Small Talk / Miniature

From Whittling to Wood Carving: A Tudor Bedroom

tudor style woodwork

Thomas Warner received a pocketknife when he was just four years old, or so the story goes. From that moment on, Warner was a wood carver. Later in life, he would say that he “stumbled into” miniatures by adapting his life-long fondness for whittling into the more sophisticated crafting of miniatures.

In high school shop class, Warner gathered skills to make many of his own tools, including router beds, chisels, and finishing tools. And years of work as a mechanical engineer and draftsman trained him for precise scale workmanship. Warner’s English Tudor style bedroom at T/m has a carved white ceiling and dark wood walls. Unfortunately, Warner became too ill to finish the room, and fellow miniature artist William R. Robertson stepped in to add the finishing touches.

A Rare Gem: The Art Deco Jewelry Store Chandelier

art deco chandelier

Like the star atop a Christmas tree, Caeser’s laurels, or the perfect bowtie, there’s something to be said about a great “finishing touch.” In T/m’s Art Deco Jewelry Store, you might say the grand chandelier is just that. Whether in full-scale or fine-scale miniature, a jewelry store needs the best light to reveal the luster of its wares.

The multi-tiered beaded chandelier by Robert Ward contains 15,800 glass seed beads. We had an intern count them once … just kidding, the artist did! A larger spherical glass bead hangs at the bottom center. The lavish light fixture was inspired by a full-scale Art Deco chandelier located in the grand salon of Hôtel du Collectionneur in “The City of Light”: Paris.

A Rare Gem: Jewels in Art Deco Jewelry Store

art deco jewelry

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but sapphires and emeralds are pretty high on the list too! In the 1920s, no self-respecting flapper would be caught dead doing the Charleston at the Cotton Club without some fabulous jewelry, whether real or fake. The selection of miniature rings, bracelets, and baubles were designed and created for the Art Deco Jewelry Store by artist Lori Ann Potts.

Much of Potts’s portfolio is inspired by vintage fashion and jewelry. In fact, she often uses antique fabrics, lace, and rhinestones in her work. Her contributions to the Art Deco Jewelry Store really hit all the right style notes! Check back here on Small Talk for more on the room’s finishing touches.

A Rare Gem: Figures in the Art Deco Jewelry Store

art deco

In the 1920s, before “every kiss begins with Kay,” and way before “he went to Jared,” posh urbanites perused jewelry at grand Art Deco stores. T/m’s Art Deco Jewelry Store rendered in 1:12 scale miniature would be exactly the right place to buy a new pair of “manacles” (1920s slang for wedding rings!).

The figures within the Art Deco Jewelry Store depict one such occasion. A man dressed in a classic double-breasted pin striped suit stands beside his stylish female companion who relishes in all of the choices. The dapper sales clerk has pulled a ruby bracelet for the lady to try on. All three figures were created by Spanish artist María José Santos whose attention to detail is what make them so remarkable. In order to match the dusk time of day lighting outside, the two male figures have five o’clock shadows, and the man in the fedora carries a newspaper that reads, “Lindbergh Does It!” Next time: Get that ice or else no dice!

A Rare Gem: The Architecture of the Art Deco Jewelry Store

art deco interiors

When Mulvaney & Rogers were approached to create a work for T/m’s collection, they were immediately drawn to the decadent styling of art deco interiors. Full-size art deco architectural motifs were a blend of patterns from ancient cultures in Mesoamerica and Egypt and machine-age geometry. For their miniature jewelry store interior, the artists gathered inspiration from the Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, the transatlantic ocean liner Normandie, and the Nieman Marcus department store in San Francisco.

Mulvaney & Rogers’s room setting is a luxurious two-story interior complete with gilded railings and doors, a jewel-shaped display case, and richly adorned walls. From the faux-painted marble floor to the golden domed ceiling, every detail reflects Art Deco design. Mulvaney & Rogers also designed the interior and exterior lighting to give the appearance that it is dusk outside. Up next: jewelry shopping.

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