I made some small dioramas inspired by Hayao Miyazaki‘s Studio Ghibli films. These Miyazaki dioramas are entirely sculpted and handcrafted.
Forest Spirit (シシガミ) and Nightwalker (デイダラボッチ) Dioramas
The Forest Spirit is a god of life and death in the film Princess Mononoke. It resembles a deer with branch-like antlers, a humanesque face, and bird-like scaled feet. It both gives life and also takes it away. Its sanctuary in the forest is littered with the huge bones of animal gods of the forest. Where it walks, plants and flowers immediately bloom and then die in its footsteps.
At night, the Forest Spirit becomes the Nightwalker, a huge, ethereal being that towers over the treetops.
Making of the Forest Spirit Miyazaki Diorama
I built a simple armature with tin foil and picture hanging wire to support and maintain the shape of the forest spirit’s body and antlers. Then I sculpted polymer clay around the armature, curing the clay by baking it in stages to preserve finished layers and components.
I built up the clay base the same way (with tin foil structure and clay baked in stages). Then I baked the base on a ceramic tile to create a platform to which the cured clay would adhere until removed with a razor at the very end of the process.
I primed the components with black and white primers, followed by painting and washing. Next I coated the painted sculpture with matte varnish.
Finally, I glued the foliage and ground cover to the base and then glued the forest spirit and kodama to the finished base.
Kodama Mini Miyazaki Diorama
I made a smaller mini diorama featuring a kodama (tree spirit) from Princess Mononoke.
Wayside Spirits Miyazaki Diorama
“Wayside” is a forest or guardian spirits diorama mash-up. It features a kodama forest spirit from Princess Mononoke, a Dōsojin statue from Spirited Away, and a little blue servant of Totoro from My Neighbor Totoro gathered by a forest pool.
If you enjoyed these Miyazaki dioramas, please check out other dioramas, miniature food, charms and jewelry, and artisan keycaps that I’ve made. You can also check out my shop to see what’s currently available for sale.