Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Heart of the Miniature MATTER.

"Fix your eyes on perfection and you make almost everything speed towards it. William Ellery Channing

I want to introduce you to a long gone miniaturist who obviously was obsessed with perfection. At least that is what shows up in his work.

His name is Frank Matter and he passed away in 1977.  During his lifetime he made the most incredible miniatures. Everyday things, copied exactly, working, and of course, without the use of computer graphics. 

I first read about Frank in the old Nutshell News. I lot of his items were in the collection of John and Ellen Blauer. In that article was a description of a fountain pen made exactly like a real fountain pen. Rubber bladder and all. Can you even imagine?

Anyway, I was aware that Adell Venus collected miniatures as far back as the 1950's. (she was a customer of mine, became my friend and also told me she had that fountain pen so I knew she had a lot of Frank's things)  I was luck enough to get just a very FEW things of Frank's from Adell's auction and below is one.

Looks like a very nice bathroom scale, right? But, guess what? When you press on it the dial actually moves. So a dollhouse inhabitant might very well check her weight each morning. (The scale is metal)

I managed to learn a good bit about Frank from Bill Robertson who happens to be an incredible miniature artisan himself. Just have a peek see at some of his amazing work .

One of his stories about Frank involves "the world's smallest pipe" that Frank advertised in magazines. Luckily I got one out of Adell's collection. He sold things in those gelatin capsules and I am probably the first person to touch this pipe when I removed it for photographing. Pretty sure Adell left things as she got them and just put them away. It is in point of fact a working pipe.

According to Bill, the Kansas City Museum  has a large collection of Frank Matter's creations. I have not yet been but if you get there make sure you get to see these miniature miracles. (And if you have seen them, tell me about them in the comments. Please.)

Here are a few other bits I managed to acquire.
 Just as an FYI, remember that Frank was working long before computers and printers and these tiny bars of soap are HAND PAINTED. Same goes for the cigarettes.
 You do tend to see lots of sewing things about all over in miniatures. But none so perfect. Looks like to me Frank used ivorine or celluloid to make the thread cards.
The little thread storage piece turns to let the spools out. Clever.

 There is much more to Frank Matter. These tiny little scraps that I am so lucky to own are just a minuscule example of what he was capable of.  He worked in wood, silver, paint, ivory, and included furniture, games, musical instruments, toys, clocks and more.  He also made a 1:48 scale house and created nearly every item in the house, including working clocks, paintings and a tiny silver tea service. 

There is very little about Frank anywhere on the 'net and I am happy to bring him to your attention. 

So what do ya think?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Making Minis with Idris Elba


 PSYCH !!!!
Sorry for that, but in a way, kinda true. I watch/listen to Netflix while working and my latest was watching/listening to the British drama series, Luther  While I worked Idris was right there with me. So I wasn't lying actually.

Here's what came out:

 I put together this Paleontologist's paraphernalia. Cute little Mastodon skeleton model right? Books, fossils too. If you'd like to own it here ya go.

 While I am not an animal maker, I do give it a shot now and again. This sculpted Afgan Hound is furred with Alpaca fibers. This was a hit and miss project that took more than several episodes of Luther.

I have done one of these before and this one is a bit different. The original is one of my most popular pins on Pinterest. So, another one.

I got this industrial barrel in an auction lot of stuff I wanted and this was extraneous to my needs. I thought it needed some toxic waste.

And some bird houses. Don't like the roof on the first one, so have since ripped it off. But now I have run out of Idris... 

Most of this will be on my Ebay.

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