever since.
Stéphanie currently lives about 280 miles southwest of Paris. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany, speaks fluent French, English, and German, and has a Master’s degree in Architecture. While on summer break in 2007, a bored Stephanie looking for a new hobby discovered the world of miniatures and hasn’t looked back since.
She hand sculpts and assembles all the jewelry and 1:12 scale dollhouse miniatures she sells from scratch. Her work has been featured in international publications such as the New York Times, The Telegraph, BBC Brasil, Europa and American Miniaturist, and just last year she exhibited her work in Hong Kong. Crafters who work with polymer clay will be happy to know Stéphanie is currently working on a bilingual French/English tutorial book, hopefully to be released in May.
We thank Stéphanie for taking time from her busy schedule to tell us a little more about her love for food miniatures. Hers is a delightfully inspiring story of someone finding success by following her true passion, which is evident in every micro-mini baguette, St. Honoré, fruit tart, croissant and rainbow cake. She says colors and textures are her companions; “making you smiling and happy is the goal of my work.”
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♥ SMALL PLATE, GOOD MEALS, BIG HEART ♥
Name of shop or business: PetitPlat
Year established: 2008
Items you make: miniature food for collectors and as jewelry
Studio Location: Vannes, France
Three words that best describe your art: colorful, delicate, precise
Self taught or formal training? self taught
Tools of the Trade:
Inspirations: Kandinsky, Street Art, real food (cooking books, culinary blogs), Art in general
and influences: Betsy Niederer, Kiva Atkinson, Linda Cummings, Tomo Tanaka (Nunu’s House)
Three significant milestones in your career: featured seller on Etsy in 2010, first teaching in Nottingham in 2011, Hong-Kong exhibit in December 2012
Food that inspires your best work: bread, pastries
Bestseller: croissants jewelry, miniature breads and bakery items
What is your earliest memory of being creative? What is the first thing you ever made as an “artist”?
I drew a lot as a kid, I did a lot of jewelry with glass beads and then I also made furniture and clay food for my barbie dolls.
I’m not sure when I considered myself as an artist. But the first miniature food I made as an adult was bread.
But I did paint when I was in my late teens and early twenties, so these might be the first things I did as an artist.
Tell us about your favorite creation so far, some of the challenges you overcame to make it, and how it influences what you’re doing now.
To date, my favorite creation was a dessert table in pink, yellow, orange and white:
I started making dessert tables thanks to Shauna Younge who asked me to make a miniature replica of a dessert table she made:
and since then I’ve been obsessed with dessert tables. I see them like a full sculpture and work on them during a few months, adding and removing bits until I like the final result. It gives me the chance to work with colors and textures in a more accomplished way than you could do it in just 1 cake.
And somehow it gives dessert tables a chance to live as pieces of art and not just pieces of consumption.
Describe your studio or workplace. How have you fashioned your work environment to enhance creativity and maximize productivity?
I usually have radio on or listen to TV series (I don’t really watch them since I work at the same time). I have a tendency to watch supernatural or criminal TV series. Because the stories are easy enough to follow even if you do something else and you can often mainly listen and not watch.
When I listen to radio, I usually listen to a Berlin radio :D or cultural stuff in French when I feel like doing something good for my brain.
I never work in silence.
On the wall in front of me are many small pieces of art like postcards or photography that I got from indie artists or friends and 2 photos I like, 1 a friend of mine took in Australia and 1 of my Mum and Grandma which dates from 1966 (I’m afraid this one will fade though so not sure if it’ll stay there).
On my left there’s my doll house and my dolls and the workshop is quite colorful and filled with supplies in boxes that I often do myself.
With my BF we just did a new working table and used 2 print drawers I purchased in summer on a flea market.
I love this place :)
How do you chart your growth as an artist? How do you define success?
I always try to improve my work. Which is easier done than you might think. When you work on something daily your skill is growing and so you realize one day that your “old” croissant looks awful and that it’s time to sculpt them in a better way. As long as there’s room for improvement, there’s room for growing. And I believe there is always room for improvement.
I define success as the ability to live as you intend to live.
What do you like best about the creative life?
Freedom of being my own chef. Being at home all the time, being able to travel whenever I want, to take holidays or breaks when I like, to work when I feel it’s best, to do what I love on a daily basis.
Any new projects you’re especially excited about?
Yes. But I won’t tell you about it, since they’re still babies.
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Enjoy this euromaxx video featuring Stéphanie:
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♥ Find Stéphanie online:
- Website and Blog (check out her downloadable Tutorials on donuts, macarons and wonky cakes!)
- Etsy Shop
- Facebook Page
Merci beaucoup, Stéphanie!!
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Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.