Miniature Calendar

There seem to be so many sites feeding off other sites... Here I am, doing much the same for posts like this one. And the site I'm going to refer to itself culls from elsewhere on the interweb. But at least Demilked is a lot more edifying than most of the others. I've only just discovered it, but it seems to look for interesting design, in all its forms. You can also find it on Facebook.

Part of it is devoted to videos, and a cousin of mine recently shared this one, which I find delightful. These pics are snapshots of a few of the examples in it. I'm not sure if they're all by the same artist, but they seem to be. I recommend a view of the video.  Maybe with the sound off... Not sure about the link, sorry if it doesn't work. But if so just go to the main Demilked site and then the videos section, you'll soon find it.

I've been itching to do this sort of thing for a long long time, as hinted at on the 'scenes' page. But my usual failings of procrastination and distraction have meant that my ideas massively outnumber any actual product. Too bad, that's my look out. I've just done a search on the word 'miniature' on Demilked and it's very apparent that loads of miniature artists have already had the same ideas and much much more. Frankly, I'm very happy to see it all, some of the work is lovely to contemplate. I've only picked a handful of the very nice examples from that video; as you can see, I'm definitely in the mood for the more pastoral scenes. I love the simplicity of these Millet-style gleaners - the only 'prop' is a pile of crisps.

Ah - I've found the original. I'm totally not surprised - because of the East Asian flavour of so many of the scenes, like this beautiful one on the right, below - to find that the artist is Japanese, one Tatsuya Tanaka. The site you should go to is Miniature Calendar, the main part of which is organised exactly like it says, which means it's a treasure trove of wonderful tiny scenes. How he's kept up the creativity for the last few years is mind-boggling. Go and see!

I still wonder about the rapid growth of miniature art in recent times, and what it means. On the one hand, it's always been a fascination for people, and you can go back to the Renaissance, and earlier, to find wealthy people, ie. people who could afford to be patrons of art, indulging in a taste for miniature worlds of various kinds, even if only in two dimensions. Maybe it is a primal thing, in that compared with the real world which is difficult to navigate let alone control, when it comes to miniature worlds we can look down on them like gods. On the other hand, there is all this new activity to explain. I think it builds on the traditional fascination. Artist have seen that there's no need to be confined to narrow crafts like that of the doll's house, and that one can play around with all sorts of concepts. Then there's the art market: one can see the appeal of high value but generally very small items, which are much easier to manage than, say, large canvases.

But I believe that what has really sparked this off is the development of today's film industry, dominated by the production of special effects blockbusters. It's not only technology which has enabled it, but an explosion of effort and talent in a host of different craft industries which together have given flesh to the imagination. Those guys are the heroes. We're looking at miniature work and beginning to call it art, but it really springs from the amazing skills and work of the modellers and set builders who designed the worlds of those films.

The last picture is a favourite of mine. Couldn't be simpler, could it? Just a couple dancing alone in a glade in a forest, a forest of broccoli.