May 2009
Featured Gallery
of the Month
Chris Miniatures
of Christiane Lourier
By CDHM Assistant Editor
Alice Bell
Photos courtesy of
Christiane Lourier
CDHM artisan Christiane Lourier of Chris Miniatures

CDHM artisan Christiane Lourier of Chris MiniaturesIt's all in the hands. At least it is to Christiane Lourier. This well-travelled Morroccan born artist has lived in Senegal, France, England, the United States and South America. Additionally, she has travelled to North America, China, Africa and most of Eastern Europe. Throughout all these address changes and travel, handwork has been her passion.

"I have always liked manual activity - I remember when in England for my studies, I completely hand sewed a dress! It was a summer style and an easy pattern, nevertheless it was quite a lot of work," she said.

Despite all this travel and exposure to new things, her introduction to the joys of miniatures first came in New York City.

"Many years ago, walking in New York, I stopped by a shop selling doll's houses and was thrilled with it. My birthday was coming, and my husband had me choose a kit that I brought back and stuck in a closet in Paris - I had a job, and no time for doll's houses."CDHM artisan Christiane Lourier of Chris Miniatures

It was after a move to Provence that she had time for the house, only to discover France is not a haven for miniature supplies. She was able to purchase several miniature-focused magazines, however, and through one, her future ceramics teacher.

"I read about a British lady giving miniatures classes in Provence, that was very talented in ceramics. Initially, I did not want to make ceramics, my first idea was to work wood and make furniture but I followed her classes and loved it! I was hooked and bought a kiln," she said.

After her miniature ceramics introduction she discovered all the creative possibilities offered by dollhouse miniatures and has explored most of them, building houses for her grandchildren in addition to her own.

"I have built doll's houses for my granddaughters and a "Quincaillerie" for the older grandson - they play with it when they come over to my house - and are very eager to discover whatever new miniatures I have put in their houses," she said.

CDHM artisan Christiane Lourier of Chris Miniatures

Her ceramics are created in 1:12 scale although she briefly worked in 1:24.

"One of my best experiences in miniatures was meeting a girl at a show who wanted me to reproduce an old teapot and milk jug form a photo in 1:12th scale for her dollhouse. It was quite a challenge but she loved the result," said Christiane.

Despite the fact there are few miniatures in France, she is surrounded by inspiration.

"I am not far from Vallauris which was dedicated to making famous ceramics for many centuries. Majolica is a generic name for brightly colored ceramics. In the 19th century that was very popular in Europe and many artists followed the trend. In France it was made in almost every area where you had a ceramic "industry". In the south of France the most famous places were in Marseille, Vallauris and Menton," she explained.

She is also a member of an archaeological group that travels throughout France to interesting Roman sites or older remains.

"Whenever I travel, I search for flea markets to look for laces, beads or anything I can use on my miniatures," she said.

CDHM artisan Christiane Lourier of Chris Miniatures Her horizon is filled with new ceramic projects and her newest pursuit of dressing dolls, as well as delving into creating babies or children from polymer clay.

"Now I have entered the world of dressing dolls. I really enjoy it," she added.

"I still have problems carving clay - I am never satisfied with my work!"

She sells her pieces for 3 Euros and up for ceramics to 90 Euros for dressed dolls through her website and at shows in Paris, Madrid, Milan, Chicago, and various smaller shows in rural France. It was during exhibiting at Miniatura that she was published in Doll's House Magazine for the first time.

In addition to creating, she offers workshops on a limited basis.

"I offer workshops at some of the shows I attend, mainly in Milan, but do not find time to do them on a regular basis. I like it, but it is very time consuming."

Explore the ceramics and dressed dolls that Christiane makes here.

Explore the Glass, Pottery, and Figurines Category

CDHM artisan Christiane Lourier of Chris Miniatures dressed 1/12 scale dolls
CDHM artisan Christiane Lourier of Chris Miniatures dressed 1/24 scale dollhouse dolls
CDHM artisan Christiane Lourier of Chris Miniatures 1:12 scale platters
CDHM artisan Christiane Lourier of Chris Miniatures dressed handmade dolls house dolls
CDHM artisan Christiane Lourier of Chris Miniatures dressed handmade dolls house dolls

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