Previously I spoke of my early attempts at miniature making. I recently ran across some old pictures of some of those first tries. (I still can’t find the picture of the first dollhouse made for my niece, but I’m sure I’ll come across it in time.) For now, this is a picture of some wall hangings I made. They were made from strips of Redwood 1/4" thick by x 2" wide and represented storefronts from an old western town. (I'm sure you all knew they had a Toy Shop [far right] in the old west towns!) Although they were not to scale, I knew it and I was taking a bit of “artistic license” to create an impression, rather than an accurate depiction. At the time I thought they were really good and surprisingly, several others must have as well, as I won a first place at the Harvest Fair in the Wooden Art category! In addition, a number of people wanted to buy them from me and I ended up selling a couple dozen individual buildings and a couple entire street scenes with several shops tied together.
Looking back on them, I have to chuckle at my naiveté. Okay, so they weren’t that bad, but they sure lacked the detail and preciseness that I strive for now. In those tight monetary days, I made all the doors and windows and trim work from balsa wood so it was a learning experience. About the only real miniatures I used were in the store windows or as accessories on shop fronts, and they were not of the highest quality, but they fit the bill. It was during this time that I was doing my shopping at my local miniature shop, and as rough as these were, the owner encouraged me and provided me with tips to improve upon what I was doing. She was never critical of the amateurish nature of my creations, and I think that encouragement is what kept me pursuing the hobby.
I think it’s good to look back on where we’ve come from in our stride to perfection. It is through those early attempts that we’ve learned and grown. I encourage you to share some of your early trials and errors with other new miniaturists and always remember that we all started in the same place in this hobby; unsure of our skills and abilities and not knowing exactly where to look to find the resources and answers we sought. But, through the encouragement and support of others we started down the path of a journey of discovery, and what a wild ride it’s been. And the best is yet to come. . .
5 months ago