Regina Sonntag - Miniaturesandhistory

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Interview with Regina Sonntag, Flat miniatures engraver
Regine Sonntag is one of the best known and most successful engravers in the world of flat miniatures.

When did you start engraving tin figures?
Because I liked to draw as a child, it was clear to me that I wanted to have an artistic profession. I started in 1978 with a training as an engraver in Hannover. I engraved with jewels in jewelery, precious metals and tin objects. After having done this for several years, I met Mrs. Romund (from flat miniatures atelier Karl Romund from Hannover). She introduced me to the world of the flat tin miniature. In 1989 I was in Kulmbach for the first time at the fair with my first self-made miniatures with the subject Spitzweg and a fairy. Since then I have engraved characters with a wide range of subjects for many different publishers of tin figures.

You do not just engrave but also paint my miniatures?
I also paint my own miniatures. For this I use oil paint and paint media. This is because the technique with oil paint is best for beautiful, soft transitions between the colors.

Which types of figures do you engrave?
I engrave all types, sizes and subjects, from 30mm to the larger display cases.
Do you work on commission or do you also publish your own figures?
Because the engraving is my profession, I mainly work on commission. The preference of my own figures lies with the showcase figure (the larger flat figures). With that I can show more details. More than at 30mm is possible. My preference goes to the theme Jugendstil and the presentation of women in beautiful clothes and motifs. For me, a figure may also be somewhat mysterious or lively to evoke appealing emotions from the viewer. As an example, the figures of the Apocalypse, the iron Gustavah, the Scot, the mussel seeker. They can all be seen on my homepage:

Who are your clients and which themes are they generally asking for?
My clients are mostly private individuals from Germany, Austria, England, Sweden, Italy. These are people who collect tin figures and want to have a personal subject. They paint that figure themselves, built dioramas with it.

You mainly see men during fairs and competitions with tin figures. How is that and how could we get more women interested in the hobby?
The origin of the collection of tin figures lies in the military themes. This prejudice still dominates in the minds of people. While there are a lot of civil issues today and female figures as well. My figures are certainly bought by women. We will have to take away the old prejudices. For example, special gatherings can be organized for collectors of female tin figures.

What are the current trends in the world of the flat miniature?
There are still hardly any large mass arrangements of flat miniatures. The themes are now represented in smaller series. In this way, the larger miniature have clearly gained greater popularity. These are often painted in high quality and they are more and more works of art.

How do you see the future of the flat tin miniature?
It is clear that the tin miniature is still a hobby where one can keep busy with historical subjects. But we must not forget the new themes such as fantasy, current events and fairy tales, myths and legends. This can ensure that young people also become more interested in the flat tin miniature.
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