“Unveiling the Delicate Masterpieces: Exploring Clay Sculptures of Tiny Newborns”

An artist has been making tiny baby sculptures that fit in the palm of your hand.

All made by hand, Canadian Camille Allen, 35, will often spend several weeks creating each one – starting with just a ball of clay.

Features are delicately carved out of the clay as using a crafting tool, finishing with an adorable, tiny newborn ready to show off to her customers.

Explaining the process, Camille said: ‘Starting from a lump of clay, and tiny tools including toothpicks, sculpting a lifesize or miniature baby begins. It takes many, many hours of patient concentration to form a realistic baby and finish with fine details – including wrinkles and fingernails.

The babies have soft English mohair to imitate fine baby hair and are blushed with paints for realism to enhance their tiny wrinkles and creases.

The skills for Camille’s craft were passed down within her extended family, after her husband’s grandmother, Clara Allen, taught her how to sculpt life size baby dolls.

The life size dolls inspired Camille to have a go at her own creations, specialising in the miniature babies – which she has dubbed ‘Egg Babies’.

Camille said: ‘The first miniature baby I made was curled in a fetal position, and I even gave it an umbilical cord, as if it was still in the womb. The shape and size of the baby seemed similar to that of an egg shell. I tried this, and the baby fit perfectly inside an egg!

‘This was how the idea of “Egg Babies” was born. I think the fragile newborn baby is complimented by the egg shell, reminding us of how fragile new life is and how gently they must be treated and cared for. Later I tried sculpting a baby inside a seashell – thus the “Shell Babies”.

The shapes of and textures of different seashells either echo the soft curves of babies, or they provide an interesting contrast to emphasize them. Some Shell Babies have pearls in their navels or are holding a pearl, like two little treasures found in one shell!’

Camille says that her customers love her work – with many people buying for both sentimental and heartbreaking reasons – including bereaved parents looking for a form of therapy.

She said: ‘They really touch people’s hearts, often reminding them of their own children or grandchildren as babies. Many who have lost a pregnancy or child are moved deeply.

‘I have received hundreds of touching emails, some that make me cry.’

Each item costs anywhere from $99 for a single newborn to $1,500 for an intricate sculpture of hugging twins, and can all be found on Camille’s website.

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