Friday, April 30, 2010

Which Is More Important: Looking Real? Or Being Fun?

I'm working on a slide show at the moment that is intended to capture the "realness" of miniatures. The photo at left is one of the pictures for that show.

Just this week, I was delighted to see that my daughter has framed and hung her collection of photos that she made of some of our dollhouse rooms. She has dedicated a wall outside of one of the bedrooms to this collection.

She shot this series of photos for a class she was taking at the time at the local community college. Her classmates were curious about how she had been given access to an old Victorian house. Once she admitted that the photos were of scale rooms, several said that something seemed just a bit odd about the rooms, but they couldn't put their finger on why they seemed "different."

I love the challenge of doing my utmost best to make scale miniatures. When something small looks absolutely real, there's something very charming about it. I feel like Gulliver in the land of Lilliputian's.

There is a faction of miniaturists, though, who would turn up their noses at anything that isn't absolutely perfect. For the collectors of fine miniatures, I can understand their thinking. Our hobby has a bigger base, though, than just the high-end collectors. Much of its origins was as playthings for smaller hands and bodies, and children played with these things for the sheer job of it.  I hope we never forget that our hobby should be first and foremost all about having fun.

Even though it's probably my least favorite dollhouse of the three that I have made, the one at right is the one that truly got lots of play from my daughter. Even though she's a grown woman, she occasionally will stop and make some decorating changes, or she rearranges a few things to suit her tastes at the moment.

There's a fourth dollhouse that I made and never show on this blog. It was very small - only two rooms to it. I made it for a TV commercial that I did years ago. The girls played with it and to a great degree destroyed most of the fancy stuff I had done on it. Again, it was a well-loved piece that the girls thoroughly enjoyed playing with. After I finished the one above and it began to get all of the loving attention from my daughter, I got rid of the little, beat-up house.  It had grown dusty out in the garage and it was covered with cobwebs. It was a disposable toy house. I hope the ones I'm building now will not end up in a trash heap - at least not for an extended number of years after I'm gone.

So, to answer my own question at the beginning of this blog - what's most important to me? My answer is simple: Enjoying this hobby and sharing it with others! And if what I make looks real, all the better!


Julie Kendall said...

Loved the post and your answer too

George the Miniguy said...

Thanks, Julie!

My Realitty said...

MMMMMMM hyper realism is seductive but I love humor. Your perspective is great! Thanks CM

Norma said...

Hi George, I haven't been by very much lately, and probably shouldn't be here now (playing hookey from university assignments - again!). I like your answer to your own question - fun first and foremost and if that leads to a 'real' looking outcome well it's a bonus. I think there's enough 'rule' imposition in the world, in our hobbies we should be able to let our hearts free to create what we feel, not what our head tells us is 'right'.

I hope to catch up properly on your recent past posts shortly when I can visit without time restraint :)

Pandora said...

Good answer :-)

I like old, battered miniatures which look as though they have been loved rather than pristine pieces which seem to have been displayed but never really enjoyed.


Margaret said...

George the dolls house on the right is wonderful, no wonder your daughter loved it. I am sure your houses won't end up on the scrap heap for a long, long time. I think we can get too serious about things, they should be fun otherwise why do it?

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