I work full-time in tech leadership, but I have always (since childhood) been fascinated by tiny things: dollhouses, dioramas, realistic miniatures, etc. I have since become adept at creating, sculpting, casting, and painting my own miniatures in the form of polymer clay food, sculptures and dioramas, collectibles, charms, and artisan keycaps for mechanical keyboards (sculpting, molding, and resin casting).
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Mihi Mini Studio?
I am just one person, but I make and sell a variety of different types of crafts myself. I may look into partnerships or collaborations in the future! If you’re interested in a collaboration or want to ask a question that isn’t answered here, please feel free to send me an email.
Do you do commissions?
Occasionally, but not often. General information and ballpark pricing estimates can be found on the Commissions & Custom Orders page. You’ll need to get in touch with me to discuss the parameters of the commission via email, and then you’ll be given access to the appropriate commission form.
Please note that I’ve had a lot of people contact me regarding commissions and then ghost me, which results in a significant waste of my time. I had to close commissions from new customers for this reason, though I do limited custom orders.
For commission and custom order information, examine the rough pricing estimates list first so you can be aware ahead of time what the financial investment looks like before engaging in a conversation. I truly appreciate this courtesy, and without it, there will never be any customs or commissions. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
How do I buy things?
- Commissions & Custom Orders
Raffle Sales (via Instagram)I have discontinued raffle sales at this time.
- Email Inquiry
What materials do you use?
Polymer clay (colored for food and clay keycaps, and sculpting grade for modeling), urethane liquid plastic resin, epoxy resin, UV resin, model paints, pigment powders, diorama materials, gel mediums, wood, resin pigments, alcohol inks, a pressure pot, silicone for molding, and plenty of other things that I cover more thoroughly in a series of blog posts.
Suffice to say that I primarily use polymer clay and UV resin for tiny food and miniature sculptures, urethane resin for casting keycaps, and diorama supplies for things like foliage, ground cover, water effects, etc.
I sometimes sketch diorama plans with pencil and paper or iPad for composition.
What’s the motivation for your prices?
My commission and sale prices are based on materials, how much I value my free time, level of effort, and interest level. ALL proceeds from sales go back into funding and sustaining the hobby. All money from selling my art goes into an account that is only used to buy more supplies, tools, materials, pay for shipping, environmentally friendly / sustainable packaging, website hosting fees, etc. As such, prices are not driven by market demand or competition in any way.
To learn more about why artisan keycaps cost as much as they do, please read this article.
I occasionally apply discounts (shallow or deep) to invoices, hold free giveaways, and I try to include a randomly selected free keycap with most resin artisan purchases, depending on available stock (this is generally not the case with polymer clay artisans since those are one-of-a-kind and runs are extremely limited). In fact, some keycaps are only available via freebie inclusion and cannot be purchased separately.
Why do you make so many different keycap sculpts and colorways?
If you’re familiar with artisan keycaps, you may have noticed that most artisans make a few sculpts, a few colorways, and then do limited “runs” where they sell keycaps of the same sculpt and colorway at one time. So why do I have so many different sculpts? Why does each sculpt have so many colorways? It’s random! It’s chaos!
Yes, this is “bad for business.” Honestly: this creative strategy totally sucks for selling keycaps! It makes it very hard for me to effectively hold raffles or sales. Logistics are a nightmare, and it doesn’t go over well with the community either. The keycap community is only ever interested in a tiny selection of the sculpts and colorways I produce. Most of my keycaps are never successfully sold. Instead, they end up in a box on my shelf — most likely never to see the light of day again.
So why on earth would I do this? To be frank, my pursuit of keycraft lies in the joy of creating new things. Keycaps and miniatures are my hobby, and hobbies are things you do for fun. It’s not fun for me to continue to cast and re-cast the same sculpt and colors over and over. I enjoy sculpting, and I enjoy casting, and I enjoy challenging myself when casting: trying different colors together, different patterns, different techniques. This is also why I love to create polymer clay keycap sets.
How can I learn to make [clay / resin] keycaps?
These are questions I’ve received many times, and historically, I’ve found that the keycap-making hobby can be prone to gatekeeping (lack of freely available resources, “so-and-so already makes a keycap that looks like that, find your own style,” “I once mentioned in Discord I wanted to make a keycap of XYZ, so I have a monopoly on that idea forever”). It’s not always friendly or welcoming to newcomers, or to ideas. The keyboard community is largely comprised of software developers and gamers — and since I am both, I am also extremely familiar with the gatekeeping and walled gardens that plague both of those broader communities in general. This can carry over into the keyboard sub-community also.
Professionally, I build and nurture tech communities at the executive leadership level. In my hobbies, I also like to help to break down barriers people face in learning how to make keycaps — so when I find time, I write freely available guides on how to make them. (Some makers charge money for similar guides and tutorials.)
I’ve helped several people get started, and am happy to share the information I’ve gathered as I learned myself. You can check out guides, tutorials, and how-to articles in the blog here. I also share how-it’s-made process videos occasionally on Instagram. The only thing I ask is if you learn something helpful or useful from my resources, don’t hoard that information — share those resources with more people!
How can I learn to make dioramas and/or miniatures?
I often share blog articles on my process for making specific pieces of art, but I don’t create general tutorials because the diorama-making and miniature crafting communities are very happy to share knowledge, tutorials, guides, etc. Miniatures and dioramas are a very friendly and welcoming crafting space, with lots of extremely skilled people already providing amazing resources. Do a search on YouTube for tutorials and you’ll find plenty of videos that are far superior to anything I could make.
I have a question. How do I contact you?
You can reach me via: