miniature

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Art

Haphazard Safe Havens Rise into the Sky in Simon Laveuve’s Miniature Post-Apocalyptic Islands

November 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a miniature post-apocalyptic structure

Detail of “La Bouée” (2022), 47 x 19 x 19 centimeters. All images © Simon Laveuve, shared with permission

Paris-based artist Simon Laveuve (previously) continues to build out his dystopian universe with rickety structures that tower above land and sea. Heavy with dirt and the occasional graffiti tag, the miniature constructions are eerie, disquieting safe havens in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic landscape. Salvaged objects like tires, wooden panels, and lengths of chain support the shelters, which tend to contain tiny outlooks with seating and remnants of provisions. In his most recent mixed-media sculptures like “Le 122,” Laveuve considers lawlessness and what it means to live in an organized society without rule.

The artist has an upcoming show in New York, and you can follow news about that exhibition on Instagram.

 

Two detail photos of a miniature post-apocalyptic structure

Detail of “La Bouée” (2022), 47 x 19 x 19 centimeters

A detail photo of a miniature post-apocalyptic structure

Detail of “La Bouée” (2022), 47 x 19 x 19 centimeters

Two detail photos of a miniature post-apocalyptic structure

Detail of “Le 122” (2022), 70 x 40 x 25 centimeters

A photo of a miniature post-apocalyptic structure

“Le 122” (2022), 70 x 40 x 25 centimeters

Two photos of a miniature post-apocalyptic structure

“Dans la soucoupe” (2018), 20 x 20 x 55 centimeters

A detail photo of a miniature post-apocalyptic structure

Detail of “Le 122” (2022), 70 x 40 x 25 centimeters

 

 

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Craft Food

Tiny Trays Serve Up Delicious Morsels in Miniature Spreads by Mahnaz Miryani

November 18, 2022

Kate Mothes

A photograph of miniature foods.

All images © Mahnaz Miryani, shared with permission

Tehran-based artist Mahnaz Miryani has been fascinated by puzzles since she was a child. In her miniature culinary arrangements, she channels a love for fitting little pieces together into satisfying compositions. Tiny trays transport pastries, eggs, cakes, and other dainty morsels, including a baking surface with an apple pie in the making. Miryani sculpts each itty-bitty croissant or cup of coffee from polymer clay, adding texture to create realistic details. Then, it’s time to bake! Once the clay has hardened in the oven, she adds colorful details in acrylic paint and soft pastels. The next item she plans to add to her menu is a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.

Miryani is also the founder of a platform dedicated to miniature foods called Yummy Miniature. You can follow more of her work on Instagram.

 

A photograph of miniature foods.

A photograph of miniature foods.

Two photographs of miniature foods.

A photograph of miniature foods.

A photograph of miniature foods.

A photograph of miniature foods.

A photograph of miniature foods.

 

 



Animation Art Design

Thousands of Structures Populate a Growing Whimsical Metropolis in Charles Young’s Miniature Cities

November 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of dozens of colorful miniature buildings and transportation

All images © Charles Young, shared with permission

After picking up a copy of Japanese artist Sanzo Wada’s A Dictionary of Color Combinations a few years ago, Charles Young decided to divert the course of his otherwise monochromatic body of work. The Scottish artist, who is currently based in Edinburgh, has accumulated an extensive archive of tiny buildings, transportation, and public architecture all created in white paper. The stark structures number well into the thousands and together, sprawl into massive miniature metropolises. They’re now joined by similarly sized creations in full color.

Published around 1930, Wada’s reference manual groups pigments into complementary combinations of two, three, or four, and Young uses these pairings as the foundation for his latest models of office buildings, churches, factories, and stations. He finished all of the four-color studies back in 2021 and has since moved on to those with three, a set he plans to wrap up in the new year. “The whole project is like a journal or sketchbook, and not much planning goes into each piece before I start work,” he says. “The project is really about the process and the massing of individual parts rather than each individual building.”

After formulating a general idea of the intended piece, Young prints each hue onto a single sheet of watercolor paper. “I’ll choose one of the colours to be the main feature, used in the walls, and others as accents or for the roofs. It’s a kind of intuitive process where there just seems to be a right way to do it,” he shares. Once cut and assembled into their final three-dimensional shapes, the works are either left as standalone structures or animated in whimsical, stop-motion movements, like a train spinning on its platform or an excavator dipping its bucket.

