Hobbies are avenues many people use to help maintain their sanity in a
stress-filled world where the pressures of everyday life can take their
toll in very short order. These activities can take many forms, but one
of the most popular is in the reproduction of real-life figures in
diminutive forms. One of the best this about this particular activities
is the artistry behind creating miniatures that are true to life. It is
indeed an art form into itself.|
Whether one opts to fill a doll house or recreate the Battle of Gettysburg on a ping pong table, there are basic features all imitations have in common. The most important elements are scale and proportion. This is the one area where most new hobbyists have the most difficulty. If the scale is one foot to one-quarter inch, for example, then a tree that is normally 20 feet tall would need to be recreated in a five inch form in order to keep the scale proportional. This goes for the diameter as well.
People are often able to see one direction or the other, but reproducing concepts from real life into 3-D can be much more difficult than it first appears. If one looks at an ottoman, for example, it appears that it would be very easy to replicate. However, when one looks at it from all angles, determines the right scale for the size room it will be placed in, and identifies detail features (such as tufting and detail stitching) that make it unique, it becomes quite a task.
The same can be said for the landscaping for model train scenes. If the trees, mountains, stations, or any other element is not in proportion to the train itself, it will loose the visual appeal that makes a miniature seem so real when done correctly. The first step would be to actually visit a real train yard, determine the size of a train, and then figure out the scale from the model to be used. The same can be said for any other type of miniature replication attempted.
One of the most difficult and least appreciated miniaturized reproductions are paintings. To peer into a dollhouse and see the Mona Lisa hanging on the wall, appearing as if it was just removed from the Louvre in Paris and shrunk to fit the space can be awe-inspiring. To make one of these creations is painstaking and time consuming work which often requires applying each stroke with a single hair. For anyone who has gone to a fair or convention, these pieces of work can become as small as fitting on the head of a pin. They are amazing to view and one often wonders how they were accomplished so accurately.
The best way to learn how to become skilled as a miniaturist is to learn from others who are already well-known in the field. Many workshops and classes are available and even the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts, which is a national organization affiliated with this hobby, keep a record of ongoing events and workshops in the area. Additionally, they have slide shows, DVD's and n open library for those interested in learning more about the specifics of the hobby. They will also direct those interested to local clubs where cross-training can be found.
Of course, no reproduction looks real unless the painting on all pieces replicates real life. Whether it is a dollhouse, train station, model car, airplane, soldier, or some other passion, the authenticity often comes in the details. When looking at a house the trim around the windows, scalloped edging of the eaves, even things that may seem inconsequential such as vents, become equally important. It's important to remember than no detail is too small or should be left undone in a project of this nature.
Of course, full reproductions as well as the pieces they contain can be purchased for a price. Many shops and online sites have a variety of theme-related products to enhance an existing display or create one from scratch. However, for those who have the patience and tenacity to create these pieces on their own, much personal reward is found. Those viewing the work of miniaturists are constantly at awe with the detail and precision which is required in this craft.
The most important thing to do is to find a passion that will inspire creativity. For instance, one of the newest growing areas for this hobby are in the field of fantasy displays. Whether one is into Dark Sword, Dungeons and Dragons, Reaper, or many others, generating characterizations which bring fantasy to life can be a very appealing quest. Additionally, for those who love pseudo-fantasy worlds like Camelot will find much pleasure in recreating the era and genre through miniaturization.
Regardless of which realm one want to explore, the world of creating miniatures opens new possibilities and provides an outlet for those who become overwhelmed with everyday life. The important elements to remember are that this craft requires an understanding of scale and proportion as well as patience, tenacity, dedication the ability to visualize the end product as one develops each piece. It is a true art form that easily becomes engaging and is appropriate for the whole family.
For more information on creating miniatures visit martiesminis.com.