The Frasier Project: Set in Miniature
Like many of us, Preston Poling, a miniaturist from Louisville KY, grew up watching television sitcoms and reruns. He particularly enjoyed shows that not only made him laugh, but also made him think; smart, engaging, often controversial programming which challenged social norms like All in the Family,Dharma & Greg and Frasier.
Frasier was the critically acclaimed sitcom that ran in the United States from 1993 to 2004 and earned multiple Emmy Awards including wins for Best Comedy Series 5 seasons in a row. The show is a spinoff of the wildly popular comedy, Cheers, that centers around Frasier Crane, (played by Kelsey Grammer), a psychiatrist and radio personality. He lives in an upscale Seattle apartment with his father, a disabled and retired police officer, Martin Crane (portrayed by John Mahoney). The plotlines hit themes like social class, wealth disparity and mental health. Preston, an avid fan of this ensemble sitcom, streams reruns of the series online; the show continues to entertain and inspire him.
Despite not having any formal art training and just some experience building models from kits as a teen, Poling set out in 2017 to recreate a 1/12 scale version of the contemporary stone fireplace from the Frasier apartment set. After several iterations, using floral foam and plaster of Paris, he was finally happy with the piece but remained unsatisfied. With the creation of the iconic fireplace under wraps, and his desire to work in small scale, Poling set his sights on recreating the entire Frasier set in miniature. He is scratch-building virtually everything including the framed paintings, statuary and eclectic furniture with a priority on accuracy and attention to detail.
One of the most challenging parts of the project is replicating the aged and worn reclining chair belonging to Martin Crane (an eyesore in Frasier’s opinion!). Poling wanted to ensure the scaling of the pattern and the texture of the unique fabric was as close to the studio prop as possible, and after an extensive search, he found the perfect material from a shop in Paris.
Last year, Preston formed The Frasier Project, a Facebook group dedicated to this project and to document his creative process. The group has since grown to become a place where members not only chat about the show but offer tips, helping with research and contributing to project developments. One enthusiastic group member gifted a replica of Eddie Crane, Martin’s beloved companion, a Jack Russel Terrier also adored by show fans. The Frasier Project group now boasts over 2,000 followers.
Frasier’s apartment is nearing completion and Poling has already started working on Café Nervosa, and the KACL-radio studio sets featured in the show. This keeps fans and followers engaged and keeps Poling busy working on miniatures! It has been reported that a reboot of the show is underway for 2022 and undoubtedly would include an update to the classic set décor from the original show’s run. Now this makes miniacs and Frasier fans alike wonder if there will be a mini reboot of a miniature version of the set by Poland Preston to follow.
Until Next Time: #LiveYourBestMiniLife