Artisan Miniatures

Within the world of dollhouse and miniatures collecting, there is a bit of a divide among miniaturists whether one should make everything themselves, or  buy items already made.  My preference is to do both.  In terms of dollhouse building, there are many items that common logic dictates one buy:  such as electrical components, wood trim, tiles & grout, etc. . .

As far as furniture, accessories, and art items, I have several reasons why I love to buy the work of others for my collection.  (1)  I work full-time and don’t have time to create everything I need to fill a dollhouse.  I am sure I could finish less houses if I held out for doing everything myself.  (2)  There are many talented artisans who offer things that I couldn’t make even if I wanted to.  For instance, I am not set up to create glass items, nor do I have the training.  (3)  While I manage to create several things I am satisfied with, I see absolutely no reason to deprive myself of items that others do better.  It fills me with pride to see how many people are using their God-given talents to bring pleasure to others.  (4)  By using artisan pieces by a wide variety of people, I think a finished piece is less likely to fall into the rut of one person’s creative tendencies.  As much as I enjoy and appreciate the work of others, I have noticed that some people tend to do mostly one style (i.e.,  “shabby chic”, “fantasy”, etc. . .)

I tend to buy items that are either antique/vintage or artisan-made.    In this section, rather than highlight vintage pieces which are very difficult to obtain, I am highlighting many of my favorite artisan pieces because there are so many gifted artisans offering their pieces at affordable prices.   Most of my dollhouses are furnished with a combination of the fruits of my own efforts and those of miniaturists from all across the globe.

The two recent acquisitions (shown below) are pieces I bought to celebrate a recent job transfer.  Both pieces are made by Susan Knoer of Louisville, Kentucky.  The little rooster stool is hand-hooked, and the utterly amazing tiny Wedding Ring Quilt is really hand-pieced and quilted just like its full-size counterparts.

Hooked Rooster Stool

Hand-Pieced Quilt

One of my all-time favorite artisans is Philip Grenyer (England).  He is a miniature glass-blower extraordinaire.   I am particularly fond of his cranberry glass line, although everything he does is absolutely gorgeous.  The two glass pieces shown in the photos below are both from his cranberry glass collection, and I desperately hope to add several of these pieces to my collection  until I am able to fill an entire miniature cabinet – I think it would be one of the most beautiful displays EVER!  I actually have 3 different dollhouse mansions that would be worthy of such a collection.

Philip Grenyer - Covered Pedestal Dish 01AASpringtime Treasures - 01BB

As should be obvious from the many postings on my website about glassware (both in miniature and full-scale) that I own and admire, I simply never can pass up something hand-blown and extraordinary – especially when it is in miniature.  The two pieces shown below are both from Germany, and while I have no idea who the artist is, I think they are exquisite.  I feel quite fortunate to be the owner of both.

German Glass Vases - Extraordinary 01A

Another spectacular piece in my collection (artist is unknown) is the Clavictherium shown below.  Every once in a while, you come across a spectacular one-of-a-kind artisan piece that you know you will never have the opportunity to see,  much less obtain,  ever again.  A clavictherium is an ancient musical instrument, and I have only seen two in miniature in my lifetime.  I feel very lucky, indeed, to own one of them.  This piece is featured in my Middleton Manor haunted dollhouse.

Clavictherium - 01A

Clavictherium - 01B

Another such rare find is the incredible handcrafted set of tools & tool chest (shown below)  Handcrafted by miniaturist, Frank Coen, I purchased these directly from a lady that had known him and had bought them directly from him.  While I wish I had also had that opportunity, I am certainly thrilled that I was able to buy them.  Even my Dad (a perfectionist, and certainly an expert on tools such as these) couldn’t believe the artistry it took to create each of these amazing pieces.

Tools by Frank Coen - 01A

One of my favorite sources for finding beautiful artisan miniatures is Etsy.  And, I am excited to report that I just discovered an incredible artisan on that site who offers gorgeous, gorgeous original paintings (both in miniature and full scale),   insanely beautiful 3-D framed miniature scenes, and a variety of other treasures . . . all very beautifully crafted!

