Mixed Media Miniatures
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times—collecting and creating miniatures is SO much more than just a hobby—it is truly a unique form of art. Thus, like any art form, new styles and techniques evolve within the genre all the time. As always, we at D. Thomas Fine Miniatures do our best to keep up with all of the trends and cutting edge techniques so that we can keep you in the loop.
In keeping with this idea, we recently held a workshop on up and coming trend of mixed media miniatures, which focuses on collecting miniatures and arranging them for display in a three dimensional “scrapbook” style piece. This technique allows the collector a way both to create a decorative collage style piece, but also a vehicle with which to organize and show off the best of their miniature collection. Additionally, the “scrapbox,” as they are sometimes called, becomes a decorative piece to display in one’s home.
The idea of displaying pieces in a shadow box is actually quite an old one. Traditionally, sailors retiring from the military would keep their naval badges, flags and military medals in shadowboxes that were later placed on display in their homes. Eventually, artists began to create shadowboxes for non-military homes. During the Colonial and Victorian eras, when miniatures became popular, shadowboxes began to be used to display prized miniature pieces.
Today’s mixed media miniature pieces draw upon these traditions but are uniquely modern. One of the foremost scrapbox artists from whom many draw inspiration is Joseph Cornell. Cornell’s boxes primarily feature unique found objects from a number of sources including thrift stores; garage sales and even just things found lying on the ground. If you’re seeking inspiration, you can check out his stylishly eclectic website here.
The art form has become so popular in recent years, that the LA Times did a featured piece on a collection of scrapboxes that recount important figures and events in American history. The article and fascinating accompanying slide show can be found at the Times’ website.
Though the inagural scrapboxing workshop has unfortunately passed, don’t worry—you don’t have to miss out on the fun. D. Thomas is holding another workshop on October 15th. It will be hosted by expert scrapboxer, Heidi Bound, and will have a Fall/Halloween theme.