News Animals Artist's Biologically Accurate Miniature Sculptures Urge Us to Look Closer Nature is full of small miracles that we often overlook. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Published August 3, 2022 01:00PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Fanni Sandor Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive You've likely heard that bit of pithy wisdom that "art imitates life." It's true indeed that many great works of art are often inspired by true events or real people. Of course, while some artists may choose to indulge in a bit of artistic license when it comes to creating their works of art, others may take another tack by faithfully reproducing reality in their masterpieces. Hungarian artist Fanni Sandor is one of those creatives who fit into the latter category, shaping incredibly petite sculptures of flora and fauna that are not only adorable but biologically correct. Originally trained as a microbiologist and science teacher, Sandor now also spends a good chunk of time fashioning these remarkable pieces that invoke a sense of childlike wonder at the beauty of the natural world. Fanni Sandor Sandor is largely a self-taught artist when it comes to miniatures, though she has also studied painting and drawing for some years in art school. The first time she encountered the art of making miniatures was sometime during her twenties via the Internet, and she was immediately captivated by the immediacy and intimacy of the medium. Fanni Sandor Yet, all these artistic discoveries and explorations all tie back to her inherent desire to share that sense of wonder with the wider world. As Sandor tells Treehugger in an email interview: "I am a microbiologist and I also have a biology teacher's degree. I consider environmental education, and sensitizing people to nature to be very important. Art has always been a part of my life, and it is a perfect channel so that my message can reach larger groups, even in an indirect way." Fanni Sandor Sandor's works often depict animals like ducks, bluejays, tree frogs, and rodents in various postures of motion and rest. They are crafted out of polymer clay, feathers, fur, fibers, and other materials, and painstakingly put together to present an accurate resemblance of the original subject, all at a teeny-tiny scale of 1 to 12. Fanni Sandor From time to time, Sandor will also include natural elements from the ecosystem that supports the animal in question, such as the fungi and moss from this owl's habitat, creating a simultaneously lifelike and symbolic representation of the interdependent web of life. Fanni Sandor As Sandor explains, this meticulous attention to detail is her way to compel viewers to look more closely at the natural world, from the macro-scale to the micro-scale: "People walk past stunning natural treasures every day. It can be a small insect or a wonderful landscape. The majority of people are insensitive to nature, they do not think that the destructive activities of mankind can really destroy it. With my works, I want to illustrate and convey to others the attention and sensitivity that if we walk with open eyes and pay attention, we can see a lot of miracles that nature has given us." Fanni Sandor Like so many other artists with an environmental aim in mind, Sandor has to tackle the dilemma of how to get people to care more about nature. While some may opt to create environmental artworks on an enormous scale—like land art—Sandor has deliberately gone to the other end of the spectrum with her miniatures. Despite their diminutive size, Sandor can still spend days, and sometimes weeks, on a single piece. For instance, this lovely robin's nest alone took three days to complete. Fanni Sandor In order to draw people's attention, Sandor explains that she has purposefully chosen to make them so small (and so irresistibly charming) that one cannot help but pause and examine them closely: "In my works, I strive to model animals and individual natural scenes as lifelike and detailed as possible in a scale of 1:12. You may need a good eye or a magnifying glass to see and enjoy the works in their entirety. This is the attention and focus that we need to experience when observing one of my works, in order to notice a miracle even in a group of roadside weeds. So, I think my works sensitize the members of the public who are interested in nature, so that we can see the miracle in all its details. The effect of this can contribute to taking better care of nature, realizing how wonderful and fascinating this system is that we can be a part of." To see more, visit Fanni Sandor's Instagram and Facebook pages.