Tricia Frances

Mixed media and miniatures artist

Tricia Frances is a regular contributor to the Festival. She is a multimedia artist who specialises in miniatures.

What is it about your making skill that makes you enjoy it so much?
Being a mixed media artist means no two projects are ever the same. I like the discovery of new materials and techniques. And I love to create things you cannot see, with the aid of plaster, ultraviolet and glow-in-the-dark paints.

What does it mean to you personally and the way you live your life?
By the time I left school at 16, my designer crochet garments were being sold in Biba, then for the next 25 years I had an historical and theatrical costume and prop company. On my way to become an educational psychologist I discovered children and taught art and textiles in high schools for the next 15 years. Since retiring from teaching I have worked in my studio at home, where I might work till 4am if I am engrossed in a project. So, I would say that my whole life has been about creativity in one form or another.

What has been your greatest making achievement?
I would say there have been four. My first job designing garments for Biba, then making costumes for stage and screen when I ran my Will-O-Wisp costume company. Being commissioned to make a miniature room box for the V&A Small Stories exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum in 2017 and then in 2018 reprising my role as costumier by making the White Face Clown costume for Foolhardy circus for the 250 years of Circus celebration.

What is your favourite piece of equipment and why?
My Dremel multi tool. I only discovered it last year but its cutting and sanding precision makes work so much easier when making my miniature room boxes.

What is your favourite making website or blog and why?
Apart from Etsy I don’t have a favourite. Because I use many techniques I do a lot of research for my work so it depends on what I am working on at the time. Monet, Hokusai, Sashiko, sumi-e, light painting, Day of the Dead, room boxes, miniatures… can all be found regularly in my search history!

Why do you like being part of the Festival?
As a teacher of art, it is not all about following lesson plans. It is also about the mutual exploring of new ideas and techniques; which I miss now I have retired from high school teaching. Being part of the Festival gives me the opportunity to do that again.

What is your advice to a complete beginner who wants to have a go at your craft?
We all have the ability to create, but we might not know it yet. From taking a photo with your phone to painting a masterpiece, art comes in many forms. My advice is to just to have a go and enjoy the process!