The beautiful miniature desert painting (shown below,  photo courtesy of the artisan:  Evelyn Allen) is a piece that inspired me the moment I saw it.  Of course, virtually everything this wonderful lady does inspires me.  It will certainly be the focal point of whatever dollhouse room is the lucky recipient and!  I have already decided that I will design that room around this much loved painting.

Desert Painting by Evelyn Allen

The second painting that I own by this wonderful artist (and friend) is the one shown below.  While it is a good bit smaller than the panoramic desert scene,  I think  it is quite lovely,  and that it holds its own despite its diminutive size.

Desert Painting by Evelyn Allen 02

I know you will love getting to see all of the beautiful work of this multi-talented artisan, both in miniature and full-scale.   She is also a very nice lady, which makes a shopping experience in her Etsy shop even more fun!  Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a trip to this beautiful Etsy shop by clicking on this link:  Desertsandhopper

Another artisan that I discovered on the Etsy site is Emily Clarke of Artsyemmythecrafter

In addition to the lovely miniature paintings that she features on her site, she creates a plethora of gorgeous miniature furniture., as well as lovely artwork in full -scale.   I always enjoy a visit to her lovely store.  The beautiful dining room table set and matching hutch were early pieces I bought from her store.  I love them!

Dining Room Table & Chairs

Dining Room Hutch - 01A

The beautiful miniature painting shown below is evocative of Indian cave painting, and the moment I saw it, I knew it had to join my collection.

Indian Cave Painting by Emily Clarke - 01A

I absolutely LOVE teeny dolls for a little girl’s room in a dollhouse.  One of my very favorite teeny doll makers is Ethel Hicks.  The darling little witch doll (shown below) is one of my favorites and I have a special project planned in which she will feature prominently.


Even tinier than the witch is the miniscule Hawaiian doll shown below.  She is absolutely adorable and is also by Ethel Hicks.

Tiny Hawaiaan doll - 01A

The beautiful little doll and her trunk of accessories (shown below) was created by miniaturist Tina Richardson.  This beautiful little doll is actually made of porcelain and is jointed.

Tiny Doll in Trunk - 01AA

Custom-made furniture can be surprisingly affordable – often, even more so than that of mass-produced retail pieces.  The two seriously cute sofa sets shown below were created by Jeanine Schraeder of SCRAPSofLAND

Custom Sofa Set - 01A


The extraordinary Art Deco living room set shown below is by Janet Harvie of Maggie Melinda (Canada).  I found this artisan and her beautiful website through Etsy.

Art Deco LR Set for A-Frame

The beautiful chaise shown below, by Etsy artisan (and my good friend) Jo Medvenics, came all the way from England.  Jo is an astounding miniaturist, and she creates a wide variety of incredible miniatures – everything from beautiful dollhouses and furniture to the actual dolls themselves.


I have also obtained many of my favorite accessory pieces from Etsy.  The gorgeous hand-carved bird figurines shown below are from Etsy artisan Doug Guy.  We have no idea whether we are related, but I was excited to find extraordinary one-of-a-kind miniatures from an artist with my own surname.

Doug Guy Carvings - 01AA


The incredible Bliss-style replica of a xylophone and case was created by Etsy artisan Terre Fernandez.  Isn’t it just gorgeous?

Xylophone - Bliss Style

How fortunate for today’s miniaturists that we have access to all of these amazing resources!

The jar shown below is hand-turned from hardwood and betel nut.  Beautiful, isn’t it?!

Betel Nut Turned Jar - 01A

The wonderful, stylish witch’s hats (shown below) were handcrafted by miniature artisan, Jane Timms, from England.  I knew I had to have these for the closet of my pending witch’s house!

Witches Hats - 01AA

And, finally . . . one of my favorite artisan pieces . . . the “spider web” eggs shown below are even more amazing in person.   I knew I absolutely had to have these!!!

Spider Web Eggs - 01AA

That’s all for now, but be sure to check back now & then.  There is no doubt that there will be additions to this category as artisan pieces are my weakness.  But, as you can see from the above pictures, I have a good reason for that weakness!!!






Last modified on: December 8th 2013.