December 12 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
In the precisely-crafted miniature world of doll’s houses, everything has to be life-like – even though it’s far from life-sized.
And a Norfolk artist hopes her tiny creature creations will bring a touch of realism to the gardens and window ledges of scaled-down model homes across the nation.
Sadie Campbell, from Lyng, near Dereham, exhibited her tiny 1/12th scale models at the UK’s largest dollhouse show, Miniatura, which was held at the Birmingham NEC at the weekend.
The mother-of-two said she had always had an eye for the precise details needed to cast and paint 5mm birds, hedgehogs, butterflies, insects and budgies.
At the exhibition, her work was seen by hundreds of passionate hobbyists, looking for realistic models to breathe life into their own diminutive building projects.
Mrs Campbell, 50, said: “Before this I had done commissions and paintings, but this is what I love. It is a bit crazy really, but there is a market for it.
“There will be a lot more people making doll’s houses than anyone would think. And the people doing it are very serious about it.
“Some of them put more effort into their doll’s house than their real house. They will be talking about how they fit their kitchen sink and you think they are talking about their real house, but they’re not.
“The budgies will go inside somewhere, and they might just put a butterfly on the window sill.
“Some people might put it on the inside as if it got trapped in the window and couldn’t get out. “They put spiders in the corner of rooms. The more real you can get it, the better. That’s the aim.”
Mrs Campbell, who lives at Soanes Court with her husband Steve, said she had been making miniature models for about 19 years – with a couple of breaks for the arrival of her two sons Ben, 12, and Daniel, four.
Before that, she used to paint full-sized paintings for commissions. She said: “They were always very detailed so a friend said to me: ‘Why don’t you do a miniature?’
“He meant miniature paintings, but I went to a doll’s house shop and that’s what me think about making animals, insects, birds and ornaments.”
The models are made from oven-hardening clay, from which the artist makes a mould to cast the finished creations in a substance similar to a dentist’s filler mixture. The completed models are then hand-painted.
“When it is very, very fine, I occasionally use a magnifying glass,” said Mrs Campbell. “Up to a few years ago, I didn’t use anything, but my eyes have gone a bit so I sometimes use my reading glasses now.”