As mentioned, Young’s three-color studies are ongoing, and you can follow his progress on those on Instagram.

 

An animated image of a train entering a station and turning on its platform

Four photos of tiny structures and transportation vehicles

An animated image of an excavator dipping its bucket

Four photos of tiny buildings and bridges

A photo of dozens of colorful miniature buildings and transportation

An animated image of an arm turning a wheel

 

 



Craft

Speckled, Crackled, and Kintsugi Sheets of Ceramic Cloak Lisa Agnetun’s Tiny Spirited Ghosts

November 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts

All images © Lisa Agnetun, shared with permission

“They’re very much like people,” says Lisa Agnetun (previously) about her adorably spirited figures. “Except for the fact that high-fired ceramics has the ability to outlive us all. If you treat them respectfully, they will haunt you forever.”

The Gothenburg, Sweden-based ceramicist crafts tiny apparitions with endlessly unique personalities. All wear bedsheet-style disguises, although they’re crafted from different clays, fired at varying temperatures, and covered in glazes that range from matte neutral tones to sleek, vibrant speckles. The artist shares that the characters have gained weight recently and their eyes have widened, and some of the spectral forms have even been fractured and scarred with glimmering gold Kintsugi.

Agnetun plans to update her Etsy shop next on November 25, so keep an eye on her Instagram for details on that release, especially since the tiny apparitions seem to disappear within minutes.

 

A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts with Kintsugi

A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts

Four photos of miniature ceramic ghosts

A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts

A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts, some serving as vases for flowers

A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts

 

 



Colossal Design

Interview: Jessica Oreck of the Office of Collecting & Design On Her Enormous Museum of Miniatures

November 4, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Jessica Oreck, shared with permission

In Las Vegas, the Office of Collecting & Design is a haven for the minute, the small objects that have been broken, separated from their partners, or grown obsolete and somehow found their way into the hands of Jessica Oreck. Today, the museum of miniatures houses countless objects from handmade sushi smaller than a pushpin and a teeny-tiny tube of Colgate to stone marbles and limbs detached from toy figures.

I see each object as being stitched together with the fabric of both its creator and all its previous caretakers. I try to preserve that connection while still keeping the object accessible for new interactions, new connections, even if that means the physicality of the object may degrade. The collections aren’t frozen behind glass. They are very much still a part of a living, breathing existence.—Jessica Oreck

Oreck speaks in this interview about the origin of the ever-expanding collection of miniatures, how respect and intuition ground her approach to the objects, and the mysterious story behind one of the strangest items she’s encountered.

Read the interview and see the collection.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Papier-Mâché Creatures Inhabit a Whimsical World in Penny Thomson’s Kinetic Sculptures

October 28, 2022

Kate Mothes

A host of wild creatures inhabit the whimsical world of artist Penny Thomson (previously), who creates intricate, kinetic sculptures that fit in the palm of your hand. Joined in her Derbyshire studio by her daughter Briony, she works primarily with papier-mâché, which she began experimenting with when her children were still young. “Using pulp, laminated and household waste paper, and cardboard, I made a seven-foot giraffe and conducted a workshop in my son’s school, which involved all the pupils in making a 14-foot Diplodocus,” she says.

Since then, Thomson’s creations have scaled down quite a bit, but her interest in working with paper and recycled materials continues. After creating a diorama for illusionist Sam Drake’s House of Magic, she became fascinated with automata and combined skills she acquired over her career to develop the mechanical miniatures. Briony adds, “That is why we say that a batch of two or three kinetic sculptures usually take between one week and 40 years to make!” Each expressive, miniature figure incorporates a mechanism with a small handle that sets it in motion, giving life to hungry chicks, impatient zebras, and joyous penguins.

Thomson regularly releases small batches of sculptures in her Etsy shop. They sell quickly, so you can keep up-to-date about new work on Instagram, and see more on her website.

 

All images © Penny Thomson, shared with permission

 

 

A Colossal

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Sailing Ship Kite