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.


Wetplate by Julie Loen

One evening, on one of my trips to Paris, we talked about my miniatures over dinner.

And that is when I got the idea to create a diorama that could have been an FF-scene. Our worlds were a great match!

Can We Become Other Than What We Are was completed in 2017, and is an homage to Fontenoy and his art.

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 characters

I worked a lot on  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, 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 it in polymer clay.

A few of the other items I created.

The chessboard

Sculpted in polymer clay, and using little pearls.

Photo by Frederic Fontenoy