The Art of Making Miniature Objects

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As an old adage said, great things come in small packages. You will be surprised how little things can be very complex, packed, and filled with beautiful things inside. Size should never matter in terms of art.

All big things start with miniature objects. Before those towers and skyscrapers were erected, they were surely small scale boxes. Even those long bridges we see on travel shows, they were once small models that architects and engineers use to visualize a big project. Even the biggest ships that sail in the ocean, they were all modelled after small scales. Truly, big things really start from small beginnings.

Chuckie, a skilled craftsman who also do model ship building, shared that making miniature objects is never to be undermined, “You don’t just cut out cardboard and make them. We think of three dimensional objects, use proportion, make sure we observe precision. There is both art and science to creating miniature objects.” Chuckie started doing ship models and miniature buildings in college, “I was discovered by my professor when I was once part of a production play. He got impressed with my skills. He commissioned me to take part in a building project in the university where an observatory was being built with gallery. I did a lot of building and ship scale models during that time. I’ve met a lot of architects in that project who offered me work afterwards.”

To be good in making small scale models is truly a very challenging task, Ability to visualize in three dimensions: People who can think visually in three dimensions thrive as designers, artists, or model builders. Some examples where this talent helps are: (1) In designing trade show exhibits, scale models are often used to depict tradeshow booths because the clients have difficulty figuring out the sightlines and spatial relationships between the various elements in a booth. (2) In interpreting drawings, a curve on a phone in a drawing may not read right on a product model unless the model builder can visualize and then make the model look as the designer intended. (3) In making topographic models, when there are just a few elevation changes or when there is a large scale (over 1:1000) the vertical elevation may have to be exaggerated 1&1/2 X or more in order to look correct to the human eye,” wrote Hal Chaffee in the article Ten Talents of A Model Maker.

“My work with miniatures came from my interest in the role fantasy plays in the creation of the ‘self,’ in psychological experiences such as memory and dreaming, and the different ways those experiences are embodied and given meaning. The miniature is used as a metaphor for our inner lives where fantasies of “selfhood” are enacted through dream-like situations. The dream externalized in the form of a miniature. We long to explore worlds represented in miniature, but are denied physical access. So we project ourselves into those scenarios, identifying with the personalities of the tiny characters, reading the implied relationships between each of the characters and investing our own desires, into the pleasurable outcomes of the stories being told,” shared artist Kendal Murray in an article written by Becky Chung titled Miniature Artists Explain Why They Love Making Tiny Worlds posted at